(Yicai Global) April 29 -- China has rolled out its second long-term program to improve the quality of its livestock and poultry in order to narrow the gap between the country’s breeding industry and top international levels, according to the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs.
The Genetic Improvement Plan will last 15 years and aims to achieve breakthroughs in the breeding of white feather broiler chickens, cultivate laying hens, yellow feather broilers and white feather ducks to an internationally competitive level, and bring the breeding of pigs, dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep up to global advanced standards, Sun Haoqin, deputy director general of the MOA’s seed management department, said yesterday.
It will build on the results of the first such program, which ran from 2008 to 2020.
The new breeding program will also help conserve grain and land resources, Sun said. Just improving the hog genetics could save 31.5 billion kilograms of feed, which is equivalent to conserving 3.6 million hectares of land.
There is still a lot of room for improvement, said Shi Jianzhong, deputy director of the National Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources Committee. China’s pigs produce around 30 percent less lean meat than those in developed countries, and dairy cows only 80 percent of the milk.
Many developed countries have mid- to long-term livestock and poultry breeding programs, Sun said. Denmark, for instance, has been running a pig breeding program for more than a century, and the US’ dairy cattle genetic improvement project helped nearly triple milk production over 50 years.
Editors: Dou Shicong, Kim Taylor