The delegation from the Punjab visited pig breeding firms, a feed mill, an abattoir and the HQ of UK levy board AHDB Pork, driven by India’s aims to boost its booming pork sector.
The Indian team were interested in pig genetics, breeding techniques, animal welfare and the economics underpinning the UK pork sector.
Meat consumption in India is rising by around 14% annually. And with a population expected to surpass China’s by 2020, there is a rising middle class and younger generation rapidly developing an appetite for pork.
Massive market potential
In recent years the state of Punjab, which borders Pakistan, has taken the lead in the modernisation of India’s agricultural industry. The state already produces 76,000 tonnes of pork per year and is looking to grow its blossoming industry.
India is a high-growth market, where the UK is looking to maximise trade in pork. AHDB experts believe pork has huge potential across hospitality, restaurants and foodservice.
Most of India’s pig breeding stock is of British origin, which is why delegates from the Punjab have been studying the UK system. During the visit, officials also visited the Animal and Plant Health Agency in Weybridge and Kent University to pick up tips on embryo transplantation and DNA technology.
UK meat expertise sought
“They [India] are seeking our pig genetics and management systems as they want to improve productivity, welfare and product quality,” said AHDB Pork senior export manager Jonathan Eckley, who recently returned from a trade mission to India.
“In addition to the requirement for breeding stock, training programmes and technical support were discussed during the visit.”
UK body the British Pig Association organised the Indian pork mission in conjunction with AHDB Pork.