The livestock industry needs green development as China strives to modernize its agriculture industry by making it more efficient, inclusive and environment-friendly throughout the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), said Li Junyang, secretary-general of the International Ecological Economy Promotion Association (IEEPA), at a seminar in Beijing on Aug. 28.
The seminar was held to promote a low-carbon, eco-friendly way of breeding pigs in China, since pork is the country's most consumed meat.
Pigs have been at the centre of Chinese culture, cuisine and family life for thousands of years. The Economist published an article in 2014 describing the Chinese culture of pig breeding and its impact on the environment.
"Porcine waste also contributes to emissions of methane and nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Intensive swine-farming is much more polluting than smallholding. So, as well as depriving Earth of the natural cooling function of the rainforests they displace, Chinese pigs contribute to global warming more directly," it read.
The author's words were rather frightening, as pollution caused by livestock breeding has been a great concern both in China and the world.
In January 2016, the Organizing Committee of World Economic and Environmental Conference and Anyou Biotechnology Group Co., Ltd. signed a cooperation plan on green and low-carbon development in the traditional breeding industry and jointly initiated a public fund to promote environment-friendly pig breeding in China.
"The plan will provide target farms or enterprises with capital support, technology training and environment-friendly feed," Li said.
As a pioneer in this field, Anyou Group has been taking the lead to raise pigs in an eco-friendly way. "Our aim is to launch a green revolution featuring no pollution and zero emission in the pig industry," said Hong Ping, chairman of Anyou Group.
Hong proposed reducing carbon emissions by producing feed that meets environmental standards, designing energy-saving pig houses and turning porcine waste into organic fertilizer.
In 2014, Anyou Group even set up its own low-carbon research institute to carry out theoretical and practical research on environmental protection in the agricultural sector.
Following their example, China's pork industry could see "a reduction of at least 30 million tons of grain in consumption and a decrease of 15 to 30 percent in fecal pollution every year," Hong emphasized.