Improved pig production and health in western Kenya

Evaluating critical factors to the economic feasibility of semi-intensive pig rearing in western Kenya

Evaluating critical factors to the economic feasibility of semi-intensive pig rearing in western Kenya Levy, M.; Dewey, C.; Weersink, A.; Mutua, F.; Carter, N.; Poljak, Z. The purpose of this research is to assess how season, ADG, opportunity costs of farm-grown feeds, pig weight, and butcher price variation impact the economic potential of semi-intensive pig rearing. We developed a unique algorithm that emulates least-cost pig feeding and used it to assess the impact of the aforementioned factors on farmers’ maximum revenue and profit potential when pigs are sold to local butchers in western Kenya. When considered as independent factors influencing feed costs to grow a pig to a market weight of 30 kg, variation in ADG, opportunity cost of feed, and weaning season resulted in feed cost differences of up to 982, 947, and 379 Kenyan shillings (KES), respectively. The variation in revenues attributable to butcher or butcher negotiation and seasonal variance of butcher prices for a 30 kg pig was 744 and 225 KES, respectively. Feed items most commonly chosen for least-cost feed rations were small dried fish, cooked ground maize, whole maize, millet, cassava foliage, sweet potato vines, bone meal, avocado, and mango. Smallholder farmers who can feed pigs to reach higher ADG have lower opportunity costs of feeds and/or who effectively bargain with butchers can benefit from semi-intensive pig rearing. Farmers without access to at least some zero-cost feeds and farmers with opportunity costs of feeds exceeding 50 % of the market price will not earn positive returns from semi-intensive pig rearing.

Comparing the operations and challenges of pig butchers in rural and peri-urban settings of western Kenya

Comparing the operations and challenges of pig butchers in rural and peri-urban settings of western Kenya Levy, M.A.; Dewey, C.E.; Poljak, Z.; Weersink, A.; Mutua, F.K. The purpose of this cross-sectional, observational study was to describe the pig butcher enterprises in western Kenya; highlighting differences in the operational processes and challenges between rural and peri-urban settings. Fifty pig butchers were interviewed using questionnaires in two districts, Kakamega (peri-urban) and Busia (rural). Results showed that pig butchers were central to the coordination of activities required to connect pig farmers to pork consumers in their communities. Several differences between rural and peri-urban enterprises included use of agents to find pigs, average market weight of pigs, pig prices per kilogram, transport and marketing. Butchers were challenged by credit and capital constraints, seasonality, high pig prices and high search costs. Butchers should be encouraged to have pork inspected and should be included in outreach programs intended to prevent the spread of zoonotic pathogens since they are the last intervention point before pork is consumed. Use of the tape measure for estimating pig weight could help remove inequalities between farmers and butchers abilities to estimate pig weights and could help to reduce search costs for the butcher, thus increasing equity and efficiency of trade between farmers and pig butchers in western Kenya.

A description of local pig feeding systems in village smallholder farms of Western Kenya

A description of local pig feeding systems in village smallholder farms of Western Kenya Mutua, F.K.; Dewey, C.; Arimi, S.; Ogara, W.; Levy, M.; Schelling, E. We used face-to-face interviews to gather data on pig feeding practices in rural Busia District, Kenya. We visited 164 pig farms three times in the course of the study period. The pigs were weighed in kilograms during the visits. Feeds offered to pigs were described during the interviews. The most frequently fed feedstuffs were; ground maize or “ugali” (88%), kitchen leftovers (83%) and dried fish locally called “omena” (78%). Farmers provided pigs with water separately from the feeds. Sweet potatoes, “ugali” and cassava were available and could serve as good sources of energy for pigs in the district. Fruits and vegetables were also available and could potentially act as good sources of vitamins. Sweet potato vines, “omena” fish and slaughter blood were available and could provide pigs with proteins. The average daily gain (ADG) for pigs ≤5 months of age, pigs of 5.1–9.9 months of age and pigs of ≥10 months old was 94.5 (±43), 127 (±49.8) and 99 (±92) g, respectively (p = 0.000). This study has outlined the different local pig feeds available in Busia district. We recommend two things: first, additional research on nutrient composition for the identified local feeds, and second, developing and validating simple local feed combinations that would achieve balanced local pig rations.

A description of local pig feeding systems in village smallholder farms of Western Kenya

A description of local pig feeding systems in village smallholder farms of Western Kenya Mutua, F.K.; Dewey, C.; Arimi, S.; Ogara, W.; Levy, M.; Schelling, E. We used face-to-face interviews to gather data on pig feeding practices in rural Busia District, Kenya. We visited 164 pig farms three times in the course of the study period. The pigs were weighed in kilograms during the visits. Feeds offered to pigs were described during the interviews. The most frequently fed feedstuffs were; ground maize or “ugali” (88%), kitchen leftovers (83%) and dried fish locally called “omena” (78%). Farmers provided pigs with water separately from the feeds. Sweet potatoes, “ugali” and cassava were available and could serve as good sources of energy for pigs in the district. Fruits and vegetables were also available and could potentially act as good sources of vitamins. Sweet potato vines, “omena” fish and slaughter blood were available and could provide pigs with proteins. The average daily gain (ADG) for pigs ≤5 months of age, pigs of 5.1–9.9 months of age and pigs of ≥10 months old was 94.5 (±43), 127 (±49.8) and 99 (±92) g, respectively (p = 0.000). This study has outlined the different local pig feeds available in Busia district. We recommend two things: first, additional research on nutrient composition for the identified local feeds, and second, developing and validating simple local feed combinations that would achieve balanced local pig rations.

Indigenous pig management practices in rural villages of Western Kenya

Indigenous pig management practices in rural villages of Western Kenya Mutua, F.K.; Dewey, C.E.; Arimi, S.M.; Ogara, W.O.; Githigia, S.M.; Levy, M.; Schelling, E. The management of indigenous pigs in rural villages of Busia and Kakamega district, Western Kenya, is discussed. Data on husbandry practices, challenges and farmers knowledge on T. solium taeniosis / cysticercosis were gathered using questionnaires administered in face-to-face interviews. Pigs were examined for cysticercosis using the lingual palpation method. Data were managed in Stata®. Majority of the farmers were aged 30-50 years (44%), and were mostly women (69%). Years of pig keeping experience was higher in Kakamega (11.4±8.7) than it was in Busia (6.3±5.6) (P<0.05). Pork (31%) and beef (51%) were the most preferred meat types in the villages. Families owned an average of 0.94±0.81 hectares of land. The mean number of pigs owned per farm was 5.0 (±3.4), 1.8 (±1.2) and 1.5 (±0.9) for the pre-weaned, growing and adult pig categories, respectively. Constraints faced by the farmers included feeding (65%), diseases (46%), fewer breeding boars (60 %), poor profits (61%) and conflicts with neighbours (53%). Parasite control was poor. The majority of farmers (73%) had no pig house. These farmers either lacked skills to build the houses (11%; 23/209) or had no money to purchase construction materials (45%; 93/209). Tethering of pigs was frequent (>50%) during the planting (91%; 263 / 290), growing (90%; 263 / 290) and crop harvesting seasons (78%; 227 / 290). Prevalence of pig cysticercosis was 4.5%. Piglets were significantly cheaper in Busia (Ksh 509±57) than in Kakamega (Ksh 777±174) (P<0.05). Indigenous pig management in Western Kenya is reportedly poor. Improved knowledge coupled with changes in local husbandry practices would improve productivity, increase family incomes and safeguard the community from potential health risks associated with pig rearing.

Indigenous pig management practices in rural villages of Western Kenya

Indigenous pig management practices in rural villages of Western Kenya Mutua, F.K.; Dewey, C.E.; Arimi, S.M.; Ogara, W.O.; Githigia, S.M.; Levy, M.; Schelling, E. The management of indigenous pigs in rural villages of Busia and Kakamega district, Western Kenya, is discussed. Data on husbandry practices, challenges and farmers knowledge on T. solium taeniosis / cysticercosis were gathered using questionnaires administered in face-to-face interviews. Pigs were examined for cysticercosis using the lingual palpation method. Data were managed in Stata®. Majority of the farmers were aged 30-50 years (44%), and were mostly women (69%). Years of pig keeping experience was higher in Kakamega (11.4±8.7) than it was in Busia (6.3±5.6) (P<0.05). Pork (31%) and beef (51%) were the most preferred meat types in the villages. Families owned an average of 0.94±0.81 hectares of land. The mean number of pigs owned per farm was 5.0 (±3.4), 1.8 (±1.2) and 1.5 (±0.9) for the pre-weaned, growing and adult pig categories, respectively. Constraints faced by the farmers included feeding (65%), diseases (46%), fewer breeding boars (60 %), poor profits (61%) and conflicts with neighbours (53%). Parasite control was poor. The majority of farmers (73%) had no pig house. These farmers either lacked skills to build the houses (11%; 23/209) or had no money to purchase construction materials (45%; 93/209). Tethering of pigs was frequent (>50%) during the planting (91%; 263 / 290), growing (90%; 263 / 290) and crop harvesting seasons (78%; 227 / 290). Prevalence of pig cysticercosis was 4.5%. Piglets were significantly cheaper in Busia (Ksh 509±57) than in Kakamega (Ksh 777±174) (P<0.05). Indigenous pig management in Western Kenya is reportedly poor. Improved knowledge coupled with changes in local husbandry practices would improve productivity, increase family incomes and safeguard the community from potential health risks associated with pig rearing.

Prediction of live body weight using length and girth measurements for pigs in rural Western Kenya

Prediction of live body weight using length and girth measurements for pigs in rural Western Kenya Mutua, F.K.; Dewey, C.E.; Arimi, S.M.; Schelling, E.; Ogara, W.O. Objectives: To develop and validate a pig weight-estimation method using body length and girth measurements. Methods: In a random sample of 288 smallholder pig farms in Western Kenya, pigs were weighed (kg) and their lengths and girths were measured (cm). Prediction models were generated using 75% of the data and validated using the remaining 25%. Weight was regressed on length and girth using mixed model analysis after controlling for village as a random effect. Models were developed for pigs categorized as young (? 5 months), market age (5.1 months to 9.9 months), and breeding age (? 10 months). Results: Weights (mean ± SD) of the young, market-age, and breeding-age pigs were 12 ± 6.1 kg, 30 ± 11.4 kg, and 42 ± 17.0 kg, respectively. Models for the young, market-age, and breeding-age pigs were weight = 0.18 (length) + 0.36 (girth) – 16, weight = 0.39 (length) + 0.64 (girth) – 48, and weight = 0.36 (length) + 1.02 (girth) – 74, respectively. A single prediction model for weight = 0.25 (length) + 0.56 (girth) – 32 was also developed. Weight predicted by the models was a more accurate estimate than that provided by the farmers (P < .05). Length and girth explained 88% to 91% of the total variation in weight. Implications: The weight-estimation tool will empower Kenyan farmers to have better bargaining powers when they sell their pigs and will act as an incentive to better manage their pigs through improved feeding and husbandry.

Prediction of live body weight using length and girth measurements for pigs in rural Western Kenya

Prediction of live body weight using length and girth measurements for pigs in rural Western Kenya Mutua, F.K.; Dewey, C.E.; Arimi, S.M.; Schelling, E.; Ogara, W.O. Objectives: To develop and validate a pig weight-estimation method using body length and girth measurements. Methods: In a random sample of 288 smallholder pig farms in Western Kenya, pigs were weighed (kg) and their lengths and girths were measured (cm). Prediction models were generated using 75% of the data and validated using the remaining 25%. Weight was regressed on length and girth using mixed model analysis after controlling for village as a random effect. Models were developed for pigs categorized as young (? 5 months), market age (5.1 months to 9.9 months), and breeding age (? 10 months). Results: Weights (mean ± SD) of the young, market-age, and breeding-age pigs were 12 ± 6.1 kg, 30 ± 11.4 kg, and 42 ± 17.0 kg, respectively. Models for the young, market-age, and breeding-age pigs were weight = 0.18 (length) + 0.36 (girth) – 16, weight = 0.39 (length) + 0.64 (girth) – 48, and weight = 0.36 (length) + 1.02 (girth) – 74, respectively. A single prediction model for weight = 0.25 (length) + 0.56 (girth) – 32 was also developed. Weight predicted by the models was a more accurate estimate than that provided by the farmers (P < .05). Length and girth explained 88% to 91% of the total variation in weight. Implications: The weight-estimation tool will empower Kenyan farmers to have better bargaining powers when they sell their pigs and will act as an incentive to better manage their pigs through improved feeding and husbandry.

Farmer perceptions on indigenous pig farming in Kakamega District, Western Kenya.

Farmer perceptions on indigenous pig farming in Kakamega District, Western Kenya. Mutua, F.; Arimi, S.; Ogara, W.; Dewey, C.; Schelling, E. Objectives for this paper were to: study farmer beliefs and perceptions on local pig farming practices; and to explore opportunities for improved located production in selected villages of Western Kenya. The paper seeks to understand why the local pig breed still remains the predominant breed in these areas despite numerous calls to introduce better exotic breeds. Most pigs in Kenya are of exotic breeds, intensively managed on commercial farms. Focus group discussions were used to gather data. Discussions were taped, transcribed and translated from Swahili to English. Farmers use pigs to guard homes at night, pigs also act as a charm to protect families against evil spirits. Women farmers manage the family pigs, men sell the pigs. Farmers identified feeding, marketing, and breeding as the main challenges affecting the sector. The discussions identified a number of opportunities for improved production, and likely strengthened the bond between the farmers, researchers and staff. This created an outlook that can now be used in further public engagement as ongoing research studies on appropriate feed, health and improvement of market access are being analysed.

Farmer perceptions on indigenous pig farming in Kakamega District, Western Kenya.

Farmer perceptions on indigenous pig farming in Kakamega District, Western Kenya. Mutua, F.; Arimi, S.; Ogara, W.; Dewey, C.; Schelling, E. Objectives for this paper were to: study farmer beliefs and perceptions on local pig farming practices; and to explore opportunities for improved located production in selected villages of Western Kenya. The paper seeks to understand why the local pig breed still remains the predominant breed in these areas despite numerous calls to introduce better exotic breeds. Most pigs in Kenya are of exotic breeds, intensively managed on commercial farms. Focus group discussions were used to gather data. Discussions were taped, transcribed and translated from Swahili to English. Farmers use pigs to guard homes at night, pigs also act as a charm to protect families against evil spirits. Women farmers manage the family pigs, men sell the pigs. Farmers identified feeding, marketing, and breeding as the main challenges affecting the sector. The discussions identified a number of opportunities for improved production, and likely strengthened the bond between the farmers, researchers and staff. This created an outlook that can now be used in further public engagement as ongoing research studies on appropriate feed, health and improvement of market access are being analysed.