State Government is laying special emphasis on enhancing livelihood opportunities for people of the state. Livestock breeding place an important role in the sustainability of economy of Himachal Pradesh. To ensure the qualitative and quantitative refinement in livestock production, the state government has taken various initiatives. As an effort in this direction, Himachal government is laying emphasis on giving boost to pig rearing in the state.
Under the aegis of National Livestock Mission (NLM), the state government has taken various initiatives to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities. The NLM emphasis on entrepreneurship development and breed improvement in rural poultry, sheep, goat, piggery including feed and fodder development.
In order to provide an alternate options of livelihood the government is implementing Rural Backyard Pig Development Scheme. It is a centrally sponsored scheme with 90 percent central share and five percent state share, providing 95 percent subsidy for pig breeders belonging to BPL families. The pig breeders would be provided with pig units of three female and one male at 95 percent subsidy where the beneficiaries bears mere token amount of five percent towards cost of the scheme as beneficiary share. Further, distribution of high yielding young female pig of age group 3 to 4 month and high yielding young male pig of age group 4 to 5 month with insurance is provided.
Under this scheme, landless, small and marginal farmers of the state, belonging to all categories are eligible to avail the benefit of the scheme. Preference would be given to farmers belonging to BPL families, unemployed scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, BPL, women and general category persons and atleast 30 percent beneficiaries should be women. Further preference is given to the families with no member in the government job and persons or farmers who have built their own pig sheds or built under MNREGA.
Under the scheme, the pig units are arranged from neighbouring states. Eligible farmers can give their demand through Veterinary Officers and the beneficiary is selected on first come first serve basis.
As per 20th Livestock Census concluded in 2019 there are a total of 2124 pigs in the state. In 2019-2020, financial assistance of Rs. 3.39 lakh was provided and 20 pig units were distributed by the State Government in Himachal Pradesh. In the year 2021-2022, a target to setup 1995 pig units with an expenditure of Rs. 397.95 lakh was set and the work is under progress.
State government has also been urging the people involved in livestock breeding to also adopt pig rearing as an alternate livelihood option.