Pig production is an enterprise that provides small scale subsistence farmers with a clear opportunity for increased household income. It does not require large areas of land; at least 16m2 is needed to raise ten pigs using Deep Litter system or Fermented Bed Technology.
The benefits of Deep Litter System or Fermented Bed Technology are many. Generally, it makes it possible for farmers to produce high quality pork more cheaply and in an environmental friendly way.
Issues to consider when starting a piggery project
|1. Capital.||This is the amount of money required to set up the piggery project. The amount is dependent on the unit size one intends to operate. The capital is needed to construct the sties and to buy equipment and breeding stock. Working capital is also needed to pay for feed, drugs and labor for the initial phase of the business.|
|2. Knowledge and skills.||Knowledge on how to successfully manage a pig production enterprise is very important. In order for the farmer to avoid making costly mistakes in the running of the pig production enterprise he should receive training in pig husbandry.|
|3. Breeding stock||The output of a unit can be limited by the quality of breeding stock. Inferior breeding stock results in an inefficient utilization of feed and space. Farmers must be prepared to pay high prices for quality stock. Poor quality breeding stock may be cheaper in the short term but in the long run they will be expensive.|
|4. Market||Farmers have to identify the market for their pigs before they start producing them. Farmers should desist from the practice of hunting around for a market when their pigs are ready for sale. When the producer has identified a market he must ask himself whether the price being offered for his pigs will be enough to make the project viable. An important point to consider when one is choosing a market is the distance to the market. If the distance to the market is long the project will incur high transport costs and hence will be less viable.|
|5. Water||Water should be of the right quantity and quality. Inadequate water supply depresses the growth rate of the pigs. Lactating sows need a lot of water for milk production. The pigs’ water requirements will vary with the weather. On a very hot day the pig will use more water than during a cold day. As a general guide a farmer should budget about 150 litres of water per sow per day.|
|6. Housing||The pigsties should be constructed in a way that will allow the stockman to carry out his daily duties with ease. The sties have to be designed in a manner that will help management in monitoring the pig enterprise. Poor housing designs can lead to disproportionate food sharing, inefficient utilization of space, feed wastage and poor performance of the pigs among other things.|
|A guaranteed supply of feed is a prerequisite for the successful operation of a piggery project. Feed account for about 80% of the production costs on a pig production enterprise. Pig feeds are compounded using maize or other small grains and concentrates. The farmer should budget about 3.4 tons of maize per sow per year if he is to operate a breeding/feeding unit.|
|8. Technology to use||There are many technologies for piggery production. The common ones in Uganda are (a) the traditional free range system, (b) intensive pig production system using cemented floor housing, and (c) intensive pig production system using Fermented Bed Technology. The choice of which one to use depends on the skills and resources available to the farmer. This manual is about pig production using Fermented Bed technology (FBT).|