NEH Region holds 28 percent of the country’s pig population. But, paradoxically, the region has to import pigs from outside of the region to meet the pork requirements. To take initiative on this front, a training programme on modern pig production management with special reference to the artificial insemination technology was initiated at the ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam.
The Institute has standardized the artificial insemination in pigs. A project to upgrade the non-descriptive local pigs with superior germplasm in a participatory mode was implemented in 26 villages amongst 180 farmers of Ri-Bhoi district, Meghalaya. Farmers and unemployed youths were trained on semen collection, evaluation and processing to perform AI at field conditions.
Mrs. Rohan lamari is a marginal farmer and reared only one pig without a male for breeding purpose. Previously, she used to breed her sow with a non-descriptive boar from a local village. Even though, she was paying a mating cost more than Rs.800, still she was not able to transform it into a lucrative business. With the intervention of the institute the sow was inseminated on the site on 16th December, 2008 with preserved semen.
After 60 days, she informed through the key persons from the village that the sow was not showing any heat signs. The sow was diagnosed as the pregnant one. The sow farrowed on 8th April 2009. The litter size at birth was 15 (8 male and 7 female). However, two piglets died on 3rd day after farrowing due to crushing of mother.
The average litter weight at birth was 0.9100kg/piglet. All the 13 piglets were healthy up to weaning and the litter size was 13 with average litter weight at weaning was 7.850kg/piglet.
The upgraded pigs has higher body weight gain, feed conversion efficiency and litter size at birth as well as at weaning as compared to local pigs. The adult upgraded pigs were sold by the fattener farmers @ Rs 6000 –7000/pig as compared the earlier local adult pig @ Rs 3000-4000/pig. While, the breeding farmers harvested 2-3 extra piglets per litter than earlier system and farmers sold each piglet @Rs1400/.
The beneficiaries got Rs 9000-10000/unit through selling the piglet/ farrowing which is significantly higher and Rs 3000-4000/ extra per unit. Therefore, the farmers were highly satisfied with the upgraded pigs. Around 80 percent of farmers adopted the artificial technology in pigs and the adopted farmers were highly satisfied due to financial benefit.
(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DIPA with inputs from ICAR-RC-NEH, Barapani, Meghalaya)