TODAY -
Pork and Beef : Gastronomic delights of Ukhrul and its impact
Source: The Sangai Express

Ukhrul, September 14, 2010: It is not for nothing that it is generally said that the people of Ukhrul know how to cook only pork or beef not only because it taste better, but because this menu ultimately works out cheaper when compared with a dish of say, Cauliflower Saag or peas or any other vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes etc.

This general observation may not live up to the test of minute scrutiny or calculation but the fact remains that consumption of meat in Ukhrul has increased manifold, in line with the increase in population.

This in turn means a startling increase in the number of buffalos, cows and pigs being slaughtered for the tabledaily.A look at any of the butcher's shop will reveal the Tangkhul's love for meat and rarely one would find a Tangkhul having a meal without a meat dish.

Interacting with The Sangai Express, one member of the meat shop owners' association (Yes butchers or those who run meat shops have formed a body), Mr Suisa informed that he has been in the trade for the last 33 years and given the gastronomic delights of the Tangkhuls, there has been no off season for him.

With the income from his meat shop, Mr Suisa is able to comfortably support his 11 family members and at the same time educate his children.

Buyers throng a meat shop at Ukhrul


While the younger nine kids are presently studying in private schools the two elder daughters are in college outside the State.

On an average Mr Suisa slaughters two/three buffalos and the same number of pigs in a day and the sale is always brisk.

It is rare for him to slaughter only one buffalo or one pig in a day.

The earning is impressive, if we go by Mr Suisa's version.

On a single day, the sale proceeds may be anything between Rs 25 to 40 thousand, depending on the number of animals slaughtered.

This means a profit of Rs three to four thousand per day Suisa said.

In fact the setting up of 20 meat shops near the Tangkhul Naga Long Ground and considering the population of Ukhrul, tells the story of a thriving trade while reflecting the taste buds of the Tangkhuls.

Simple Arithmethic says that if two buffaloes and two pigs are slaughtered each day for the 20 shops near the TNL ground, then the total of animals slaughtered for their meat is 40 buffaloes and 40 pigs.

Despite the fondness for meat, the supply chain of livestock to the slaughter house has come under harsh strain.

Unlike the past, where each household used to rear their own pigs or buffaloes, now, it is only those who have buffer stock of food grains as feeding them is hard work.

As such most of the buffaloes and pigs sold in Ukhrul are brought from Myanmar with the border villagers frequently bringing the animals all the way to the district headquarters and sold to the slaughter houses.

At times the traders used to exchange the animals with Indian made bike of any brand.

A fully grown buffalo can fetch anything between Rs 20 thousand to forty five thousand while a pig may fetch between Rs 12 thousand to Rs 28 thousand.

Considering the large scale consumption of beef and pork in the district there has been a visible impact on the environment as human and animals try to make use of all available space including most of the grazing grounds.

The impact on environment has also other manifestations.

Mosquitoes which were unseen or unheard of in this district a decade back are today found aplenty and people have been using mosquito nets in every household since the year 2005, according to the malaria department report.


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