Dr Mangsatabam Norjit Singh
The main source of livelihood for the people of Manipur is agriculture and Animal Husbandry continues to be an integral part of agriculture producing milk, meat and egg. Livestock and poultry are an important component of the mixed farming system and dependence on livestock as an alternative source of income is significant. Majority of the people of the state are non-vegetarian and among them a good number of people consume pork.Pig husbandry plays a very important role in the rural economy of Manipur. Most of the tribal households usually keep one or more livestock, mainly pigs, cattle, poultry, etc. in their backyard with minimum investment resulting in the improvement of their socio-economic status. Piggery sector because of its advantages like prolificacy, faster growth, short generation interval, better feed conversion efficiency, dressing percentage and low maintenance cost, plays an important role for increasing meat production of the state.
Meat consumers are becoming aware of the scientific nutritive value of pork and so the demand for pork is equally increasing with its production. There is a growing demand for pork due to increasing per capita income, urbanization and changes in lifestyle and food habits. But there is still a huge gap between demand and supply of pigs and their products in the state. Pig production in the state requires an immediate transformation from backyard subsidiary enterprise to a commercial venture. Considering the demand of pork in the state, immense opportunities prevail in improvement of productivity through adopting scientific interventions in routine management and health care services.
Pig population of India:
The total pig population of India is 9.06 million as per 20th Livestock Census (2019) and it has been decreased by 12.0% over previous Livestock Census (2012) i.e. 10.29 million. Pigs contribute about 1.7% of the total livestock population of the country. Manipur has a total population of 2,35,255 pigs comprising 27,483 exotic/ crossbred, 2,07,767 non-descript breeds and 5 indigenous breeds (as per 20th Livestock Census, 2019).
Strategies to improve pig sector in Manipur:
There is immense potential to augment the productivity of pig farming and bridge the gap in production and demand of pork in Manipur.
1. Piggery development policy:There is a need to evolve a comprehensive piggery development policy in the state involving the Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Central Agricultural University, Imphal;ICAR Manipur Centre, Lamphelpat, Department of Agriculture and Department of Industry of the state.
2. Breeding policies: The Government should encourage genetic improvement of the indigenous non-descript pigs through crossbreeding with superior germplasm like Hampshire, Large white Yorkshire, Large Black, etc. Upgrading of indigenous breeds with exotic breeds should be done in keeping the interest of the farmers. At the same time, measures should be taken to conserve the indigenous pig germplasm i.e. improvement should be done through selective breeding.
3. Adequate Artificial Insemination (AI) and pregnancy diagnosis facility:There should be adequate facilities for A.I and pregnancy diagnosis at farmer’s door to improve the reproductive potential of the pigs.
4. Availability of good quality breeding pigs:The indigenous pig still occupies the majority of the pig population in the state, even after implementation of various pig improvement programmes. The problem faced by the pig farmers is the lack of superior germplasm for cross breeding with local breeds as they are poor in production and reproduction. There should be availability of good quality breeding pig breeds like Hampshire, Large white Yorkshire, Large Black, etc. to the farmers so as to improve the productivity and reproductive capacity of the indigenous pig.
5. Establishing a compound feed manufacturer:As we are well aware of the fact that 70-80% of the cost of production of pig goes to the cost of feed alone. Due to lack of feed manufacturer units, the state imports the concentrate feed from the other states of India. Because of high transportation cost, by the time it reaches Manipur, the cost of feed is very high.The Government should encourage establishment of compound feed manufactures unit for exploiting non-conventional feed resources, to produce economic ration.
6. Alternative feed resource: Emphasis should be given to use non-conventional feed resources like cassava leaves, potato leaves, water hyacinth, banana stems and there should be establishment of a compound feed manufacturer for efficient utilization of non-conventional feed resources as a source of pig feed. Presently, in tropical countries much interest is given to the use of cassava leaves as a replacement for soybean meal and fish meal in pig diets. Fresh cassava leaves can be fed at 41% of the diet, with no apparent signs of toxicity. Water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) does not appear to contain anti-nutritional compounds and has been used successfully for growing pigs as the only source of supplementary protein in a diet based on broken rice.
7. Extension of health care services: NE India including Manipur with its porous international border possesses a huge threat for emergence of exotic diseases like PRRS and frequent occurrence of outbreak of swine fever, FMDs etc. Inefficient health care services and lack of availability of medicines and vaccines aggravate the situation further and often leads to failure of the pig production system. Timely prophylactic measures and emergency services for treatment of pigs should be made available in all the districts of the state.
8. Modern disease diagnostic laboratory: There should be modern disease diagnostic laboratory in all the districts to keep strict vigilance on diseases and their prevention. Unfortunately, most of the farmers neglect diseases and parasite infestation at the early stage which result in serious problems eventually leading to serious losses in the productivity and profitability. It has been proved that adoption of treatment after an outbreak of diseases is more expensive.
9. Availability of modern Slaughter House:Slaughterhouse or abattoir is a place or a building or premise, licensed by appropriate authority, where animals are killed under hygienic conditions for human consumption. The slaughter house plays a vital role for supplying quality and wholesome meat to the consumers. So, the slaughter house should have adequate facilities of potable water, electricity, drainage and affluent disposal system, cold storage, quality control laboratory, space for ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection, by-product utilization system, etc. The butchers available in the towns should slaughter the required number of live animals only in the slaughterhouses and pay a fee to the concerned authority.
10. Establishment of organized market:At present, the pig market in the state is unorganized which involves chains of middlemen who reap the actual benefit depriving the real producers of their rightful share. The whole meat trade including pork in the states is handled and controlled by a group of people who have been in the business traditionally and the whole process of production, marketing, fixing of price etc. are controlled by them. Therefore, there is a need for the establishment of an organized network of markets so that the pig’s farmers get their due share for their products. Organized market involves participation of Government institutions or Co operative federation. The basic motive of the organization is to see that the consumer price doesn’t fluctuate violently. This will eliminate the middlemen and the farmers will get the fair price of their products.
11. Technical Guidance and Training:Various training programs should be organized at different places to impart technical knowledge to the farmers. Besides these regular training programmes, Government and other related institutions in the state should organize short time training programmes for the extension of the scientific culture to the farmers. To popularize the scientific culture of pig farming, the veterinary department should organize publicity programmes through different media such as books and pamphlets, TV and Radio broadcasting, exhibition etc.
12. Scheme for pig insurance: There should be provision for insurance to pig farmers in case of sudden death of pigs during any epidemic outbreak of disease or any natural calamities like flood, etc. to encourage the farmers to undertake the piggery enterprise.
The writer is Assistant Professor at Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal.
For further details contact:-
Public Relation & Media Management Cell,
CAU, Imphal. Email: [email protected]