October 23, 2017

24/10/2017: Strength in the face of adversity

by Chris Jackson, Export Manager, UK TAG
Chris Jackson

We can now look back in the UK on another farming year coming towards its close with harvests completed

Across the country we’ve seen average yields, so the cycle starts again with the planting of winter crops and the necessary maintenance work needed to ensure that the whole process continues.

For livestock farmers the work never stops, it is a 365-day commitment no matter what the weather, which seems to be becoming more unpredictable worldwide and devastating at its worst.

We have witnessed terrible storms and destruction across many parts of the world from northern Australia now more recently the Caribbean and southern USA with loss of life and livelihoods.

All of which should make us realise the fragile existence that we live by. In the western world we just expect food and drink to be available at not much cost presenting a constant challenge to the worlds food producers.

I count myself very fortunate in having seen the challenges that producers face in many countries worldwide and price for crops and livestock is a contentious issue.

Recently in India I have been looking at their pig farming industry where even there, there are real social issues and perceived stigmas to production to be overcome.

Pig meat is in rising demand in India and there is a massive demand as the meat of choice in the Northeast, but the farming of pigs is very disjointed and is very much a means of subsistence.

The reason being pigs are being scavengers and are fed on food waste, both unproductive and posing health issues.

The state governments in the Northeast are challenging these issues and making real attempts to improve the quality of production The state of Punjab on the opposite side of the country are taking the challenge very seriously, they have set up training facilities for their farmers and are encouraging them to set aside small parts of their land holdings for pig production.

This shows very positive increases in profitability against crop growing, which due to the small fragmented ownership of land means incomes are very small.

Part of the down side is that for crop production only a small amount of time is needed, whereas for pig production it is a work commitment for every day of the year, which many are not yet prepared to face.

Higher returns from better livestock production has to be the driver, government subsidies are not the long-term answer, which the Punjab government realise.

Therefore to encourage profitability they rightly see better production as the answer and to help this they have set up their own production units to supply breeding pigs with higher genetic merit. This is a very encouraging part of the answer.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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