The pig sector in Colombia
Until 2020, the world production of pork meat exceeded 100 million tons. The largest current and traditional pig producers have been China, the European Union, the USA, Brazil and Russia. There have been some variations in pork meat production due to socioeconomic and health factors, but in 2022 it is estimated that the trend will continue similar to that described until 2020...
Until 2020, the world production of pork meat exceeded 100 million tons. The largest current and traditional pig producers have been China, the European Union, the USA, Brazil and Russia. There have been some variations in pork meat production due to socioeconomic and health factors, but in 2022 it is estimated that the trend will continue similar to that described until 2020.
In the specific case of Colombia, the national production until this period of socioeconomic variability was more than 440 thousand tons, concentrated mainly in five regions: Antioquia (with more than 40% of the production), Cundinamarca (with approximately 17%), Valle del Cauca (with 15%), the Coffee Region (with more than 8%) and Meta (with 7%). In 2022 or the beginning of 2023, it is expected to reach a scenario similar to the 440 thousand tons produced before the appearance of the mentioned factors.
Regarding the census, in Colombia there are more than six million pigs, of which, just over 60% correspond to technified animals and the rest would correspond to traditional production, or backyard. Technified and industrialized production is concentrated above all in Antioquia, Valle del Cauca and Cundinamarca, accounting for most of the 60% national total.
In addition to the national production, there are important import values of pork meat. The data extracted from the end of last year indicated an increase of more than 70% in imports compared to the previous year. This is directly related to the increase in per capita consumption, which is around 12 Kg, consumption that has increased by more than 10% in a very short period of time, just over a year.
Objectives of the pig industry in Colombia
Therefore, there are two objectives that mark the current Colombian pork industry. On the one hand, improve the efficiency of national production, to depend less on imports, and on the other hand, alleviate the increase in the cost of raw materials, improving feed conversions.
In addition to these direct objectives, the national association of producers indicates that it is still a priority to maintain and even increase the acceptance and consumption of pork meat, strengthen the health status, and provide pig farmers with optimal tools for modernization, adapted to the new legislation, that, besides providing optimal efficiency, consider the animal welfare.
Innovative technologies to achieve the objectives in pig farming
Due to these objectives, it can be established that technologies based on different types of pronutrients, on the cimenol ring, and on activated diatoms, are key to achieving these:
- Pronutrients such as intestinal conditioners, promote a higher rate of enterocyte regeneration, increasing the defense and nutritional function of the intestinal epithelium. This allows, on the one hand, to avoid different enteric infections and, on the other hand, a greater absorption of nutrients, which makes digestibility and utilization greater, improving conversion and efficiency. In addition, this technology makes it possible to replace chemicals such as zinc oxide, which is being banned worldwide, improving both the level of diarrhea and intestinal welfare at weaning.
- The use of specific activated diatoms allows to reduce the speed of intestinal transit, which increases the contact time of nutrients with digestive enzymes and intestinal villi, facilitating greater absorption. Additionally, these diatoms capture water molecules in the intestinal lumen, releasing protons, which slightly acidify the medium, further favoring digestive processes and, therefore, feed efficiency. This makes it possible to produce more tons of meat with less feed consumption, which significantly improves the performance of farms in the sector.
- Solutions based on cimenol ring, allow a strict control of pathogens, both bacteria and fungi, in feed and in intestine. The main advantage of this is that the deterioration of the feed and raw materials caused by various microorganisms is prevented, avoiding losses of nutritional value, which is essential in a current scenario where the costs of feed and raw materials have increased by more than 40%. Additionally, because pathogens are controlled at the intestinal level thanks to the cimenol ring, enteric infections are prevented.
The pig industry in Colombia has experienced notable growth in the last decade which, except for a recent period where some socioeconomic events have appeared, is expected to continue to grow significantly in 2022 and in the years to come. In order to ensure the growth of the pig sector in Colombia, to depend less on exports, and to mitigate the high cost of raw materials, it is essential to improve the efficiency of the farms, as well as to preserve the physicochemical and nutritional characteristics of the feed as much as possible. Tools such as intestinal conditioner pronutrients, cimenol ring, and new technologies based on activated diatoms, are being a fundamental support for improving efficiency in pigs, since they improve the use and conservation of increasingly expensive feeds, increase meat production, and help in the prevention of digestive diseases.