Indian exports of buffalo meat are becoming a healthy earner for meat producers.

Livestock numbers are being boosted by increased home demand for milk and dairy products from buffalo, fuelled by its higher fat content than is found in standard cattle.

Figures from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) show Indian exports reaching an anticipated 280,000 tonnes this year, close to the year 2000 record. (They dipped in 2001 to 259,000 tonnes because of a foot and mouth disease outbreak).

Key markets for this carabeef (buffalo meat) are the Philippines and Malaysia, with the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt also buying significant quantities.