Lack of Development in Breeding, Feed Holding Back Indian Pig Production Growth

INDIA - Indian pork production in the financial year 2014-2015 was estimated at 464,000 metric tons. This represents a slow annual growth rate of 1.4 per cent, mainly due to population growth.
calendar icon 18 August 2016
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According to the 2012 Livestock Census, the pig population declined by 7.5 per cent to 10.3 million from 2007 to 2012. The decline in population is mainly due to disease outbreaks.

The eastern and north eastern regions of the country comprise around 63 per cent of the pig population.

The majority of the pig population in India is indigenous breeds (76 per cent) though the population of cross-bred and exotic pigs increased by 12.7 per cent from year 2003 to 2012.

The exotic breeds mainly comprise of Hampshire, Large White, Duroc, Landrace, and Tamworth while some of the popular indigenous pig breeds include Ghungroo, Niang Megha, Ankamali, Agonda Goan, and TanyVo.

The indigenous breed animals are small sized, slow growing, produce small number of litters and have low quality pork. India’s average meat yield of indigenous breeds is around 35 Kg/animal, which is quite low in comparison to world average of around 78 Kg/animal.

The major challenges that affect the growth of pork sector include lack of sufficient breeder farms, deficiency of feed and fodder resources, diseases like classical swine fever, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), and porcine rotavirus, limited availability of vaccines, and insufficient slaughter and processing facilities across the country.

The sector is also constrained as most of the pig farmers belong to the lower socio-economic strata and undertake pig farming as a livelihood rather than scientific pig farming with improved foundation stock, proper housing, feeding and management.

In terms of trade, Indian pork imports in 2015 increased by 28 per cent from the previous year to 527 metric tons.

Major suppliers of pork meat to India were Belgium, Sri Lanka, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands.

The major imported pork products included pork belly, chops, loin, tenderloin, neck, shoulder, spare ribs, bacon, ham, salami and sausages.

The per capita pork consumption in India is negligible with the consumption mainly concentrated in north-eastern states including Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, and Tripura.

Other Indian states with high pork consumption include Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Goa and Kerala.

India’s Muslim population comprising 14.2 per cent of the total population do not eat pork due to religious reasons. However, a large section of Indian consumers are suspicious about the cleanliness of domestic pork meat as pigs are natural scavengers. These factors are further limiting the growth of pork meat sector.

India’s pork consumption can be divided into two segments. The first segment is in the form of fresh pork meat sold through unorganised wet markets and meat vendors.

The second segment is the high value imported pork products like sausages, ham, bacon, salami, canned meat products and frozen meat. The hotels and restaurants are the major buyers of the imported pork products, which cater to international travelers and wealthier Indian consumers.

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