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Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004

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Meat Products to expand operations

G.K. Nair

Kochi , Feb. 10

THE State-owned Meat Products of India Ltd (MPI), eying the export market, is modernising its plant at nearby Koothattukulam apart from launching organic meat products.

Modernisation of the plant would be completed in three months at a cost of Rs 1 crore and once it becomes operational, the company would be able to treble its production of value-added products, Dr Ani S. Das, Managing Director of the company, told Business Line. With this, MPI will be able to increase its turnover from the current Rs 6 crore to Rs 12 crore and even more from the next fiscal, he said.

Currently, its products are sold in the local markets and metros, he said. The company is in the process of exporting to the West Asian countries and Malaysia and discussions are on in this regard.

The Indian Armed Forces are also expected to become a major buyer for MPI products, he said. Already, the company had an order worth Rs 20 lakh. However, negotiations are under way for a much bigger order worth Rs 6 crore.

Added to this, MPI is scheduled to launch organic `Nadan kozhi curry' and `Malabari mutton curry' in the local market. The former would have chicken meat of organically reared birds under strict disease-free farm environment, while the Malabari mutton would be of goats reared in backyard system, fed with MPI Goat feed and grown under its supervision, he said. Slaughtering is done hygienically while cooking and canning is done under strict veterinary supervision, Dr Das said.

The company is already producing and marketing various meat and meat products derived from pork, beef, chicken, mutton, rabbit and quails, he said.

It is holding MFPO licence No. 1 under category-A issued by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection under the Union Ministry of Agriculture. Currently, it is producing more than 65 varieties of items, he said.

In order to ensure the quality of raw material, MPI has its own livestock farms for pigs, poultry and rabbits. It also assures good market to farmers at remunerative prices for their farm products such as pigs, rabbits, quails, poultry etc.

Besides, it has several incentive and subsidy schemes to farmers. The company had last year disbursed around Rs 40 lakh towards the cost of pigs purchased from farmers of Kerala through a buy-back scheme, which would be introduced shortly for poultry also, he said.

Besides meat products, the company also produces various kinds of good quality feeds for pigs, poultry, rabbit, quails, turkey and duck, he said. It also supplies feeds to various farms of Animal Husbandry department, Kerala Agriculture University, State Poultry Development Corporation Ltd etc., apart from selling in the open market, he said.

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