Pig farming is one of the most profitable ventures of agriculture that most Nigerians have failed to delve into, JOHN OBA, in this write up looks at the benefits of investing in this business.
Pig farming simply called piggery is one of the aspects of farming that some Nigerians investing in it are reaping huge profits. Yet only few are looking the way of piggery and worst still, no administration has included this sector in its investment and empowerment plans.
Pig farmers have revealed that investment in piggery can sustain any farmers for the rest of their lives. The demand for pig meat (pork) is high like beef, and that it sells very fast in the market.
Another advantage of piggery is the large production and fast growth of the piglets as a single pig especially good species can give birth to as much as between 10 and 15 piglets at a time, making it one of the most reproducing livestock in the world. Therefore, a farmer with 10 sows that is the female pig, and few boars, that is the male pig can with proper care have a drove of about 100 in five years.
Speaking with a pig farmer, Mr Benjamin Saben, in Abuja, on Saturday, he said though pig farming is capital intensive because of the way they eat, but it is a money spinning business with huge profit margins.
“I started pig farming some years back, though there are challenges. I can tell you, if you have fund to feed the well, i can assure you that pig farming is lucrative. The major challenge is capital, we don’t have much fund to exploit the potential of the sector. When the place you are rearing them is not well built where you can put them in category into their pens, if that is not done, the pig will eat up the piglets especial when the farmer is not around to restrain them.
“If the pens are properly built, and well partitioned, and we must understand that piggery is a long time investment, and a farmer should not expect immediate gain, especially when they are not much in number. So a farmer can start enjoying good profits after about three years. That is when you have them in good size and weight. Because if you have 10 sows and they produce 10 piglets in a year, you have about 100 pigs. That can give good money, and of you have good species, there are some that are sold for about N10,000 or N15,000 a piglet,” he said.
Mr Saben said youths who are patient and ready to wait can farm pigs, bit that those looking for quick money will not be able. If government invest in piggery, it can solve the problem of unemployment. It is more lucrative than fish farming because it doesn’t incur much mortality like fishery.
He said one of the major challenges is funding because pigs eats slots and when there is no fund to buy their feeds, they would develop as expected.
“One of the major challenges is finance, because pig eats a lot and since we can allow them wonder around, therefore there is also need for good fencing, because if they move out and spoil peoples’ farm, the pig owner will be compelled to pay. So one of the big challenges a beginner will be faced with is constructing a proper place to rear the pigs. So with the campaign for Nigerians to go back to farm, everybody is now engaged in farming, there is constraints for land in the community for open land where the pigs can be allowed to graze openly. Even local pigs are all caged this farming season.”
Mode of feeding
Pigs are large consumers and slots, this is another issue that a new comer in the sector may be faced with. But most pig farmers have diverse other local means of providing food for the pigs.
Mr Saben was seen cooking cassava for the pigs, this according to him will help reduce the number of worms the pigs will be infected with, while also helping to reduce their appetite for raw cassava. Therefore should they escape from their cage into any cassava farms, the pigs wouldn’t destroy it.
“Yes, pig eats raw food, but not like eating cassava every time. Also there is the need to mix their food. So if you feed your pigs with raw cassava, once they get out of their cages, they would destroy peoples’ farms around. But now even if they get out of their cages, they wouldn’t be comfortable to eat the raw cassava.”
On how he gets the pigs food, Mr Saben said he buys chaff from those producing pap (Akamu) or buy cassava and cook it for them, or blend soybeans for them.
The health of the pigs must also be taken seriously so that their growth and development will not be affected.
Mr Saben said he applies anti-baoctics and also deworm them. He however said an experts veterinarian must be engaged on this of the farmer is not experience enough.
“You have to engage a veterinary doctor to keep them healthy, because after every three month, there is the need to inject the pigs, they need to be dewormed after every three months,” he explained.
Government support to the sector
It is no more news that Nigeria has good policies and programmes in the agric sector, but the lopsided implementation has been the major challenge. Though, the current administration has spent a lot of money in he agricultural sector, but as it is now, there has not been any support from the government to this particular sector.
“Government talk about giving loans to farmers but those at the top are the ones hijacking it while claiming that the loans are given to the poor farmers. Those who needs the loans most are not receiving it. We have formed ourselves into cooperatives and we applied for loans but nothing has been given till date. What is still have in the sector now is individual efforts.
“If only government can encourage pigs farmers by giving us loans, we will expand our pig business and we can farm cassava to feed the pigs, which is better instead of buying cassava daily. If you have 50 pigs, you will need to spend about N10,000 daily to feed them, though you will have good profits if the pigs are well fed, but most pig farmers can’t afford that.
“If you have good variety of pigs, you can sell one for as much as N50,000, so you can imagine if you have about 50 well fed, such farmer will make good money. And some can weight as much as 250kg,” he said
Why pig farming
Mr Saben said he ventured into.pig farming because of his love for farming.
“I love farming and more so that as a technicians and I am also into installation of aluminum doors and windows, so since there is no job, I ad to go into pig farming. I was into fishery, bit it is too frustrating and combining both was hectic for me because both feed a lot.
“If I have the fund, within two years, my farm will improve greatly because all I needed now, is money for good fence, and feeding,” he said
Mr Saben, said there is market for pig farmers as people are looking for pig meat. “You don’t need to say you must have a supply somewhere, there is open market for pigs everywhere. Nigerians feed on pig like they do for beef. There is no problem with marketing pigs at all.”
He therefore called on government to empower youth with loans to go into pig farming. It will reduce crimes and help the youth to generate income. “So giving youth N5000, will not solve any problem, given the youth reasonable loans will. The government should engage experts who know more about the sector to advise it on how much loan will be enough for a youth to start up piggery, by so doing youth will be empowered,” he advised.