Russian pig producer Miratorg ceases genetics import

Miratorg logo on a Russian supermarket. Miratorg previously announced plans to boost pork production to 1 million tonnes by 2024. Photo: ANP

Russia’s largest pork producer, agricultural holding Miratorg, has fully localised selection and breeding of pigs in the country.

“We have localised the entire chain, from nucleuses and artificial insemination stations to the evaluation of breeding animals,” Miratorg said, adding that the move is called to secure the capacity expansion programme the company embarked on in 2017.

Fueling the growth

Miratorg has been implementing a project in the Bryansk, Kursk and Oryol regions aimed at doubling its pig division’s production capacity to meet the domestic demand and strengthen export potential.

“In all 3 regions, alongside building facilities for reproduction, rearing and fattening of marketable pigs, new nucleuses and boars are needed to obtain high-quality genetic material,” Miratorg said. “Purebred pigs have such advantages as optimal fat thickness, high weight gain with a relatively low feed conversion rate and a large number of live-born offspring.”

Miratorg previously announced plans to boost pork production to 1 million tonnes by 2024. This is twice the amount compared to 2020. This should also secure a twofold rise in revenue to $ 3.3 billion.

Home-based selection

The company added that based on “phenotypic and genomic evaluation”, young animals are sorted and distributed to breeding centres or commercial farms.

“The best are selected for breeding. The establishment of the breeding chain has minimized dependence on the supply of imported genetic material. To date, Miratorg buys from foreign breeders only small batches of elite young animals for nucleuses,” the company said.

Full independence for the sake of better efficiency

“The immediate plans of the holding include testing and approbation of alternative sources and reaching 100% independence from imports,” the company said.

Miratorg also added that the strategy aimed at abandoning import dependence in the field of genetics improves business efficiency.

Genetics ‘problematic’ for Russian farmers

Vadim Khlestkin, Director of the All-Russian Research Institute of Genetics and Farm Animal Breeding, estimated in March that nearly 80% of breeding material in the Russian pig industry is imported. Market players reported that despite some improvement in this field, the dependence of the Russian pig industry on the genetics of foreign companies like Dan AvI (Denmark), Genesus (Canada), PIC (UK), Hypor (Holland), and Nucleus (France) remained beyond doubt.

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, several European pig breeders, including Danish Pig Genetics and DanBred, left the country. However, most genetics companies keep operating in the country.

Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world