Punjab government visits UK to learn about pig production

A high-level delegation from the Punjab government has paid a visit to the UK to assess British pig production and genetics.

This comes following a move by the Indian state towards developing its burgeoning pig sector.

The visit was organised by the British Pig Association in conjunction with AHDB Pork and included trips to pig breeding firms, a feed mill, an abattoir and AHDB Pork, where they were given presentations on the economics of the UK pork sector, as well as pig health and welfare.

The visitors also went to APHA Weybridge and Kent University to look at research into pig breeding, including embryo transplant.

India is one of the markets AHDB Pork is targeting for exports; it has tremendous scope, particularly in hotels, restaurants and internet shopping. Meat consumption in India is increasing by 14% per year.

Jonathan Eckley, AHDB Pork senior export manager, said: They are seeking our pig genetics and management systems as they want to improve productivity, welfare and product quality. Punjab has been taking the lead in the modernisation of Indian agriculture and already produces 76,000 tonnes of pork on a yearly basis.

We also spent some time discussing the different production methods used in the UK and how these could be applied in Punjab.

It was a very successful visit. The delegation went away with a huge amount of information, which they will need to evaluate to determine which systems and practices best suit the conditions in India. Of course, all the pig breeding stock in India is of British origin.

In addition to the requirement for breeding stock, training programmes and technical support were discussed during the visit.

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