The Pig farmers in the region have come together under the banner of North East Progressive Pig Farmers Association (NEPPFA). The first meeting of the association was held on Sunday in Tezpur where nearly 100 commercial pig farmers and also those who want to get involved in the sector from across Assam and other states took part.
The association’s vision is to establish pork produced in northeast India as a global brand. It has a two-pronged mission of making the region a hub of piggery and make quality pork available to consumers.
Pork is consumed widely in the region. However, despite an annual requirement of 3 lakh metric ton only 1.3 lakh metric ton is produced locally—leading to import of pork from other parts of the country.
Manoj Kumar Basumatary, founding president of NEPPFA said, “The main goal of NEPPFA would be to increase annual pork production in NE from the 1.3 lakh metric ton in 2018 to 4 lakh metric ton by 2025. At present annual pork production across India is 4.6 lakh metric ton,” he said.
He added as per 2012 census, pig population in northeast is 6.5 million whereas the figure for the entire country stands at 10.6 million. NEPPFA would strive to create an eco-system for commercial piggery and position commercial piggery as a sustainable and profitable means of employment generation. Other goals include positioning of pork as the preferred source of protein among local communities, protection of farmers from devastations caused by epidemics, diseases and disasters and become part of government policy formulation for the sector. He also said that to achieve these goals, NEFFPA would make good breeds of pigs available to farmers, work with government to provide feeds at subsidized rates, educate farmers about best practices and impress upon the government to make veterinary care and vaccines easily available.
For him helping farmers in getting loans easily through liaison with NABARD and other government agencies, restricting import of pig to NE once the region becomes self-sustained in piggery and exploring avenues of export also figure in the association’s agenda. For the benefit of consumers, NEPPFA aims to make quality pork produced through ethical farming practices easily available.
Setting up of slaughter facilities, exposure visits for farmers to good farms across India and abroad and collaborations with universities and research institutes are some long term goals. Since pig farmers face risks associated with diseases and disasters, NEPPFA would conduct trainings on diseases and vaccine, keep farmers connected through mobile App and ensure insurance cover.
Maofungra, a cadre of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Ranjan Daimary faction), who has given up arms to become a commercial pig farmer said, “We are very happy that such an association has been formed. Pig farmers across northeast would benefit from NEPPFA as it would help us organize our activities and work towards developing this important sector,” .
In the day long programme advisers of the pig farmer’s body respectively Dr Dhireshwar Kalita, Col. DD Baruah, Secretary (Training & Membership): Timirbijoy Srikumar, Secretary (Infocomm and PR) Diganta Saikia, Secretary (Farmers Welfare) Manash Kalita, Secretary (Information Technology) Pushpadhar Das, General Secretary, Mrinal Kumar Borah, Treasurer, Tanmoy Nath, Vice President (Strategies and Organisational Development.) Runa Rafique, Vice President (Communication and Administration) KN Rao were also present.