Education on pig farming has been recognized as an important method of transferring knowledge and improving production among smallholder pig producers in rural settings, but the effectiveness of this in different rural settings remains unknown. A community-based intervention trial on smallholder pig farmers was conducted with the aim of evaluating the effectiveness of pig farming education. Baseline information was collected using interview-based questionnaires and observations regarding pig welfare and husbandry practices followed by participatory pig farming education and field demonstrations. The study was carried out between May 2014 and May 2016 and involved 90 smallholder pig farmers from six villages in Angónia district, of Tete province in Mozambique. The baseline questionnaire among several aspects regarding pig management highlighted that most farmers had an overall knowledge on aspects of transmission (55.1%) and prevention (48.9%) of African swine fever (ASF), porcine cysticercosis (PC) transmission (8.2%), and field diagnosis (36.7%), and they were not aware of the zoonotic potential of PC or the basic husbandry procedures of pigs kept under permanent confinement. Forty-nine of the 90 farmers enrolled, participated in the pig farming education, which provided the basis for making a comparison between trained (54%) and non-trained (46%) pig farmers. Since knowledge for ASF transmission (P < 0.036), pig pen design (P < 0.014), reasons for confine the pigs (P < 0.016), as well as the adoption of the new introduced pig pen model (P < 0.025), and the practices of acceptable, good hygiene of the pig pen (P < 0.009 and P < 0.014, respectively), improved significantly in both groups, a remarkable spill-over was observed, proving villagers capable of transferring knowledge within the villages. However, water provision and total confinement in both groups were still not practiced by the most farmers following the pig farming education (P > 0.174 and 0.254). It is concluded that despite improved knowledge, the farmers failed to follow several recommendations, most likely due to poverty such as lack of basic resources like food and water, which even the farmers themselves lacked for their day to day living.
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Thanks are extended to the Serviços Provinciais de Pecuária de Tete, Serviços Distritais das Actividades Económicas de Angónia and Estação Zootécnica de Angónia. Special thanks are extended to the smallholder pig keepers and livestock extension agents in Angónia districts for their support and time allocated during the study period. We would also like to thank Dr. Regina Miambo, Dr. Cláudio Gule, Dr. Lourenço Mapaco, and Mr. Elísio Inácio Bendito for their valuable assistance in the fieldwork.
The authors are grateful for the financial support by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) (file no. 09-007LIFE) through the project, Securing Rural Livelihood through Improved Pig Production in Mozambique and Tanzania (SLIPP).
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Chilundo, A.G., Mukaratirwa, S., Pondja, A. et al. Smallholder pig farming education improved community knowledge and pig management in Angónia district, Mozambique. Trop Anim Health Prod 52, 1447–1457 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-019-02148-x
- Community-based intervention
- Observation study