After water, China’s pigs join south-to-north transfer projects to address environmental concerns

Pig farms’ northward relocation will alleviate pollution in southern China


○ To combat pig waste pollution, many large livestock farms are relocating to Northeast China

○ Northeastern regions are more environmentally capable of handling large piggeries

○ Smallholders who can't afford the upgrade or relocation are being squeezed out of the pork market


Source: Global Times (China)

Published: 2018/1/10


Winter has arrived. The chill cuts right through the fat of thousands of pigs cuddled up together during their long journey from Southwest China's Sichuan Province to the Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.


This has become a common scene in the northeastern region as China pushes forward its new nationwide "south-to-north pig transfer project" in a bid to alleviate livestock pollution in rural areas of southern China.


In 2017, the State Council released a document underscoring a major task in rural reform: to control pollution caused by livestock and poultry breeding. China produces nearly 4 billion tons of livestock and poultry waste every year, and pig waste in particular comprises a large part of that.


To fight pig pollution, the Chinese government has ordered the closure of thousands of pig farms in banned areas or their relocation into northeastern areas. These nationwide "livestock farming ban zones" cover 636,000 square kilometers.


Traditionally, pigs are raised in the south due to preferential local government policies and more pig-related talents, but provinces in the north including Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang are now designated as new primary destinations, which are expected to be more environmentally capable of handling large piggeries.


With more arable land at their disposal, farmers in the north can make more use of pig manure, which can be recycled as either biogas or organic fertilizer.


Currently, at least eight listed Chinese companies are moving into the northeastern region to build modern hog farms. But for small-scale hog farm owners, they are excluded from this first round of competition.


Environmental pressures ...


Journey northward ...


Squeezing out smallholders ...