India possesses one of the richest livestock treasure in the world which place a crucial role in rural economy and livelihood. Among the different livestock, Pigs are believed to be the most prolific. Pork production in India represents 7 per cent of the country’s animal protein sources. Production is concentrated mainly in the north-eastern corner of the country and consists primarily of backyard and informal sector producers.
Scientific pig farmers are gaining momentum owing to the domestic and export demand for pork and pork products. According to 18th Livestock Census of India (2007), the total swine population stood at 12 millions and seemed to have grown consistently over the past 50 years. Pigs convert inedible feeds, forages, certain grain byproducts obtained from mills, meat byproducts, damaged feeds and garbage into valuable nutritious meat. Most of these feeds are either not edible or not very palatable to human beings. Pig grows fast and is a prolific breeder, farrowing 10 to 12 piglets at a time. It is capable of producing two litters per year under optimal management conditions. The carcass return is quite high (60-80 per cent of live body weight). With a small investment on building and equipment, proper feeding and sound disease control program me the farmer can profitably utilize his time and labor in commercial venture. The faeces of pigs are used as a manure to maintain soil fertility.
Indian pork consumption comprises of two segments viz., informal sector in the form of locally raised fresh pork meat and value added pork products. These products include cured meats such as sausages, ham, bacon and canned meat products, as well as small quantities of frozen pork. Keeping these advantages in farming and scope and opportunities in marketing, the potential in pork industry may be captured at this moment. Creation of awareness among farmers about scientific pig rearing and technological empowerment through training in pig management will ultimately provide gainful income and employment as well as nutritional security to the farmers and progressive business entrepreneurs.