Pig Farming Body Wants to Turn North East India into 'Piggery Hub'

Pig Farming Body Wants to Turn North East India into 'Piggery Hub'

Pig Pig

Guwahati, June 22, 2019:

The North East Progressive Pig Farmers’ Association (NEPPFA) on Saturday raised several pertinent issues related to the Piggery sector.

NEPPFA is an umbrella organization of more than 200 commercial pig farmers working with the vision to establish Northeast India’s Pork as a global brand. The stated missions of NEPPFA are: to work towards making North East India a Piggery Hub and to make quality pork available to consumers.

The Northeast is the largest market for pork meat in India. According to the 19th Livestock Census conducted in 2012, Assam has the highest number of pigs in the country. The region consumes more than 75% of meat produced country, which is about 4.26 metric tonnes. The pork meat of the Northeast is worth more than a billion US dollars. The irony is that most of this meat is coming from outside the region without any food safety monitoring for the consumers in the absence of a thriving piggery sector here.

Realizing the potential of the sector, increasing number of youth from Assam and the Northeast are taking up piggery and related agricultural activity on a commercial basis. As a result, the entire piggery sector is poised for growth in the region but that would be possible only if certain basics are met. One of the most important is veterinary care and availability of critical vaccines. Classical Swine Fever is the most rampant of epidemics in the northeast and is vaccine-preventable. Currently, our farmers do not have access to this vaccine and the government must ensure the availability of this vaccine for all farmers if the sector has to be sustained.

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Another disaster, called the African Swine Fever, is at our doorstep if we do not take adequate measures timely. It is a deadly epidemic which has been killing millions of pigs all over the globe. It has severely affected the Chinese pork industry and has recently entered Vietnam and Cambodia. With now only a few hundred kilometers away from the Northeast, NEPPFA wants to bring the issue to the notice of the government and stakeholders urgently so that the farmers can be made alert of the situation and also measures can be taken for the safety of their farms. Since the disease can enter the region through states bordering China and Myanmar, serious measures like utmost vigil must be maintained and no pig or pig products should be allowed to come into the country across the border. ASF poses no threat to human health but can cause extreme financial loss to the farmers. (Symptoms of the disease are fever, dullness, breathing difficulty, vomiting, nasal and ocular discharge, abortion in pregnant sows and death within 7 days). There is no treatment available.

Animal life insurance is another link in this chain. Though schemes have been announced, but they are more on paper than on the ground and farmers have not actually achieved the benefits of insurance. For the livestock sector to grow animal insurance is mandatory and this is an area where the government’s support is crucial.

Availability of credit and loans is another crucial link in the chain. However, it is found that farmers are facing a lot of problems in getting loans for commercial piggery. Amount of subsidy allocated under National Livestock Mission is very meager compared to the number of piggery enterprises being taken up.

Two more areas that need focus for upgradation of the sector are - importation of good commercial pig breeds for improving productivity and integration of agriculture sector so that important feed grain ingredients like maize and soya are grown in the region. When the commercial piggery sector is at its infancy, these are areas where the government has to intervene.

Enterprise building, Doubling the Farmer’s income and a lucrative agriculture sector is possible through piggery – provided we give this farmer- entrepreneurs the necessary support that are required to promote, secure and sustain their enterprises.

Edited By: Admin
Published On: Jun 23, 2019