Nagaland is one of the North Eastern states of India in which there are 16 recognized tribes are present besides numerous minor tribes which are mostly non vegetarian. Also, the per capita consumption of animal protein in general and pork in particular is highest in Nagaland state. Each rural Naga household generally have two to three indigenous pigs for self consumption. Despite vast opportunity, major constraints like non-availability of quality piglets, lack of quality or improved breed’s breeding boar, inbreeding due to repeated use of same boar for prolonged period, higher cost of natural breeding and higher feed cost deters the tribal farmers for going for pig breeding farmers. However, the state is almost 40% deficient in animal meat and products.
To fulfill the deficiency and disseminating the improved germplasm of pig, ICAR Research Complex for North Eastern Hill Region, Nagaland Centre initiated the production of quality germplasm of Gunghroo and Hampshire cross under Mega Seed Project on Pig in collaboration with ICAR-NRC-Pig, Rani, Guwahati in the year 2009-2010 funded by ICAR, New Delhi with the objectives of introducing quality pig germplasm with superior genetic merit and production potential, facilitating two extra per farrowing, production of 1000 quality piglets for covering about 200 farm families/annum and capacity building in the centre to produce above no. of quality piglets. Since inception of the project, total 4473 numbers of improved piglets were supplied to 1048 beneficiaries from Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
In the year 2013-14, artificial insemination was standardized and introduce for the first time in Nagaland under the same project. ICARNEH, Nagaland is the only centre providing AI technology to Nagaland and adjoining areas of Assam. In the farmer’s field, one natural mating cost a farmer Rs.1500 to 2000/- or one piglet in exchange in addition to the transportation cost of the female pig. ICAR Nagaland Centre is providing two AI kits at the rate of Rs.150/- per pig. The major factor which makes the farmer to adopt AI is cheap, ready availability and easy to do i.e. a farmer can do themselves. In our efforts to disseminate AI in Nagaland to improve upon pig production status, 29 on farm training was conducted for farmers, veterinary officers, NGOs, SHGs, KVKs, VFAs etc. As a result, several farmers became AI entrepreneur and doing it in farmer’s field regularly. Since 2013-14 till now, a total of 1273 AI were done in Dimapur, Kohima, Peren, Wokha and Phek district with an average farrowing rate of 81.85 per cent with average litter size of 9.65; thereby a total of 10054 improved piglets were produced by artificial insemination in Nagaland. Also, ICARNEH, Nagaland Centre is providing technical support to Nagaland Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services department for establishing boar station and satellite AI centre across the Nagaland.
Vitsongonou Nakhro, aged 45, a lady farmer and part time business woman from Jotsoma village, Science College colony, Kohima was rearing pigs in the traditional way. She attended a three days training at ICAR Jharnapani on artificial insemination in pig and thereby she learned the scientific management of piggery including rearing of improved breeds, feeding, proper heat detection, castration, artificial insemination and pig manure utilization. After the training she started doing artificial insemination with liquid boar semen from ICARNEH, Nagaland Centre, Medziphema in her own sows and thereafter for other farmers. Artificial insemination is now more popular than natural service in Jotsoma and neighbouring villages. ICARNEH, Nagaland Centre has provided her with a breeding unit of five Gunghroo and Hampshire cross piglets. She has sold 120 improved breed piglets of her own sows born by artificial insemination and also expanded her breeding farm. Within the three years following the training, she has carried out 282 artificial inseminations in Jotsoma and neighbouring village with farrowing rate of 86.35 per cent and average litter size of 9.83 being farrowed. By doing single successful AI, she is earning Rs.1000 to 1500/- and farmers are ready to pay this amount in expectation of getting good quality piglets in large litter size. With a total farrowing of 2400 piglets, Vitsongonou Nakhro has succesfully established the advantages of doing AI in Jotsoma village and also proven that women can lead from the front even in unexplored spaces such as piggery development in Nagaland which is still a long way behind other states. This is an encouragement to both the scientific community as well as the farmers in general and another example in empowerment of women.
(Source: ICAR Research Complex for North Eastern Hill Region, Nagaland Centre)