The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) is a non-departmental public body based in Northern Ireland. AFBI was created on 2006 as an amalgamation of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Science Service and the Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland (ARINI).

AFBI carries out high quality technology research and development, statutory, analytical, and diagnostic testing functions for Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and other Government departments, public bodies and commercial companies.

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The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) is a leading provider of agri-food related scientific research and services to government, non-governmental and commercial organisations. AFBI’s scientific disciplines include agriculture, animal health, food, environment, biosciences and economics.

Pig research and development at AFBI is centered at Hillsborough. Integrated research programmes are undertaken in the areas of production, nutrition, welfare and meat quality allowing for the achievement of commercially applicable conclusions. A 150 birth to bacon sow herd based at AFBI Hillsborough is managed as a commercial herd and complemented with specialised research resources, which enables detailed scientific investigations to be conducted.


Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) is involved in the EU PiG project as a partner and will specifically work in the area of work package 3 (Precision Production), and its Thematic Knowledge Platform. AFBI will be actively involved in the evaluation, discussion, validation and prioritization of the proposed best practices for the defined production challenges each year. AFBI will take part in the elaboration and revision of the Best Practice Abstracts, Technical reports and Best Practice End Users Materials to be periodically delivered within the project.

Our team

Elizabeth Magowan, Principle Scientific Officer

Dr Elizabeth Magowan is the monogastric research project leader at AFBI Hillsborough. Her main research focus is on improving feed use efficiency, optimising growth performance through management and nutrition, and optimising carcass and eating quality. Elizabeth was deputy co-ordinator of ECO FCE, an FP7 project focused on feed efficient of pigs and chicken. She has also conducted a number of major research trials for government bodies, the agricultural sector and also for national and international companies.

Ramon Muns, Higher Scientific Officer

Dr. Ramon Muns is a pig research scientist at AFBI Hillsborough and is the lead researcher from AFBI in EU Pig. His main research focus is on improving sow health and welfare conditions to increase its reproductive and lifetime performance, and on improving pig growth performance and health status through improved management strategies to enhance piglet immunity status and weight at weaning. He has conducted research studies at different universities in Spain, Australia, Brasil, Denmark and Thailand.

Elizabeth Magowan