BREEDING STRATEGY FOR CONSERVATION AND GENETIC IMPROVEMENT OF INDIGENOUS CHWANCHE BREED OF NEPAL
Nepal is agrarian country with 65.5% of the people depending on the agricultural activities (CBS, 2002). Agriculture contributes 39.3% of share to the national GDP whereas livestock sector contributes 25.6% to agricultural GDP in 2009/10 which is expected to increase by 4.9% and 5.9% respectively in fiscal year 2011/12. Pig population in steadily growing in Nepal with 1062350 in year 2009/10 (CBS, 2012). The primary purpose of pig keeping in Nepal is meat production. The demand for meat is still slowly growing and pork consumption is increasing (16992 tons in 2008/9). Pig production plays a vital role in the hill farming system of Nepal providing both cash income to farmer and manure for crop production. Oli (1986) stated that pigs play a significant role in contributing to home consumption as well as providing additional income, serving as an insurance against possibility of crop failure on small farm holdings. Traditionally, pigs have been associated with low social groups, and so these animals have been neglected in improvement programmes. Pigs are reared on a poor plane of nutrition with an indiscriminate breeding pattern and in poor housing.
Local breeds are source of promising alleles significant for future genetic improvement of unpredictable economic value which can contribute to worldwide biodiversity if their competitiveness to exotics is proved for production systems and adaptation traits identifying controlling alleles (Huyen et al., 2005). Long-term and simple strategies are necessary to efficiently exploit the potential of indigenous breeds (Philipsson, n.d.). Increased productivity per animal along with the variable socio-economic and cultural values of piggery in different societies or regions should be considered while coming up with the effective breeding strategy in Nepalese context.