National Piggery Research Centre

Gelephu, Sarpang Dzongkhag


Bhutanese rear
Indigenous/local pig (small body weigh 60kg in year) since long ago, but with
development of the country having many income sources in recent times, pig
rearing in general is in diminishing trends. 
Hence, the Royal Government supported in piggery development starting
the 1st Five Year Plan in 1960s.

 A mini piggery farm with Indian breeds was
established in the year 1962 to upgrade the local pigs through cross breeding.
In the beginning it was attached with the cattle breeding farm at Wangchutaba,
Thimphu. Later in the year 1976 – 1977 this Farm was separated from cattle
breeding farm and became as central pig breeding station cum pork processing

In the course of development
during 6th plan, the pork processing Plant was privatized & the
Centre was renamed as National Pig Breeding Centre (NPBC) with main objective
to, supply genetically improved cross breed Pig to the Farmers for further cross breeding with
Native Pigs to upgrade the local swine population. In the course of development
the Centre also supplies Piglets to Schools & Institutions for breeding
& fattening purposes as a part of School Agriculture Program.

During the inception of the Farm,
the unit started with saddle back parent stock. However, over the past years
the Farm has received parent stocks like, Duroc Jersey from Philippines &
Large Black from Australia through FAO/UNDP. The Farm also received Duroc and
Hampshire parent stock from Demark through FEZAP.

Bhutan did imported white breed
but soon wipe out due to poor preference by farmers because of skin disease
problem. First lot of Large White and Landrace was imported in 1975 from India
and later from Thailand in1982. Unfortunately, in 2002 all white breed breeding
were discontinued.

Latest import of exotic pig
parent stock (current breed) was done in the year 2003 with 82 Nucleus stock
from British Pig Breeding Association through TCP consisting of six family
lines in large black & saddle back breeds, and four family lines in Duroc

Breeding pattern in various farms:

Upon the completion of the shed construction centrally executed
by DoL, Thimphu in the year 2003 and having placed new breeding plan, these
Nucleus stocks were transferred to Gelephu Farm during Dec. 2004 – Feb 2005
with their first production cycle completed at Wangchutaba Farm. Since then Gelephu
Farm is recognized as the Nucleus Farm (GP), which maintain pure line breeding
system. While cross breeding is being done at 
2 regional multiplier farms at Yusipang, Thimphu and Ligmithang, Mongar.

Import of Duroc semen:

 Over the year Duroc
breed is found to be the maximum in breeding co-efficiency and felt urgent
needs to replenish or upgrade the Sire line. Hence, in 2013 imported 10 doses
of Duroc chilled semen with support from DLD, Bangkok. Out of 5 sows insemination
3 sows farrowed and weaned 15 piglets. Now duroc breed is dong well.

Inception of National
Piggery Development Centre:

Considering the scope of piggery
development in southern part of Bhutan the Department of Livestock, Ministry of
Agriculture & Forests up-graded the Nucleus farm Gelephu and remaned as
“National Piggery Development centre (NPiDC), DoL, Gelephu to push forward the domestic
pork production in the 11 FYP. The NPiDC being the National commodity program
is identified as apex body for piggery development in the country henceforth and
given the additional mandates, roles and responsibility of overseeing (a) Inputs
production, (b) Extension services- liaising with Dzongkhag (for establishment
of micro, semi- commercial & commercial farms) and (c) processing (product
development) in the 11FYP. In order to produce 1000 MT of pork in 11 FYP,
activities & budget were planned accordingly including construction of additional
infrastructure, HRD and mobility in the centre.

The NPiDC presently has three
breeding farms for piglets production:

  1. The Nucleus farm, Gelephu, Sarpang with 160 sow-level
  2. Regional Pig Breeding Centre, Yusipang, Thimphu with 100 sow-level
  3. Regional Pig & Poultry Breeding centre, Ligmithang, Mongar with 60 sow-level

The current National Pig
Breeding Center, Gelephu, will be the focal agency for piggery development in
the country and will assume the responsibility of National Piggery Development
Center (NPiDC) along with the breeding unit.


  • To attain self reliance in pork and pork
    products in Bhutan


  • Fulfillment of 1000 MT of pork production in 11
    plan ( 2013-2018)
  • Enhance small scale pig production in rural  areas through efficient service support
  • Promote commercial and semi-commercial pig
    production in potential areas through Private Public Partnership (PPP) and
    Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).


  • To support poverty reduction by supporting backyard &
    micro rural farming
  • To reduce import of pork and pork products  through commercialization of piggery
  • To enhance piggery sector development by linking farmers
    to relevant stakeholders.

Department of Livestock, Institutions, Mandates and Roles

NPiDC Mandates

  • Function as focal
    agency for piggery development.
  • Support development of
    policies, strategies and guidelines for piggery.
  • Plan, coordinate and
    implement piggery development.
  • Carry out M&E on
    piggery development in the country.
  • Coordinate the
    capacity development in piggery.
  • Serve as center for
    technology hub in piggery.
  • Function as focal
    institute for training on piggery production.
  • Support research
    activities in piggery and product development.
  • Liaise with relevant
    national and international organizations.
  • Support collaborative
    development, conservation and sustainable utilization of native pigs.


Inputs Production Unit

  • Plan, produce and
    supply piglets.
  • Carry out all input
    sourcing including TA.
  • Quality control of
    piglets and other input supplies involving PPP.
  • Support works on
    native pig conservation.
  • Support establishment
    of multiplier farms under PPP.

Piggery Extension Unit

  • Facilitate and
    implement PPP development initiatives.
  • Provide technology and
    technical support to piggery farms.
  • Facilitate, coordinate
    and promote farmers groups and associations.

Processing Unit

  • Plan, coordinate and execute
    piggery product development activities.
  • Quality control on
    piggery infrastructure design and development.
  • Support establishment
    of processing plants under PPP.

Information Management Unit

  • Maintain database on
    all piggery development activities in the country.
  • Liaise with
    Information Management Section of DoL.
  • Produce leaflets,
    newsletters, bulletins, posters, and other publications.
  • Produce periodic
    reports of the center and submit to the department.
  • Production, packaging
    and dissemination of piggery technologies including audio visual.
  • Produce press release
    and other publicity materials for the media.
  • Promote ICT based
    knowledge management.

Challenges of piggery Development in Bhutan

  • Strong religious & social pressure/ objection from public but certain communities prefers pig rearing
  • Inadequate numbers of piglet supply to fattening farms due to less mother sows in the country
  • No commercial breed (WHITE BREED) for production of adequate piglets
  • Poor AI facility for pig breeding
  • Poor Subject matter Specialists (SMS) in swine breeding and management
  • Poor bio-security facility in pig farms
  • Non availability of Saddleback and large black semen for replenishment of blood line.