The Navhind Times Archive

Now, a piggery scheme to get around beef shortage  

PANAJI: Varah Palan Scheme, a ‘small investment’ scheme related to pig farming as notified by the government recently, aims to counter the scarcity of affordable meat in the state through augmentation of pork production in Goa, thus making the state self-sufficient in this sector. The scheme is restricted to the rural areas in the state.

“Among the various livestock species, piggery is most potential source of meat production and pigs are more efficient feed converters after the broiler,” the notification adds, pointing out that apart from providing meat, it is also a source of bristles and manure.

Minister for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Mauvin Godinho told this daily on Monday that the aim of the scheme is to increase pork production in Goa, in turn reducing the import of such meat from other states, on one side, and generating employment for the locals, on the other.

The scheme states that “pigs are known for their meat yield, which in terms of dressing percentage ranges from 65 to 80 in comparison to other livestock species whose dressing yields may not exceed 65 per cent.”

“Pork is most nutritious with high fat and low water content and has got better energy value than that of other meats, being rich in vitamins like thiamine, Niacin and riboflavin,” the notification maintains, pointing out, “There is good demand from domestic as well as export market for pig products such as pork, bacon, ham, sausages, lard, etc.”

On the one hand, the meat-eating community from the state has been witnessing scarcity of beef, a cheaper meat option, while on the other, chicken and mutton are comparatively expensive, taking it beyond the reach of common man.

The scheme, which has a provision to provide financial assistance for purchase and rearing of exotic/crossbred pigs, is aimed towards providing subsidiary occupation to the local unemployed youth.

“Pigs store fat rapidly for which there is an increasing demand from poultry feed, soap, paints, and other chemical industries,” the notification of the scheme adds.

Any farmer residing for a minimum period of five years in the state and having undergone training in piggery management can avail the scheme. The areas of operation for implementation of this scheme are village panchayat areas.

The certified copy of Aadhaar card is mandatory to avail the scheme.

Besides purchase and rearing of pigs, the Varah Palan Scheme also provides subsidy for shed construction, gobar gas unit, and other equipment such as shed washer, spray pump, fans, water storage tank, spades, ghamelas, steel buckets, and so on.

“Pig farming provides quick returns since the marketable weight of fatteners can be achieved within a period of six  to eight  months,” the notification maintains, adding that the scheme also envisages up-gradation of existing stock to make piggery farming profitable.

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