Image credit: Ntarama Pigs Farm

The Opportunities of Pig Farming: A Lifeline for Small and Marginal Farmers

Pig farming is particularly suitable for small and marginal farmers in rural areas because the small size of pigs allows them to be kept even in villages.

The initial investment needed to start a piggery is also very less compared to other livestock farms. Here are some important aspects that are quite profitable in pig rearing:

1. Better FCR
Except for Broilers, Pigs have got the highest feed conversion rate in comparison to other meat producing livestock animals, which means they gain more weight per kg of feed consumed. This high efficiency, and FCR means they gain live weight faster and better profits for pig farmers.

2. High Fecundity
Sows are very prolific. They have an average of 6 to 12 piglets each time they farrow and can be bred to farrow more than two litters per year. This high fecundity means that pigs are always available for meat production.

3. Early Sexual Maturity
Pigs have sexual maturity at an early age and thus, are useful in ensuring quick returns on investment. Usually pigs take to be developed and trained to breed by the time they are eight to nine months old. Well managed pigs can be made to breed at least two times in a year as a result of which the population grows fast.

4. Short Generation Interval
The generation interval is short in swine as compared to other farm animals. This allow she-migration for frequent production and has lead to rapid herd multiplication and consistent increase in meat production.

5. Return in Quick Period
Pigs have a faster growth rate, and they can obtain market weight (60-90kg) within 7-10 months from their birth. Fast growth rate in pigs ensures quick returns on the investment made by any farmer in pig business.

6. Total Utilization
Almost all parts of slaughtered pigs are put to final use or sold, which minimizes wastage. This kind of total utilization improves the return on the farming of every pig.

7. Efficient Conversion of Waste
- Pigs can convert damaged and fed-waste produced from households, hotels into quality rich protein or the flesh. This is a very useful and economically profitable way of recycling our waste and helping sustainable environment.

8. Many Products
- Pigs give us far more products than meat. For example, bristle, which is used not just in painting brushes or in the manufacture of hair brushes, but also for example in the brushes used for washing bottles, gas tubes, and pipes. - Pigs manure is not only excellent for maintaining the fertility of the soil, but is used as high-quality biological fertilizers.

9. Diverse Diet
- Pigs can ingest a variety of foods such as grains, or vegetables, fruits, fodder, sugar other derivative from sugarcane and kitchen wastage. ——this is an elastic regime that can adapt to different systems of farming and different factors.

10. Employment and Incomes
- Pig farming generates employment for drought or flood prone rural farmers and it provides them with an extra income so that may be able to improve their standard of living.
- Pigs can be kept in enclosures thus limiting the need for extensive grazing lands and reducing the cost of land use which also feeds into the in decreased cost through lesser land acquisition

11. Diverse Products
Pig farming is geared towards producing a large number of various products, as well as primary products like pork, then processed products like sausages and ham. Pig fat has many uses as well, it is used in soap, paint and varnish manufacturing and in chemical and other industries.

12. Farm Integration
- Combining pig farming with other types of livestock industries and plants can help create a diversified farming pattern in which each enterprise benefits and enhances the productivity of the other enterprises by utilizing available labour resources.
–Efficient utilization of wasteproducts  Pigs are very efficient at utilizing wasteproducts. Table garbage, bakery waste, hotel and kitchen waste, as well as the waste fruits and vegetables which does not get marketed can be economically used to convert to pigs which also helps in reducing the overall waste disposal cost.

13. Maintenance of Soil Fertility:
Pig manure is rich as a resource for maintaining the fertility of the soil. It can be converted into high quality biological manure, which helps a lot in sustainable agriculture.

Pig farming provides many opportunities to small and marginal farmers, for whom it represents true economic and livelihood gains. They provide a reliable source of income and food security through their efficient feed utilization, high fecundity, flexible diet, and short time to an economically viable size. By recognizing such benefits, rural farmers can increase their profitability while conserving traditional agriculture practices.


image: Ntarama Pig Farms


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