Some 70 pig farmers in the South West Region recently learnt modern breeding techniques that would ensure improved production.
By Azore Opio
The farmers learnt the modern techniques at a workshop organised in Buea by FAAFNET (Forestry, Agriculture and Fishery Network) in collaboration with Big Dutchman, a German pig equipment-manufacturing firm.
“For farmers to score more success in pig production they should focus more on improving the genetics of pigs, feed and equipment management as well as adopt proper running of the farm,” said Patrick Herve Nouga Nouga, Big Dutchman expert.
“Piglets take too long to reach 19 kg, so it would be wise to import semen to purify the genetics of pigs and get new sows that can furrow twice a year with 20 piglets per sow per year,” said the Big Dutchman expert.
Pig farmers in Cameroon lose up to 50% of piglets due to poor farm equipment; sows too eat some of the piglets and sometimes when tired they fall on the piglets and crush them to death.
In order to avoid such loses, farmers were advised at the workshop to invest in modern pig farming equipment such as plastic pens that can last more than 15 years; furrowing crates and sow crates that protect piglets from sows.
“Cleaning wooden pens is difficult,” said Nouga Nouga.
Farmers face problems in acquiring equipment, raising healthy pigs and lack education on proper pig farming, said Nouga Nouga and proposed new apparatus, improved feed production and follow-up.
Suitable feed production would involve appropriate mixture – corn, soya, premixes (concentrates) vitamins and minerals to ensure healthy growth of pigs.
The Big Dutchman expert said acquiring modern pig equipment is initially expensive but beneficial in the end.
Nouga Nouga said since most Cameroonian farmers do not keep more than 20 pigs at once and they work individually, group farming is preferable. Besides, pig farmers do everything from breeding piglets, feed production, fattening, slaughtering and marketing. He said pig farmers would need to specialize to cut down on production cost and maximise profits.
The seminar was organised at a time when pig farmers are faced with challenges that include lack of information, expensive feeds, lack of good species and diseases amongst others.
“Pig production has to evolve from traditional methods to modern techniques to improve the value chain from farms to markets,” said William Lyonga, FAAFNET CEO, adding, “they would also have to group themselves to attract funding.”
Meanwhile, Mbua Kwakam Dieudonne, who helped initiate the seminar, said it was important to reach out to farmers and educate them on modern pig rearing.