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New technology allows breeding an Okinawa Pig

Date Posted: 2007-05-11

Pork has been an Okinawa dietary staple since being introduced to the island by American troops following World War II.

Now, local leaders have a plan to make pork a national and international Okinawa-produced product with the Aguu Pig. The Aguu pig meat is high in protein, while low in fat. It’s described as having a very fresh taste without the oily, thick taste of regular pork.

The Okinawa Prefecture Stock Breeding Research Center has joined with Ryukyu University’s agriculture department to study how to create a new breed from the Aguu pig’s frozen sperm. They say they have now succeeded, developing a preservation technique to keep the frozen sperm.

The Aguu pig’s sperm had been considered weaker than a traditional pig, and it’s staying power limited. The Aguu pig was imported to Okinawa, and is raised in small quantities on local farms.

With the new process, officials from the university and the prefecture say they can easily get breeding going, and create an Aguu pork market. The first three pig babies were born last month, as “we found out how to protect the sperm efficiently to make breeding increase.” Another challenge for researchers was preserving the frozen sperm from oxidation after discovering the Aguu pig’s mating season was different than other pigs.

Beginning next year, the officials hope to begin breeding the Aguu pig commercially, generating large quantities of Aguu park for commercial sale. The prefecture and university team hopes to see the pork become a major Okinawa brand product used regularly locally, and exported as well.

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