China’s import of breeding pigs account for just 10%: agriculture ministry
Published: Apr 28, 2021 05:17 PM
A staff member cleans a pigsty at Jinchuan pig farm of Jiangxi Zhengbang breeding Co. Ltd. in Xingan County, east China's Jiangxi Province. Photo: Xinhua

A staff member cleans a pigsty at Jinchuan pig farm of Jiangxi Zhengbang breeding Co. Ltd. in Xingan County, east China's Jiangxi Province. Photo: Xinhua

China has imported fewer than 10,000 breeding pigs each year, accounting for less than 10 percent of overall breeding pigs population, a scientist said on Wednesday, stressing that domestic breeding pigs supply is guaranteed.

"China has been engaged in localized breeding of lean meat pigs, including duroc, landrace and large white, since 1980s, which has ensured nearly 90 percent of the breeding pigs supply for the domestic hog market," Chen Yaosheng, chief scientist of the State Swine Reproduction System Project, said at a press conference held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MOA) on Wednesday.

Chen said that a small number of imported breeding pigs are used for replenishing herds, update lineage and improving breeding outcome.

He pointed out that the country's systematic breeding pig selection work started about 50 years later than developed countries, and therefore has fallen behind developed countries by about 10-30 percent in key indexes such as core breeding population's size and feed conversion rate. 

"A modest number of breeding pig imports helps domestic breeding pig sector catch up with that of countries," he said, noting that this is an international common practice.

Chen's remarks refuted some domestic media reports claiming that the market share of locally bred pigs has plunged to 2 percent from 90 percent before, with most of the pork on the market are from foreign pigs.

There are a total of 83 types of local breeding pigs in China, characterized by good quality and flavor but are unable to meet consumers' growing demand for lean meat and modern mode of production because of they eat more, grow more slowly and produce less lean meat, Chen said, noting that as a result, their breeding scale continue to diminish.

But the country has established 62 national-level conservation pig farms to protect local breeding pigs and have cultivated 30 new types of pigs, he said On the same day, the MOA revealed a plan for livestock and poultry genetic improvement during 2021-2035 period.

It aims to build a commercialized breeding system to improve productivity and quality of breeding birds and animals, and to independently nurture a batch of seeds of competitiveness in a bid to ensure a self-reliant supply of core breeding birds and animals in 10-15 years.

Sun Haoqin, deputy director general of the seed management department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said at the conference that after the first round of genetic improvement project spanning from 2008 to 2020, the country's self-supply of core animal seeds has exceeded 75 percent.

Global Times
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