People in China on average do not eat more pork, but the increasing population will take total consumption to about 52 million tonnes in 2020.
The average rate of consumption of pig meat per person in China may not increase above the present level between 2010 and 2020, said Dr. Ma Cheung, Vice-Secretary General of the Chin Animal Agriculture Association at the 2nd Chinese European Pig Summit in Hannover, Germany.
But the growth rate of 60-70 million people per year forecast for China’s human population over this period would still take the total annual amount consumed to about 52 million tonnes by 2020.
Very small farms
Herd productivity is an issue for Chinese pig farmers, said Dr. Ma. Out of the 65 million farms producing pigs in China, about 62 million are extremely small.
But even changing the annual production of each smallholder by a single pig would mean 62 million pigs being added to or taken from the national total.
Restrictions on production
Livestock production in China faces an increase of restrictions aimed at protecting the environment, Dr. Ma reported.
Most Chinese pork at present is produced in the East of the country, but a move to more northern areas could be considered in order to gain better access to land and grain.
New initiatives have been launched to improve China’s pig breeding resources, said Dr. Wang Lixian, Head of the Swine Science Division at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
After rather slow progress in the last 10 years, the decision was taken in 2009 to re-launch the national swine genetic improvement program and in 2010 an expert group was formed to work with selected nucleus herds.
The plan is to focus on 50 nucleus farms with about 50,000 purebred sows for the 2010-2012 period and to double these numbers between 2013 and 2016.