Pig rearing has a great significance as it plays an important role in improving the socio-economic conditions of the lower section (called Dalits) of the rural society. The animal subsists on food residuals and domestic refuse. It provides cheap meat rich in animal protein.
There are more than 128 lakh pigs in the country providing about 5 per cent of the total meat production of the country and 3 lakh kg. Of hair annually. These are mainly distributed in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Goa. Pig rearing is common in north-eastern states where nearly every family in the village rears them for meat.
To improve the indigenous breeds cross-breeding with foreign breeds like Berkshire, Large White Yorkshire, Middle White Yorkshire, Hampshire, Tamworth, Saddleback and Landrace is being done for which 120 pig breeding farms, 2 large pig breeding farms (Aligarh and Allahabad) have been established. Besides 7 bacon factories are working at Aligarh, Ranchi, Haringhata, Borivile. Gannabaram, and Kuthalatukulam.
These farms breed pigs and supply piglets, boars and sows to the farmers for cross breeding and improvement of desi stock. A centrally-sponsored scheme "Assistance to States for Integrated Piggery Development" is being implemented for strengthening the pig breeding farms in the states for which Rs. 200 lakhs have been released during 1996-97.