March 4, 2016


Philippines: Boosting swine production through genomics



Swine production in the Philippines is a 191-billion-peso (US$4.071-billion) industry and is the largest among the livestock and poultry industries of the country. The Philippine swine industry is ranked eighth in the world, in terms of the volume of pork production and number of breeding sows.


Despite being dynamic and technologically advanced, the local pig industry is still confronted with inefficiency of production due to low sow productivity. Thus, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) is supporting an R&D initiative to improve the productivity of the Philippine swine industry through the gene marker application.


The application of gene marker was developed by the Philippine Carabao Center and Bureau of Animal Industry in partnership with the Accredited Swine Breeders Association of the Philippines (ASBAP). Sixteen gene marker protocols associated with high litter size, fast growth rate and meat qualities, as well as seven markers for screening of genetic defects and disease resistance, were optimised. The adoption of the gene marker technology by swine breeder farms is expected to increase productivity and efficiency in terms of number of pigs weaned and live weight produced per sow per year.


In other swine-producing countries, the application of gene markers that are associated with economically important traits has resulted in significant improvement in the number of pigs produced and consequently the hog live weight produced per sow per year.


In addition, gene-marker-assisted selection also facilitates genetic improvement in terms of productivity and production efficiency, meat quality, disease resistance, and in screening against genetic defects in swine breeding herds.


The R&D initiatives for swine aim to increase pigs produced per sow per year by 4.6 piglets, which is equivalent to an additional 460 kilogrammes of hog live weight, or a 25%-30% increase in pork production without increasing the breeder pig population.


Meanwhile, DOST-PCAARRD showcased swine genomics including other agri-aqua S&T research and development outputs on March 2-4, 2016, during a livestock and aquaculture show in its headquarters in Los Baños town, Laguna province.


Source: Livestock Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Service

Video >

Follow Us