Despite the increase in the overall swine farm production efficiency, the Philippines still lags behind other swine-producing countries due to poor performance, specifically in terms of reproductive traits.

The failure of the local swine farms to achieve such improvement is seen as a major limiting factor for the growth of the swine industry.

To increase productivity and improve the production efficiency of the Philippine swine industry, the Philippine Carabao Center, Accredited Swine Breeder Farm Association of the Philippines, and PCAARRD will implement an R&D program on the application and promotion of gene markers in breeding and selection in local swine farms.

In other swine-producing countries, the application of gene markers that are associated to economically important traits has resulted in significant improvement in the number of pigs produced and consequently the hog live-weight produced per sow per year.

In addition, gene marker assisted selection also facilitates genetic improvement in terms of meat quality, disease resistance, and in screening against genetic defects in swine breeding herds.

Specifically, the R&D program aims to increase pigs produced per sow per year by 4.6 piglets, which is equivalent to an additional 460 kilograms of hog liveweight or a 25?30% increase in pork production without increasing the breeder pig population.

It also hopes to capacitate the private swine group in establishing and operating its laboratory to cater to the needs of the local swine industry.

The R&D on the application of gene markers in breeding and selection in swine is part of the PCAARRD Industry Strategic S&T Plan (ISP).

ISP describes the targets for each industry and pinpoints the aspects of the industry where S&T will make a difference. It encapsulates and proposes how the vision can be operationalized through specific Application of gene markers to improve swine productivity activities under each of PCAARRD’s banner programs.