‘Towards a pink revolution’: Pig farmers on mission to make NE region piggery hub
KOHIMA, JANUARY 8: An awareness camp on commercial pig farming, under the aegis of Northeastern Progressive Pig Farmers Association (NEPPFA), was held at the District Veterinary Office, Kohima, on January 8, on the theme ‘Our journey towards a pink revolution’.
Member Secretary of NEPPFA, Niepukhrielhou Kense said that the awareness camp was necessitated by the fact that even though Nagaland is one of the largest consumers of pork in the country, most of its demands are being met by importing pigs from outside the State.
The camp is an initiative towards ensuring self-sufficiency in meeting meat demands in the State through scientific approach, he added.
General Secretary of NEPPFA, Timirbijoy Srikumar shared values about commercial pig farming in the region.
NEPPFA has the vision to establish Northeast India’s pork as a global brand and at present, its mission is to work towards making Northeast India a piggery hub and to make quality pork available to consumers, he said.
According to him, the main motive of NEPPFA coming to Nagaland was the fact that the State has been rearing pig in traditional way.
He maintained that while there is nothing wrong in rearing pigs the traditional way, it is not viable to take traditional pig farming when it comes to meeting the requirements of the State on a large scale.
Therefore, NEPPFA is here make to make sure that there is an increase in meat production using scientific methods, he added.
Srikumar said that the Association has set a goal for pig farmers across the region to enhance pork production.
“At present, the Association has set a goal to enhance the pork production of 1.3 lakh MT per year as of 2018 to 4 lakh MT by 2025. We seek to achieve this by creating an ecosystem for commercial piggery as a sustainable and profitable means of employment generation.
“NEPPFA also seeks to reposition pork through quality assurance and value addition. The idea here is to introduce quality parameters and traceability in piggery sector for ensuring good quality meat for building trust among consumers”, he said.
Srikumar pointed out that the one major problem prevalent across the entire Northeast region when it comes to rearing pig was that farmers are reluctant to adopt modern practices, or in other words, mass production.
The Association will work towards educating farmers on diseases and vaccination through training and other information sources, and build a common platform where farmers will be protected from the devastations caused diseases, epidemics and disasters and become part of Government policy-making, he said.
Advisor to NEPPFA, Consultant at National Animal Disease Control Programme, Government of Assam, Dr. Bhagat Lal Dutta said that in order for pork from NE region to become a global brand, all the stakeholders need to adopt a pig-based faring system, encourage the pig by-product-based industry, rear good breed, easy access to feeds, integrate all schemes with piggery-renewable power/bio-gas, veterinary care, direct access to market and declare piggery as an industry.
He also stressed on the importance of rearing improved breeds such as the Large While Yorkshire breed. The resilience of this breed to diseases is much stronger than another breed and it even grows faster, he said.
Highlighting that the average demand for pork meat in the Northeast region stands at more than 1 lakh kilo per day, Dutta said that the reality of the statistics is that most of these pork meat are coming from outside Northeast and all the money goes outside the region.
Veterinary Surgeon at VHK, Elizabeth Yhome said that Nagas have been rearing pigs from “time immemorial” but Nagaland cannot produce pork meat on a large scale without adopting the scientific expertise.
“The way we are rearing pigs is not at the level where it can meet the commercial demands which is expected to rise”, she said.
The awareness camp is an attempt at how to improve the production sector of pork meat, she said.
Around 60 people, comprising aspiring entrepreneurs and medium-sized pig farmers from across the State, participated at the awareness camp.
(Page News Service)