Seizing The Pork Opportunity: Empowering Local Pig Farming For Sustainable Growth - Eastern Mirror
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Seizing the Pork Opportunity: Empowering Local Pig Farming for Sustainable Growth

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By EMN Updated: Feb 21, 2024 11:52 pm

In the heart of our community, a growing concern arises – our fondness for pork clashes with our heavy reliance on imported pig meat, leaving our local pig farms struggling to keep up. As we witness the insufficient local production of pork to meet our increasing appetite, the gap becomes evident. The pig farming sector, especially in terms of quality piglet production, market demand and opportunity, better biosecurity measures in farms and proper managemental controls can indeed present opportunities for growth and development

Demand-supply discrepancy:

According to the 20th livestock census, the pig population in Nagaland is 404,695 with a significant decrease of -19.65% since the 19th livestock census which was 503,688. Recent reports estimate an annual demand for pork of around 60,000 metric tonnes, while our state produces only about 30,000 metric tonnes, resulting in a deficit of 50%. This demand and supply gap is further increasing due to increase in human population & decrease in pig population of Nagaland. Our state imports live pigs mainly from Punjab, Haryana & southern states. However, what if the solution to this dilemma is within our reach? This presents a golden opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs, local farmers and unemployed youth alike to capitalise on the expanding market by investing in pig farming. With ample room for growth and a promising future, now is the perfect time to embark on this lucrative venture.

Profitability in pig farming:

Pigs efficiently convert feed to meat, reaching slaughter size faster than other animals. Compared to affiliate industries like poultry farming, pig rearing necessitates lower startup costs while promising similar profit margins. There is less capital investment with quick returns- the market weight of 60-80 kg in 8-9 months. Pig farming also offers various revenue streams beyond just selling pork products. Pig products range from primary commodities such as pork, to processed food products such as sausages and smoked hams to cooked salted ears, pickle, intestines, etc are entering the market. A wide variety of pork products such as pork sausages, are entering into the market. A slaughter house generates a wide range of by-products suitable for further processing. From breeding and selling piglets to utilising manure for fertiliser and generating renewable energy, farmers can diversify their income sources and enhance profitability. Pigs are also reported to be one of the most efficient converters of unconventional feeds and fodder resources that are easily available in our state thereby reducing the cost of production resulting in higher profit margin.

Employment generation:

In an era of unemployment problems arising in all sector of society, venturing into pig farming may provide an alternate solution especially to  rural youth as the piggery farming is an integral part of our society and the potential to bridge the gap between demand and supply. Pig farming is not only a profitable business venture but also helps in job creation, establishing pig farming enterprises can have a transformative impact on local economies. Pig farming operations require a diverse range of skills and expertise, creating employment opportunities for individuals with varying levels of education and experience.

Pig farming startups:

For startups looking to venture into pig farming, careful planning and research are essential. Investing in high-quality breeding stock, ensuring proper nutrition, disease control measures, and implementing best management practices are essential for higher profitability. Developing a solid business plan and securing financing through sources like National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Banks, schemes and projects launched by state and central govt. will set the foundation for success. Startups should explore innovative solutions to optimise production processes and minimise costs. Building partnerships with other stakeholders in the pig farming ecosystem, such as breeders, suppliers, and processors, can provide valuable resources and support. Networking within the industry and participating in relevant forums and events can open doors to opportunities for growth and collaboration.

Intervention for improvement:

Non-availability of superior germplasm and high cost of concentrate feeds are the major bottlenecks that limit pig production. Traditionally, farmers are rearing indigenous or nondescript pigs with relatively lower growth rate and productivity as compared to exotic or crossbred germplasm. It is observed that Backyard pig production and feeding with kitchen, vegetable waste is still dominant in this farming sector especially in rural areas. In regards to system of rearing, Majority of the farmers procure piglets as per availability in respective locality and rear mostly as fatterners/ or until marketable age and ultimately sell in local market or to butchers. Therefore, reduced number of quality and superior breeds limits production of superior germplasm in the field conditions due to less breeding farms maintained by the farmers. It has been observed that the difficulties of maintaining boars and limited resources for maintaining larger herd size, restricts development of breeder farmers. In this cases, concept of artificial insemination (AI) can contribute a large number of quality germplasm in a low cost and effective manner, without actually maintaining a boar. To improve the existing system of pig production, ICAR-National Research Centre on Pig, Guwahati, India introduced Rani breed of pig in Nagaland under ICAR-Mega Seed Project on Pig (2018) which is a cross of Hampshire and Gunghroo breed. 

Feed plays a very important role in successful pig production. Feed alone represents about 70-75 percent of the total cost of producing pig. The productivity and reproductivity of pig farm depends on the quality as well as quantity of feed supplied to the pigs. Establishment of feed mill by interested entrepreneurs may pave ways for utilisation of feed resources in the state and thereby reducing the cost of feeds in the long run. Use of unconventional or underutilised feed resources that are locally available may also be better option for reducing the input cost of production thereby ensuring higher profitability especially in rural areas.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, seizing the pork opportunity through empowering local pig farming is not only a viable business venture but also a sustainable solution to meet the growing demand for pork while fostering economic development. However, it requires careful planning, investment in infrastructure and technology, adherence to quality standards, and proactive market engagement strategies by the farmers as well as policy planners in the government. By addressing challenges and capitalising on opportunities, Nagaland’s pig farming sector can contribute to economic growth and rural development while meeting the increasing demand for high-quality pork products globally.

Sunepienla Imchen

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By EMN Updated: Feb 21, 2024 11:52:51 pm
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