A day ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the country, Russia has been allowed to import buffalo meat from India.
The Russian veterinary regulator said that Russia’s veterinary and phytosanitary service Rosselkhoznadzor, together with Kazakhstan’s Agriculture Ministry, has included Indian buffalo meat producers to the register for organizations and individuals involved in the production, processing and storage of goods transported to the territory of the Customs Union (of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan).
Rosselkhoznadzor spokeswoman Yulia Trofimova stressed that Indian enterprises were allowed to supply buffalo meat to Russia starting from December 4. It was up to Russian companies now to coordinate deliveries from supplier, the official Itar-Tass news agency reported.
Russia earlier had said that there were also plans to certify other Indian agricultural producers to supply poultry, powdered eggs and dairy products.
Meat and dairy imports from India are believed to be realistic for Russia, which has introduced a set of agricultural sanctions against the West.
The ban announced in August bars imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the 28-nation European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway for one year in retaliation for sanctions imposed by those nations on Russia over its continued support of separatists in Ukraine.
The veterinary regulator of Russia will be sending its inspector to India to exert permanent control over consignments of buffalo meat destined for the regional Customs Union.
After a long gap, Russia will be opening its market of Indian buffalo meat. India’s livestock population includes 88 million buffaloes, which is 58 per cent of the world’s buffalo population.
The country exported 14.49 lakh tonnes of buffalo meat products worth of Rs 26,457.79 crores in 2013-14.
Four Indian companies in total have been certified to supply buffalo meat to Russia, offering prospective additional volumes to replace other nations’ imports blocked in response to the West’s Ukraine-related sanctions.
India is the largest buffalo meat exporting country, according to Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).