Production constraints of smallholder pig farms in agro-ecological zones of Mpumalanga, South Africa
- 247 Downloads
South African pig sector is a contributor to the agricultural industry. A study was conducted to identify the production constraints and compare the management practices in smallholder pig farms in Mpumalanga, South Africa. A total of 220 selected smallholder pig farmers were interviewed. Smallholder pig farming was predominated by male (64 %), age above 50 years (54 %), black Africans (98.6 %), and three quarters of the smallholder farmers were poor to just below average. Majority (80 %) have no pig husbandry training, while only 33 % received assistance from government’s Agricultural Department. In terms of stock, mixed breeds (89 %) from exotic pigs were mostly kept and majority (87 %) of the farmers kept ≤10 sows in their herds. Many farmers (75 %) engaged in risky behavior of buying auctioned-sourced boars, free-range boars, and untested boars from neighbors and relatives. Few (17 %) farmers practiced vaccination and only 10 % kept farm records. Majority of the responses on pre-weaning mortality (50 %) and post-weaning mortality (90 %) were within acceptable range of 1–10 and 1–5 % mortality rates, respectively. The lead causes of mortality were weak piglets and crushing (46 %), diarrhea (27 %), poor management knowledge (19 %), and malnutrition (16 %). Agricultural training and government incentives will facilitate improved productivity in smallholder pig farming.
KeywordsPre-weaning mortality Diseases Nutrition Smallholder pig farm
We thank the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land Administration and Environmental Affairs for provision of access to the farmers. We are grateful to the farmers for cooperation, extension agricultural officers, animal researchers and animal health technicians for data collection through the administration of questionnaires. We thank the management of University of South Africa (Masters and Doctoral by research bursary) for funding the project.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Acocks, J.P.H., 1988. Veld types of South Africa. In: Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa. (3rd ed.). Botanical Research Institute, Pretoria, South Africa.Google Scholar
- Anonymous, 2015. Achieve Low Pre-Weaning Mortality. Retrieved May 23, 2015, from http://www.thepigsite.com/pighealth/article/216/achieve-low-preweaning-mortality.
- Boettiger, H.N., 2000. Challenges facing pig farmers. South African Animal Science (now: Applied Animal Husbandry & Rural Development), 1(1), 28-31. Retrieved May 23, 2015, from www.sasas.co.za/sites/sasas.co.za/files/Boettiger00AAHRDVol1.pdf.
- Cross, C. and Hornby D., 2002. Opportunities and obstacles to women’s land accessing South Africa. A research report for the Promoting Women’s Access to Land Programme, 2002. Retrieved March 06, 2015, from file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/landgender.pdf/.Google Scholar
- Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), 2012a.A profile of the South African pork market value chain. Retrieved April 12, 2015, from http://www.nda.agric.za/docs/AMCP/Pork2012.pdf/.
- Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), 2012b. Veterinary Procedural Notice For Foot And Mouth Disease Control In South Africa. Retrieved April 21, 2015, from http://www.nda.agric.za/vetweb/Disease%20Control/Protocols/FMD%20Veterinary%20Procedural%20Notice%20-%20Approved%202012%2006%2008.pdf/.
- Engelbrecht, A., Kirkman, K. and Swanepoel, A., 2004.Veld and Pasture Management Guidelines for Sustainable Animal Production on the Mpumalanga Highveld. (Department of Agriculture, Pretoria, South Africa. 125p).Google Scholar
- Kambashi, B., Picron, P., Boudry, C., Théwis, A., Kiatoko, H. and Bindelle, J., 2014. Smallholder pig production systems along a peri-urban-rural gradient in the Western provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics, 115, 9 -22.Google Scholar
- Li, Y., Johnston, L. & Hilbrands, A., 2010. Pre-weaning mortality of piglets in a bedded group-farrowing system. Journal of Swine Health and Production, 18, 75–80.Google Scholar
- McCosker, L., 2014. A Review: The pattern of mortality in piglets (birth to 2 months of age) and means to reduce the mortality rate. Retrieved April 12, 2015, from http://www.australianpigfarmers.com.au/Resources/Documents/Piglet%20Mortality%20Review.pdf.
- Mokoele, J.M., Spencer, B.T., van Leengoed, L.A.M.G. and Fasina, F.O., 2014. Efficiency indices and indicators of poor performance among emerging small-scale pig farmers in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, 81(1), Art.#774, 12 pages. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.4102/ojvr.v81i1.774
- Moreki, J.C. and Mphinyane, G.H., 2011.Opportunities and challenges of pig production in Botswana. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 23, 4. Retrieved May 26, 2015, from http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd23/4/more23087.htm
- National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), 2000. Retrieved May 23, 2015, from http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ceah/cahm/Swine/swine.htm.
- Njuki, J., Pali, P., Mburu, S. and Poole, J., 2010. Pig Production, Management and Marketing in the North East Indian State of Nagaland. International Livestock Research Institute Nairobi, Kenya. Retrieved May 23, 2015, from https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/29056/elks_nagaland.pdf?sequence=1.
- Nsoso, S. J., Mannathoko, G. G. and Modise, K., 2006. Monitoring production, health and marketing of indigenous Tswana pigs in Ramotswavillage of Botswana. Livestock Research for Rural Development 18, 125. Retrieved May 23, 2015, from http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd18/9/nsos18125.htm
- Otte, M.J., Nugent, R. and McLeod, A., 2004.Transboundary Animal Diseases.Assessment of Socio-economic Impacts and Institutional Responses.Livestock policy discussion, FAO, 9. Retrieved May 23, 2015, from http://www.fao.org/3/a-ag273e.pdf.
- Statistical South Africa (STATSA), 2013. Mpumalanga Population in: Mid-Year Population Estimates, Report 0302. Retrieved May 21, 2015, from http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0302/P03022013.pdf/.
- The Scientific Panel for Animal Health and Welfare (SP-AHAW) of the European Food Safety Authority, 2007. Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare on a request from the Commission on Animal health and welfare aspects of different housing and husbandry systems for adult breeding boars, pregnant, farrowing sows and unweaned piglets. The EFSA Journal, 572, 1-13.Google Scholar