Srinagar, Feb 20, KNT: The quality of mutton in Kashmir Valley is not up to the mark and it also is not ‘Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’ (FSSAI) compliant, thus putting consumers at risk.
The majority of the consumers across Kashmir Valley have been consuming ‘C’ grade meat as is being sold to them by the butchers.
Those who are in the mutton trade told news agency Kashmir News Trust that low productivity and low profits in this business are due to the traditional methods of farming adopted by nomads who take care of the livestock population in Jammu and Kashmir.
“When there is low productivity, some mutton dealers procure ‘C’ grade meat from the outside Kashmir to make quick bucks. The problem is unawareness among consumers who are unable to differentiate between ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ grade quality meat,” one of the mutton dealers said.
As per official data, there is a shortfall of 41 percent supply leading to an import bill of Rs1400 crore every year. Mutton has been an essential part of Kashmiri cuisine for generations and has a significant demand for mutton.
Jammu and Kashmir have less than five breeds of sheep with the majority being dual-purpose breeds such as Kashmir Merino, Rambouillet, and Corriedale. However, there is increasing demand for fast-growing mutton breeds like Dorper, Romnov, South Down and others.
In order to make Jammu and Kashmir self-reliant in the meat sector, the government recently approved Rs 329 crore project. The sole objective of this project is to make top-quality meat available to consumers and make Jammu and Kashmir self-sufficient in the meat industry. [KNT]