A bright future for native black pigs?

Updated: 2013-07-08 01:38

By An Baijie in Beijing and Zhou Wenting in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Rising sales

Wulian farmer Zhang conceded that foreign breeds are more cost-efficient. Most pigs are sold when they reach 100 kg, and while it takes at least a year for one of his pigs to reach that size, it takes an imported animal just five months.

"Feeding a native species is also expensive, as they require more grain," he said. As a result, Zhang charges up to 160 yuan a kg for his pork, five to six times the average price.

Yet he insisted he is sticking with Wulian black pigs, and predicted the market will swing in his favor.

Sales have increased in recent years, he said, especially after reports in 2011 that pigs supplied to Shuanghui Group, China's largest meat-processing company, had been given fodder contaminated with clenbuterol, a banned additive often referred to as lean-meat powder.

"Our target buyers are families who own cars more expensive than 200,000 yuan," Zhang said, although he has noticed more people are now willing to pay higher prices for safer, better-tasting pork.

"I believe native pigs will become a No 1 choice for families in the future," Zhang said. "Let the market make the final decision."

Fan Feifei contributed to this story.

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