China is by far the world’s largest consumer and producer of pork and has maantained self-sufficiency over the years. However, China has been importing significant quantities of pork into its market since 2007. The government issued the importation of pork products into China in attempts to moderate the impact of food inflation. Approximately 6.5 million hogs are slaughtered annually with a total output of more than 50 million tons. China’s pig industry is facing major market turmoil as it transitions from small-scale pig farming to intensified industrialized large-scale operations. Many issues surrounding food safety, animal aintenance and pork pricing are major factors contributing to market demand. For these reasons, China is consistently increasing its pork imports. To solve these problems and stabilize importation, China must look in to implementing the following concepts: swine purification, production safety, brand strategy, environmental protection, agricultural interactions and sustainable development.
There are various hog breeds as well as breeding techniques used in Chinese pig production. Farmers use a combination of subculture selection to both the open and closed breeding populations. They have also been incorporating the BLUP law and molecular biology techniques to produce high quality hogs. Unfortunately, the shift to large-scale industrialized farms has caused a decrease in the amount of breeding hogs on small farms. Currently, large farming operations account for approximately 50% of pork production output. By the year 2020, it is estimated that this proportion will jump to 70% of total pork output. China’s pig industry is headed for a bright future and will stabilize in the upcoming years due to increased environmental protection, regulation associations, and advanced management practices.
While most Chinese farmers use local hog breeds for production, the industry will gradually replace these pigs with high quality foreign breeds and hybrid combinations. These new breeds offer improved meat quality, better reproductive performance and high quantity yields. By using foreign pig breeds, farmers will also be decreasing their risk of disease in their herds. With the support of the Department of Breeding Technology, China’s pig farmers will progress towards a high nutritional feed security as well as further advance their equipment and technology.
China’s main goal for the pig industry is to standardize its system though: pig production, feed production, processing, food safety, quality assurance measures and building a sustainable, healthy brand. Overall, China looks forward to a positive future in the pig industry and world market.