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Mithun: A Valuable Food Resource



  Sep 08, 2023

Mithun :A "Food Animal"


What is the recent development regarding the classification of mithun bovine?

Starting from September 1, the mithun (Bos frontalis) bovine, primarily found in the Northeastern states of India, has been classified as a "food animal" by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
 

What implications does this classification have?

The classification of mithun as a "food animal" holds several implications:
 
Export Opportunities: This classification opens doors for the export of mithun meat to international markets.
 
Commercial Sale and Distribution: Mithun meat can now be commercially sold and distributed outside of the main producing areas.
 
Economic Benefits for Farmers: The classification allows farmers to benefit from large-scale rearing of mithun, potentially leading to economic growth.
 
Nutritional Value: Mithun meat is touted as a low-fat, organic alternative to other meats, such as buffalo meat.
 
Cultural and Socioeconomic Significance: Mithun holds cultural and socioeconomic importance in the Northeastern states and plays a role in the tribal population's way of life.
 

What are the characteristics of mithun and its meat?

Mithun is a semi-domesticated bovine species. Its meat has the following characteristics:
 
Low Fat Content: Mithun meat contains 0.4-4% fat, making it a low-fat option.
 
Nutrient-Rich: The meat has high protein content, amino acids, water-soluble vitamins, and minerals.
 
Organic Diet: Mithun's organic nature is due to its diet, as it does not consume anything consumed by humans.
 

What is the significance of mithun in the Northeastern states?

Mithun holds importance in the Northeastern states:
 
State Animal: It is the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
 
Socioeconomic Role: Mithun rearing contributes to the socioeconomic and cultural fabric of tribal communities.
 
Production Concentration: The majority (98%) of global mithun production occurs in states like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram.
 

What are the potential plans for mithun farmers?

The Indian government is considering several initiatives for mithun farmers:
 
Bankable Schemes: The government is exploring schemes to financially support mithun farmers.
 
Cattle Insurance: Plans include bringing mithun under the cattle insurance network.
 

What are the growth trends of mithun population in India?

As per the 2019 livestock census, India has around 390,000 mithun. Their population has seen a growth of 30% compared to the previous census in 2012.
 

How does mithun meat compare to other meats?

Mithun meat is considered superior due to its nutritional composition:
 
Protein Content: Mithun meat contains 14-19% proteins.
 
Carbohydrate Percentage: It has a low carbohydrate percentage of 0.06-4.97.
 
This reclassification of mithun as a "food animal" is expected to have far-reaching implications for the meat industry, farmers, and the culinary landscape, particularly in the Northeastern region of India.


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