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After cows, Punjab looks at better-bred pigs with imported semen

Import of cow semen started about four years ago and 4.5 lakh doses have been imported so far.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
January 24, 2014 3:24:40 am

After successful trials using imported cow semen to produce healthy calves, the animal husbandry department is replicating the trial on pigs. It has already imported sperm of the large white Yorkshire breed from a Canadian firm to ensure piglets of a superior better. 

Dr H S Sandha, director, Animal Husbandry, said, “We imported 200 doses to be used only in our pig farms and piglets will be given to farmers after about nine months. We can help farmers import semen which will cost Canadian $100 per dose. It is costlier than cow semen, the cost of which is within $2 a dose. We will promote pig farming by providing 50 per cent subsidy on import of semen.”

He said the pig population has increased 42 per cent in a year as farming is picking up. Pigs are farmed mainly for meat and farmers have been asked to come up with a processing industries project. As of now, for setting up a 6 lakh-strong pig farm, a subsidy of Rs 1.7 lakh is given.

Apart from the animal husbandry department, Polar Genetics Private Limited, a Canada-based firm, had signed an agreement with Punjab farmers last year to set up a pig farm at Khasi Kalan where the company was to provide frozen pig semen. The company had a buyback arrangement once the pig attains a weight of 100 kg, so that farmers needn’t bother about marketing pigs. The company plans to set up slaughtering and processing units to sell pork and other products.

Asked about the semen import project, vice-chanceller of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) Dr V K Taneja said, “The imported semen will help create a better breed of pigs, and now organised pig farming has started in Punjab in various pockets. A number of farmers are selling meat directly to hotels and hence are no longer facing problems in marketing.”

Dr Sandha said import of cow semen started about four years ago and 4.5 lakh doses have been imported so far, while an order for another 1.5 lakh doses has been placed.

The doses were just to ensure an improved breed and 25,000 of the doses imported were for producing female calves, he said. The project succeeded, he added.

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