There seems to be an area in pig farming that farmers are taking for granted .That is, identities of farmhands and caretakers in charge of their farms. I will recount two true stories of misfortune some pig farmers have suffered at the hands of their farmhands.
Akwesi is a pig farmer at Winneba with about 300 pigs. Business was so good for him that after some sales he made in March 2016. He decided to take a one week holiday to the United states. Unfortunately, he made the caretaker aware he was traveling.
When he returned to the farm after two weeks, Caretaker informed him his farmhand had traveled to his hometown. After taking stock of his pigs, he realized he had lost 80 matured pigs worth GH60,000.00, an equivalent of $15,000.00.
He reported the theft to the police and the Caretaker was arrested and placed in the cells, but he swore he knew nothing of the missing animals.Police officers wanted some information on the farmhand but all Akwesi knew about his farmhand was his name. No ID, no picture, he did not even know his residence within the community. The theft affected him so much that he had to put the farm up for sale.
Woyongo is another rich pig farmer in the Oil City of Ghana, He worked with Tullow oil in Takoradi. He started a pig farm at the outskirt of the city and started with 10 gilts. After about 12 months, he had close to 100 pigs of different ages. Unfortunately he was transferred to Accra. But his farmhand/ Caretaker managed the farm for him. He visited twice a month because of work schedule. However, he provided feed and other necessary items needed on the farm and always had 2-3 months feed supply.
Before his last visit, he realized the farmhands’ phone number was not going through. He followed up to his farm and had the shock of his life, his farm was empty. Not even a piglet was in the farm. Where should he start from?, his farm hand was nowhere to be found. Mobile phone had been off for two weeks. All he knew was that his farm hand came from Nzema and his name was Baba. He could not even remember the full name. He had no picture of Baba. His Ultra Modern Pig farm is still empty till date. Baba had killed his spirit. This is not fiction. Na true story.
My point here is simple, you have spent so much on your farm so pay attention to details. Get to know the full details of whoever is near your investment. If your workers cannot provide at least two guarantors who can vouch for him, please don’t hire him.
Get their picture, make photocopy of their ID, get at least two guarantors of the worker and please, know where they stay in the community. If possible, know their relatives.
University of Ghana offer six month training for individuals who want to work as farmhands in pig farms. They take these individuals through basic procedure like cleaning the sty, injecting the pigs, castration, record keeping etc, you can contact them if you need some of their granduants as farmhands.
And if you are a farmer out there and you don’t have any particulars of your workers, it is not too late, Christmas is just around the corner. Don’t wait for your animals to disappear before you realize you don’t even know the full name of your worker.
A merry Xmas in advance to all my faithful followers.