January 18, 2012

Piggery industry lags behind

Farmers in the piggery industry are failing to meet local demands and would not succeed unless there is proper funding and training for them to remain in business. This was revealed during a meeting held by South East District Piggery Management Association (SEDPMA) in Ramotswa to map their way forward in to the year. It is sink or swim for farmers in the industry as farmers who attended the meeting said that situations on their farms had moved from bad to worse saying funding was the main challenge.

Kabelo Moapare, a farmer from Taung in Ramotswa complained of lack of money for feed and medication for pigs. "Things have gone from bad to worse," he said. Moapare added that she recently lost 15 piglets since she could not afford medication for them. The farmer, who has been in business for five years now said she does not have financial support and is struggling to generate some.She stated that she has two boars, 10 sows and 15 remaining piglets. She has not been able to sell any in the past 12 months because she could not feed the animals enough to reach the required sell weight of 50 to 60 kilogrammes. This is even worse because keeping the animals longer means feeding them throughout while there is no money coming out of it, she said. The market is not the problem, she pointed out. Moapare revealed that at the time when her farm was doing well she was selling to Senn Foods and Payless supermarket. "The market is there it is just that we cannot produce the right numbers and quality required. In the meantime I am feeding my pigs 'moroko' just to keep them alive, that is how bad it is," she explained.
The chairman of the association, Motlatsi Sello said that to excel in the industry a farmer had to start with at least 100 sows, which needed a lot of funding. Anything less was not viable. "It is an intense investment that none of us here is ready to shoulder as yet," he said. Most experienced farmers in the association were self-sponsored and did not qualify for funding by government since they are older, he said.

In the meantime, the importation of live pigs, their feed and fresh products from South Africa has been suspended with immediate effect following the outbreak of African Swine Fever in South Africa's Mpumalanga Province.The director of Veterinary Services, Philemon Motsu warned that all issued import permits for these goods are void. (Mmegi Online)


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