Pig Farming brings new hope for diversification in Punjab

Pig farming is turning out to be a good alternative for the farmers in Punjab with the state government giving a boost by a number of measures and incentives.

Recently the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the British Pig Association (BPA) with an objective to develop and promote piggery on scientific lines. As per the MoU, which was signed by the chief minister Parkash Singh Badal with the BPA export manager Chris Jackson, the BPA would provide pigs and frozen semen to farmers and livestock breeders of Punjab through state’s animal husbandry department.

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Badal after the tie up has expressed hope that this tie-up would give a boost and turn around the stagnant economy of farmers and livestock breeders by promoting state’s diversification programme.In fact it’s due to encouragement of Punjab government and the bigger scope of profitability that an increasing number of farmers have begun rearing pigs and have started importing good-quality sperm to raise yields in Punjab.

Free Training and Subsidy 

To encourage farmers, the department of animal husbandry has been giving free 2-3 week training for willing piggery farmers and piglets have been given to them by the department. Besides Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (Gadvasu)’s Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education Ludhiana has also started pig farming training for farmers of Punjab. The government has also helped them get bank loans for new piggery farms. In November 2014, Punjab Government doubled the amount of subsidy from 25 to 50 %, to the farmers for setting up new piggery farms. Animal Husbandry Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, concedes that the initiative has been taken to help the poor people especially in the waterlogged Malwa region where the land is not cultivable.

Role Model Village

In a bid to promote piggery farming in Punjab, village Ratta Khera of District Sri Mukatsar Sahib has been adopted as Model Village. Encouraged by the rise in subsidy the villagers have set up 10 units of piggery in the village. The initiative is setting a new precedent for farmers looking towards diversification in other districts all over the state.

Ultra-modern facilities

Earlier with the consent of government in 2013, Polar Genetics India Private limited in collaboration with Alberta, Canada based Polar Genetics had announced setting up of Asia’s first Ultra-Modern Pig Farm at Grewal Farm village Khassi Kalan, Chandigarh road, Ludhiana. As per the agreement, the Canadian company has been asked to supply high quality frozen genetically improved boar semen. It has also been decided that the firm would share latest technology and the management skills with the farmers. This would help making the entire process of the breeding and slaughter of pigs, and processing and marketing of high quality pork meats hygienic and scientific. The ultra-modern Ludhiana farm has a capacity of 50 sows (female pigs).

Bright future for farmers

It’s due to this holistic approach of the government that venturing into pig farming has started giving benefits to farmers. Substantiating the success, Secretary of the Piggery Farmers’ Association, Dalwinder Singh says that the benefits and profit margin is much higher, “There is just no comparison of piggery with what one would have earned from traditional cultivation.While Rs 1.2 lakh per year from two acres is the wheat-paddy cycle potential, with piggery done at full scale, a one-kanal pig farm can give an income equal to 42 acres of traditional farming,” he adds.

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