Journey through Bangladesh
Pig Rearing - A Livelihood
We take up professions to support ourselves, to earn a living; and this has always been the case in human history. If we analyze it from a religious point of view we see that taking a profession was a punishment inflicted upon human beings by God for violating His order. In the Holy Bible it is mentioned that Adam was ostracized along with Eve for eating the fruit of the forbidden tree defying the command of God and they were dropped at Sat-il-Arab in this world with the following decree. “With the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.” (The Holy Bible: Genesis, Chapter-3 Verse: 19). Then Adam started cultivating to earn his livelihood. The same information can be found in the Holy Quran. Thenceforth human beings have been forced to take jobs for their existence. As the number of humans multiplied, the professions diversified. But in a poor and populous country like ours the scope is very limited. Almost everywhere there is tough competition in the job market. But still there are some occupations like pig farming where competition is limited, there are very few rivals.
Chatmohor Upazila of Pabna District is famous and popular in breeding and raising pigs. In this Upazila there are many Christian families which took the pig rearing profession as something that has been passed down. It's a bit of a troublesome job but highly profitable. Though the market is quite small there is no monopoly over it. Ham and pork are very favorite food items for the Christian community and a particular caste of the Hindu community. Most of the hogs raised in that area are supplied to the three star and five star hotels in Dhaka City. It's needless to mention that the lion's share of total pig supply in the sophisticated hotels of the capital city comes from Chatmohor of Pabna District.
Horijon, a converted Christian, who looks after hogs for his master at Chatmohor, started his journey towards Dhaka from Pabna with a herd of pigs, swines and piglets on foot informed, “It's not troublesome and tiring to us though it takes forty five to sixty days to reach there.” He also said, “they (pigs) are very costly. Price varies from two thousand to eight thousand per piece according to size. We do not confront any extortionist on the way, only rain, cold and bad weather are our enemies. We eat whatever we get at the wayside shops and we feed them in the pastureland on the way.”
Pig farming is a profession of a particular class of people from time immemorial. Aroj Ali Matubbar, in his writing explained the background of pig-raising by a particular section of people in his own way, which may seem reasonable to the rational people. Anyway like Chatmohor of Pabna there are lots of suitable pastures for breeding and rearing pigs in our country. If this profession can be encouraged, patronized and financed by the government it may be an important item in the exportable commodity list.
The people of Bangladesh, being Muslim by religion, do not take pork but vast chunks of the population of the world are pork-eaters. So, by rearing pigs on a large scale and exporting live and processed hogs to foreign countries we could earn a large sum of foreign exchange every year.
(R) thedailystar.net 2008