INDIA is known for its love of all things bovine. And now it is set to make a considerable income from its cattle, or more specifically, its buffalo.
India plans to become the world's biggest exporter of bovine meat this year, led by its massive jump in production from buffalo.
A report released on Monday by Rabobank said India's bovine production this year would reach 2.16 million tonnes, spiking from just 609,000 tonnes three years ago.
Report author Pawan Kumar said high world meat prices were encouraging India's farmers to sell unproductive dairy cattle.
India has the biggest buffalo population in the world, with about 105 million at the last count about five years ago.
"The Indian buffalo meat industry began as a by-product of the dairy sector, catering to consumers of lower end bovine meat," Mr Kumar said.
But how long this production growth can be sustained will be determined by whether the Indian buffalo herd can grow.
The buffalo being slaughtered for export are largely cows no longer able to produce much milk.