Zhongxin Kaiwei Modern Farming in central China’s Hubei province is raising pigs in a 26-story building with advanced technologies and a central control system. They will have 20,000 breeding pigs and they can output 600,000- 1.2 million pigs per year. It is in the city of Enzou about 500 miles west of Shanghai. It is a $500 million facility with 800,000 square metres of space.
Pigs stay on each floor throughout their lives and the air system contains any disease outbreak to one floor.
It is the biggest single-building pig farm in the world, with a capacity to slaughter 1.2 million pigs a year.
Pork is the most popular animal protein in the country. China eats around half of all the world’s pork. They lost 100 million pigs to the deadly pig disease African swine fever (ASF) between 2018 and 2020.
Waste from the pigs will be treated and used to generate biogas, which can be used for power generation and heating water inside the farm. Workers will be required to go through multiple rounds of disinfection and testing before being given clearance to enter, and won’t be able to leave the site until their next break – reportedly once a week.
China’s 2022 pork output increased by 4.6% on the year before to reach the highest level since 2014. Pork output in the world’s top producer of the meat reached 55.41 million tonnes, the highest since the 56.71 million tonnes recorded eight years ago. China’s overall pig herd increased by 0.7% during 2022 to reach 452.56 million head.
China could handle their entire national pig farming in about 400 high rise buildings.
There were about 784.2 million pigs worldwide as of April 2022. The EU has about 140 million pigs and the US has 74 million. Brazil has 35 million. Russia has 26 million. Canada has 14 million.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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31 thoughts on “26 Story Pig Farm in China for Over 1 million Pigs”
Pigs are very smart animals, and will not do well in such a tight and closed environment. The noise alone will not be good for the pigs. This is really Orwellian, and pork will become the new soma as it will contain what the CCP decides to put in the pork feed.
This is much worse than BNW. If anyone needs soma it is the pigs!
Talk about “vertical” farming. This had to come from the “brain trust” in the CCP bureaucracy. Nothing could possibly go wrong. They will never have to cull an entire building because because of lack of hygiene, carelessness or maybe sabotage. By all means put all your piggies in one basket.
The point is to further centralize food production, so that they can more easily starve rebellious areas, without having to worry about it resulting in the rest of the country going hungry.
Basically they’re trying to set up a form of hydraulic empire, only food based. It has nothing to do with efficiency.
A somewhat similar motive is behind vertical farming research in the US: Urban areas really HATE being dependent on rural areas for food, it limits how far they can go in pushing the rubes around.
Well, I like to razz the Country Bumpkins and their Libertarian Red-neck ilk as much as the next City Slicker, but the Agricultural Industry is actually quite an insanely complex supply chain industry – impressive and formidable. Balancing the family farm, industrial feedlot, the GMO industries, etc., along with such a huge assortment of fields that could be grains, orchards, vineyards, and any other collection of livestock and bespoke food items which need to be raised, transported, and stored all within a goliath supermarket/ restaurant distribution system which likely dwarfs all the multitudes of Walmarts, Amazons, Targets, etc., etc.
I for one, believe that a high-teck, hot house agricultural industry could easily be created for the most lucrative food items, otherwise mostly imported, within our suburban and industrial city-fringe areas – rooftops, parking lots, stand-alone verticals, etc., without ever really impacting the mega-agro industry. The more varied the foodstuffs in the markets, restaurants, and kitchens, the less likely they can be fenced off and used for politically-motivated ends.
You have never actually been on a working farm have you?
Why not enlighten us on your specific concerns, for this Sci-flavoured Entertainment Website, rather than spouting vague, judgmental vitriole from above?
False. I visit my friend’s pig farm several times a year, 150 miles out of town – even witnessed their ‘hands-on’ fertilization program – lovely. More of a cut-throat (hah- but not really) business than an exercise in quality and bespoke foods stuffs expertly sourced and transported out. More of a family business with several local contacts and government drama than an ‘industrial farm’ per se.
The key point is what items can be grown in a completely self-contained facility, therefore installed at a scale appropriate to the end user. Possible end user – a coterie of upscale restaurants/ personal buyers. What items could be grown in a tightly monitored facility, possibly within 20 miles of a city core, such that they could be sold as reaching maturity by discriminating buyers – leafy greens, etc. Such tech-updated hydroponics programs have reached much academic and research exposure – but the leap to a commercial ‘franchise’-type roll-out is still unresolved…
They love Orwell so much they did him twice! Howse the view Napolean?
Cities have millions of Rubes being pushed around by their bosses
Chinese people don’t need pork to live but they definitely need the cheapest calories i.e. rice and grain for noodles.
But growing grain in a huge multi-level factory farm makes zero sense. I’m not sure it’s worth it for pigs, but at least there one is moving from single level buildings to multi-level, rather than trying to replicate open fields.
Oh my god. The smell. I’ve been in animal shelters and I can only imagine that probably doesn’t even come close.
No wonder they aren’t allowed to leave very often. Their olfactory senses would be getting whipsawed every day. I once lived in Bangkok and when I moved there and got off the plane, and all the humidity and heat hit me, the overwhelming impression was that the whole city smelled like sewage. Fortunately, when you are constantly in it, your brain filters it out. Several months later I had to leave town for a few days and when I came back it hit me all over again.
My thoughts exactly.
The Internet can transmit video, it can transmit sound, but to get the measure of that high-rise animal confinement operations, someone needs to figure how to transmit smell.
I guess it all depends on how the ‘vat meat’ industry is doing.
I think that there will always be an interest in ‘authentic’ meat – especially better cuts at top-notch restaurants.. but the fast food industry? Do people really care about the real meat portion of their nuggets, patties, or fingers?
I hope that the fast food industry does get their vat meat – since that will likely make real meat from real farms continue indefinitely.
If there was ever a way that PETA or other animal rights’ movement gain a foot hold in getting huge restrictions, it would be the introduction of these ‘slaughter condos’ starting to make their presence noticed in the rich world.
Pigs are no exceptions to the domineering tendency of Man to underseige .How can workers dwell in an extension for pigs?No amount of space for technical support/engineering explaination.Absurd.
In a similar building, the next dojo supercomputer.
I don’t get it. If the workers are only allowed to leave once per week, then they have to live in the building as well…? Sleeping quarters, canteen, etc? And will they work more than one shift, i.e. 8 hours per day..? If they work “normally”, i.e. 40 hours per week, their free time will be really horrible, couped up in a small room in a giant building somewhere. If they have no free time, then they are mandatet to work 12-16 hours per day, which also seems not so nice.
Well, they’ll be allowed to eat all the pork they want. For free.
And you can actually do sou vide in a compost heap, so they can cook it for free, too!
You been here four hour—you go now!
Welcome to the Workers Paradise Pork Penthouse, comrade! From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. Millions of Party members in good standing need a healthy diet including pork. You have the ability to live and work here 6 1/2 days of a week, we only charge nominal fees for your room and board. Remember to take you laundry with you and wash it on your half day off. Also remember decontamination is a three hour process, so come back early and beat the rush!
And other than the sinus clearing smell, is this really a different order of magnitude than Twitter developers bunking down in the office during coding sessions?
Imagine not being allowed to leave your workplace most of the time. Imagine if that workplace was a pig farm—in a 26 story building.
This is going to spread to Canada and I will be funding my “retirement years” working at one of these places, I just know it.
Yeah it’s not going to be the greatest place to work, but is any slaughterhouse? I don’t know I’ve never worked at one. It’s actually a pretty good idea though. All of the waste would be contained in the facilities and processed through a normal plumbing system and down into a sewage system. The air is contained inside the building to isolate any contagions. Probably really efficient means of slaughtering and packaging all those pigs.
Would I want to work there? No. But I can see the reasons for it
In 2-3 generations, this will universally be frowned upon as a “crime against mammals”…
Probably not a joke. In a few generations, eating pigs and cows will become abhorrent as eating horses or dogs now. (Or indeed, eating cows in india or pigs in the islamic world now). I’ll enjoy my sausages while I still can.
A life spent growing and getting fat is perhaps better than being never born.
I’d far rather not be born than to live in those conditions.
It could go the other way. In years to come all farming could be factory to free up the environment. Imagine if Africa could just factory farm and allow all those tiny plots of land to revert to their natural state – complete with elephants, rhinos, gazelle, lions etc..
Those pigs aren’t going to be close to being healthy.
You meant the new CCP headquarters… Animal Farm.
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