Rags to riches: From a small-time farmer to director of pig breeding body

  • Jyotsna Jalali, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 25, 2014 13:57 IST

A small-time pig farmer from a village in Ludhiana, who rose from rags to the riches with the help of just with three pigs in 2009 presently has as many as 300 pigs in his farm, and if that’s not enough, he has also grown up to become the director of Indo-Canadian Swine Breeders, a joint venture with a Canadian swine company, which aims to popularise pig farming in India.

Sukwinder Singh Grewal, along with the company officials of Polar Genetics, Canada, are also showcasing their products and making people aware of various befits of pig farming at the agro tech fair being organised by the CII at the Sector-17 Parade Ground.

Asking about the total turnover of his company, confident Grewal says ever since he tied up with the Canadian company, the total output has grown immensely and this year, he was able to fetch around `30-35 lakh of the business. Sharing his success story, Grewal said, “I possess a small chunk of land (around one acre) in Kotli village of Ludhiana, which was very less for crop farming. So I started with pig farming with just three pigs. During one of the agro fairs, I came in contact with Polar Genetics and now here I am, with just one acre land, I am generating the revenue of over `35 lakh.”

Adding further, Grewal says he is into the business of selling pig pickle, fresh pork meat, pork chop and other pork stuff.

During a visit to the agro fair on Monday, many could be seen thronging the Canadian stall and inquiring about pig farming, how it can be started and the cost involved in the business. According to unofficial figure, there are around 200 pig farmers in the state, most of them are into the business of supplying pork to the hotel industry in the country.

The role of the Canadian company, Polar Genetics, comes in for providing pig semen to farmers in Punjab. Alfred Wahl, president, Polar Genetics, Canada, said, “As of now, we have exported around three containers of pig semen to farmers across India. However, presently, the government here does not allow the export of live pigs but we expect that the condition will be soon done away with. Farmers in India want to change the conventional ways of farming and are looking for more diverse options like pig farming.”Sharing details, Wahl said a farmer having 30 pigs will need 120 dozes of semen per year, which costs about $17000, approximately around `10.5 lakh.

Talking about the benefits, those into pig farming say one can rear up to 1,000 pigs in just one acre of the land, which makes it a cost-effective business.

Giving an example, Grewal said that pig farming was beneficial than the dairy farming considering the fact that it required less space and less investment.

The increase in pig farming in the state can also be ascertained form the fact that pig farmers have also formed self-help groups which deal in pig meat pickle and other meat pickles. This year, they are also showcasing products here at the agro tech fair.

The state government is also giving subsidy of 25% with minimum of `6 lakh investment to farmers interested in pig farming.

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