Agripedia

Pig Farming - A Lucrative Business in Assam

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
pigs

In India, people from the northeast are mostly non-vegetarian and the majority of them like pork meat. The Northeastern region accounts for nearly 40% of the total pig population in the country. When compared within the seven sisters of Northeast, Assam holds the first position with the maximum number of pigs in the region. Assam has around 1.6 million, which accounts for nearly 16% of the total population that sums up to more than 10 million in the entire country. 

The region’s protein requirement cannot be fulfilled by the common sources that include mutton, duck and chicken. As a result, pork meat has a huge demand in the region. Native pigs of Assam have a very high growth rate and have a shorter breeding gap when compared to pigs from other places. Because of these advantages, the region can accommodate high production rates for the people of the region. The most common breeds among the Assam farmers include Hampshire, Ghungroo and Dome. 

Assam’s native pig: 

The native pig of Assam is black in colour, and has bristles on its neck and back region. This breed can live in poor conditions and does not need any kind of management for its breeding. Many cross breeds like native with Hampshire or Large back also prevails in the region. Cross breeds are majorly preferred by the pig farmers of Assam mainly because of its size. 

Prospects of pig farming: 

The first prospect is demand. The ever growing demand for meat in the state can be met by producing more and more pig meat along with the existing sources of meat. When meat sources are compared, pork or pig meat accounts for the maximum share in the market. The consumers of the state are well aware of the nutritive value available in pork and thus the demand is equally increasing along with the production. During the festival times, this demand for meat rises up to 7 folds and hence pig farming is a profitable business in Assam. 

Second is economic viability. Pig farms can be started with a very low investment. Few of the pig farmers from Assam have started their business using only 2 or 3 piglets. Profits can be made in a mere 8 to 9 months into the future. Many of the farmers get loans to start the business. However because the profit margins are so high,the farmers pay back their loan in a short period of time and enjoy long term profits.  

Third is employment. Assam being predominantly an agricultural state, pig farming has acted as a supplementary activity for the youth of Assam. Pig farming provides employment to many unemployed literates of the state. Both men and women can equally work in the pig rearing businesses and strengthen the overall economy of the state. Employment is also generated in other business which are connected to the primary rearing business, such as pig feed units, marketing units etc. 

pig farmer

Government’s incentives for people: 

Firstly, government is trying to make quality piglets available to the farmers. Non availability of pure breed piglets such as Hampshire, Saddleback etc. is a major constraint in the development of the pig farming business. Government is trying to distribute the piglets from its state pig farm located at Khanapara, Guwahati. 

Secondly, the government is trying to provide adequate health care facilities for major pig diseases such as swine fever, anthrax etc. The government is forming policies and setting up veterinary units in many places around the state to help the farmers. 

Thirdly, the government is providing financial assistance in the form of loans and subsidies to the farmers. This is done in order to help the weaker or financially deprived sector of the society. 

Fourthly, the government is setting up institutions in order to train and provide proper guidance to the farmers. These institutions organize training programmes for the interested farmers all around the state. They use different modes of publication such as pamphlets, TV, newspaper etc. for reaching the maximum number of people in the state. 

Conclusion: 

Pig farming business is no doubt a lucrative market in the state of Assam. However many changes are required both in the farmers part as well as government’s part for a better and blissful future. 

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