Hyderabad: Even as the entire nation was cribbing about the exorbitant prices of almost all vegetables, not to mention onions, non-vegetarians had to reckon with their own problem that has somehow not hit the headlines.
Prices of meat, a non-vegetarian’s absolute delight, have steadily increased. Sheep meat, which was Rs 600-620 per kg, is now in the Rs 640-680 range whereas boneless meat comes for Rs 780-820 per kg. In rural areas, it is Rs 500.
Gourmets from Telangana are the most adversely hit given that meat consumption in the State has shot up by a mindboggling 49% in the last one year.
According to the latest report compiled by researchers of the National Research Centre on Meat (NRCM), people from Telangana prefer sheep meat to goats.
Incidentally, Telangana has a total of 1.91 crore sheep and the consumption in the last year has been 1.77 crore sheep. NRCM researchers attribute the demand for the spiraling of prices. Andhra Pradesh had 1.76 crore sheep and the consumption last year stood at 1.1 crore sheep.
In spite of the high costs, the Telugu states managed to stay on top of the meat-consumption list, all over the country. Meat consumption in the Telugu states was at 2.36 lakh tonnes in 2018-19 which it was only 1.58 lakh tonnes in 2017-18.
In Telangana, on an average, around 48-50,000 sheep are slaughtered every day, of which one-third is in Hyderabad where the average is around 25,000. As the demand is on the rise, the prices might soon touch of Rs 1,000 per kg, caution most sellers.
According to NIN (National Institute of Nutrition), meat sales and per capita availability have increased in the past four years. As against the national average of 2.9 - 3.2 kgs, it touches 9.2 kgs in Telangana, including four kgs of Sheep meat, one kg of goat meat and three kgs of chicken. In Andhra Pradesh, it is at seven kgs. India also stands 42nd in the world in terms of per capita consumption. America tops the list with 95.43 kgs.
The price of sheep meat has gone up by seven times in 2020 from the year 2000. The cost, which was Rs 90-100 in 2000, is now touching Rs 680.