Revivification of Livestock Industry in Assam with Pig Farming গাহৰি পালনৰে অসমৰ পশুধন শিল্পৰ পুনৰূজ্জীপন

~Monalisha A. P.

Livestock is the integral part of the mixed farming system that characterizes agriculture in Assam. Unlike in other parts of India, investment in cooperative farming for livestock sector has remained largely unsuccessful. Revivification of the livestock sector in the state is the need of the hour. For instance, large scale Piggery on commercial line is a new concept in Assam and it is yet to gather momentum by overcoming all kinds of problems. The problems associated with pig farming and the prospects of pig farming in Assam have been discussed here.

Problems:

a) Feeds: The quality of the rations determines the rate of growth of young pigs to a great extent. Pigs are the most rapidly growing livestock but in comparison to other ruminants, it suffers more from nutritional deficiencies. Pig, being a mono-gastric animal requires all nutrients including good quality proteins and vitamins in proper amounts and proper proportions. The fiber content of pig feed should be in between 5 to 6 %. The feed cost constitutes as much as 70 to 80 % cost of pork production.
Materials that can be incorporated in pig rations-
i. Tapioca chips, tapioca flour, thippi or tapioca waste, rubber seedcake, tobacco seed cake, mango seed kernel, molasses, fallow, hatchery waste etc. agro-industrial by-products. To prevent spreading of diseases, sterilization or cooking of garbage is a legal requirement in all the states of the country.
ii. Farmers use waste of shops i.e. waste of mixed food com, waste of military canteen and ‘Gera’, the residue found in the production of local wine made by the tribal people as feed.
iii. Sometimes wild bananas are also cooked and provided to the Pigs as additional feed.
iv. Water hyacinth which is abundantly available in Assam is a rich source of food.
One of the burning problems being faced by our pig farmers is the high cost of feed. Except maize, wheat bran, rice polish and mustered oilcake, all the other feed ingredients come from outside the state. The cost of transportation thereby raises the cost of feed.
b) Good Quality Piglet: Depending on the source of production, piglets may be divided into two categories, viz. crossbreed and pure breed i.e. Hampshire. The collection of pure breed is better because it is more profitable and suitable for the climatic conditions of Assam.

The government breeding farms fail to supply the required number of quality piglets to the farmers. So, the farmers have to buy piglets from the local markets at a high cost. Thus the shortage in supply of piglets is made up by the private farms through import from the neighbouring states like Meghalaya, Nagaland etc.

c) Marketing: The fate of the modem animal industry depends on a sound system of marketing of the animals as well as their products.
Pork marketing in Assam, mostly run by the tribal people, is fully unorganized (Organized channel involves participation of Government, institution or Cooperative federation. The basic motive of the organization is to see that the consumer price doesn’t fluctuate violently.).
People in this region slaughter the live pigs in the traditional method, which is not conducive for wholesome meat production. In reality, the production, processing and marketing of pork is running in a chaotic way. Many pork selling centers have no permanent structure and run occasionally, or once in a week in open space. So infestation of meat by flies is a common feature usually observed in these pork selling shops.
In Assam, slaughter house is available only at Dibrugarh, Jorhat and
Tezpur. There is no slaughter house in Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Nagaon and Silchar towns. Frozen meat marketing requires deep freezing system for preservation and insulated van for transportation which is not available.
d) Financial Problems: In Assam majority of the population live hand to mouth and do not have sufficient money for investment in other financial activities like pig farming.
e) Disease Control:
Bacterial diseases- Swine plague, swine erysipelas anthrax and infectious abortions.
Viral diseases- Swine fever, rind pest, foot and mouth disease, viral pneumonia and swine pox.
Pigs also suffer from internal and external parasitism.
Unfortunately most of the farmers neglect diseases and parasite infestation at the early stage which result in serious problems (esp. in intensive rearing) eventually leading to serious losses in the productivity and profitability.
Periodical removal of pig manure and wet litter along with good facility of drainage helps to maintain normal health of the animals. Before introducing a new stock in the pig sty, the sty should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with phenyl or caustic soda.
f) Managerial Problems: Right from the stage of planning to marketing, the management has to take care in every stage to minimize the expenditure so that a healthy profit could be made. For this a trained manager is required. The manager has to take sufficient care- in selecting proper breed for piglet, timing for pig transportation (early morning or evening is best, when it is coolest), that pigs going to be slaughtered are kept on fasting for at least 12 hours and during this period plenty of water should be provided which is often not done.
g) Technical Problem: In our state there are very few literate or trained people at the management level. The farmers do not know how to select piglets of high quality and how to regulate temperature control equipment to adjust the variable weather condition of Assam.

Prospects

a) Demand: Meat consumers are becoming aware of the present scientific nutritive value of pork and so the demand for pork is equally increasing with its production. Unlike other parts of the country almost all the people (90%) of, Assam are non- vegetarian.
To achieve the recommended target, piggery sector has to grow at least 7 times more. Thus the prospect of development of pig farming in Assam is very bright.
b) Economic Importance: Some new entrepre-neurs have started their farms even with only two piglets. Income begins to flow just after eight months rearing. Besides piglets and pork, a pig farmer can produce a organic manure, which improves soil texture and hummus.
c) Employment Opportunities: Besides the government farms there are about 262 numbers of small, medium and large farms presently running in the Kamrup district.
These are run by unemployed youths and women. It is quite natural that along with pig farming some other associated enterprises like fisheries, pig feed units, marketing network will grow which will result in diversified business prospect and employment generation.
Present Incentives To Develop Pig Farming In Assam
i) Supply of Piglets: The pure breeds viz. Hampshire, Landrace Saddleback and Yorkshire are maintained at the base pig farm at CVSc, Khanapara and pig farm of Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat. From these some piglets are distributed among the farmers. But presently due to financial crisis, no farm of Assam Government rears piglets. It is quite enthusiastic that some private breeding farms such as NKBG farm of Gopalpur, Rangia have started rearing and breeding piglets which are being supplied to farmers.
ii) Supply of Pig Feed: Seven feed mills have been established by the government of Assam at Khanapara, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Ghungoag, Diphu and Kokrajhar.
iii) Health Care: Veterinary services are handled by both the Central and the State Governments.
iv) Financial Assistance: Pig farming for weaker section is undertaken through a number of Central and State sector programmes (Special Livestock Production Programme (SLPP), Special Component Plans (SCP) and State Government’s Intensive Pig Development Programme, etc.). The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is the apex development institution for the rural credit system.
v) Insurance Coverage: The General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) and the four subsidiary companies have extended the insurance facility for pigs.
vi) National Credit Fund for Women: The national credit fund for woman provides another source of credit for livestock activities.
vii)Technical Guidance and Training: The State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) has been organizing training programmes on scientific management of pig with the help of College of Veterinary Science, Khanapara.
Viii) Role of Assam Livestock and Poultry Corporation (ALPCO) Ltd, Guwahati: In the North-East Region, Assam Livestock and Poultry Corporation (ALPCO) Ltd. is the only organization to work for the development of pig sector in this region.
ix) Role of Assam Agricultural University (AAU) in Piggery Education: At present two Veterinary Colleges one at Guwahati and other one at North Lakhimpur are functioning to educate the students in Veterinary and Animal Husbandry. Since 1991, the Extension Education Department of the AAU has been conducting training programmes (sponsored by different agencies like AAU, Government of Assam, Government of India, ALPCO etc.) on piggery and allied subjects.
Piggery reared on scientific line is a lucrative enterprise and it should be expanded widely.

(References are available on request)
*********************************************
~Monalisha A.P., 3rd Year, B.V.Sc. & A.H.,

LCVSc, AAU, Joyhing, North Lakhimpur,

Assam-787051, India.

Email ID: monalisha8579@gmail.com,

Cell: 9957988611.

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