Security on Your Pig Farm. Pigs Robbers on the Loose

March 2, 2015

It seems the demand for pork meat have caused some individuals to start the business of stealing pigs to supply. We woke up yesterday to realize that 10 huge pigs have been stolen from my neighbours’ farm. The thieves could not carry the animals live so they actually slaughtered them on the farm before transporting them away. His farm was about 2km from the nearest village with nobody on site.

His situation is not peculiar, majority of pigs farmers do not have any form of security on their farm. No gate to the farm, nobody on site, farm not fenced, farm manager staying far from farm. If this situation pertains in your farm, its not too late to tighten the security around your farm. Other form of security breach are discussed below;

Renting Your Boar or Crossing Your Sows in Another Farm

It is not very advisable to rent your boar out to cross sows or gilts in another farm. It is a lapse in security of your animals. I have seen a farmer loose all his animals because his neighbour took his females to another farm to be crossed, unfortunately, they contacted African Swine Virus thereby affecting all the animals in the farm. Over 300 pigs died due to this mistake. Just Yesterday, a colleague sent his boar out to another farm to service some gilts, before it got to the farm, the huge boar died on the road. Stress of handling during the transportation probably killed it.

No Bio- Security on Farm

A lot of farmers do not have any form of Bio-Security on their farms. People go in and out of their farms at will, And this is another serious lapse in security that can lead to deaths of animals. Anything going in or out of the farm ought to be disinfected.  Any disinfectant could be used to disinfect anybody going to the farm. Even vehicles bringing in food or water to the farm must be disinfected since Lot’s of diseases are being spread by transportation. Therefore it is necessary to consider the importance of cleaning and disinfecting  vehicles.

Quarantine Period For New Animals

Farmers should have a room to keep newly purchased animals for a while before they are introduced to the main farm. This quarantine room will give the farmer ample time to observe the animals critically for any disease, Some also do not collect the veterinary report on animals they intend to purchase, These are serious lapses in security that can cause you big time so buy from only reputable farms and also, ensure the veterinary officer conduct comprehensive test on the animals to ensure it is disease free.

I bought this pig to supply to a client. Its just by God’s grace that my herds are okay because i took a big gamble. I have already lost one of them but if i have done due diligence, i should not be in this situation.

In conclusion, all i am saying is that pig business is money business. So don’t gamble with your investment and ensure you protect your investment.

If you  have about 300 pigs that are 80-100kg (Carcass Weight)  each on  site, the worth of your pigs is about 2.5 to 3 billion old Ghana Cedis, you don’t play gamble with such investment. So you don’t entertain any other pig on your farm and you don’t have to give people favours. Renting your boar out, keeping peoples animals in your site and so on. My old boy use to say that,        ” If your kindness go kill you, don’t offer it”

How to Prepare Quality feed for your Weaned Pigs

February 15, 2015

Feeding accounts for almost 80% the cost of producing pigs to market size. Unfortunately, most pigs farmers still want to feed their animals left over from chop bars and grass. Others too in their attempt to cut down cost feed them only malt waste from the brewery and cassava peels. If you want to benefit from pig farming, you need to feed your animals like how the poultry farmers feed their birds. Prepare feed for them.

Another major challenge is that most farmers give all the pigs the same kind of feed. So if it is malt and cassava peels, every  animal on the farm eat malt and cassava. But ideally, starters, growers and sows should be given entirely different feed for optimum growth.

Preparing Feed for Starters

After weaning your animals, they ought to be given nutritious feed for them to grow quickly. Ideally, a pig should reach 100kg in six month  after weaning. Unfortunately, most farmers rear their pigs for close to one and half years before getting close to 100kg. This pig below gave birth two months ago and it  is about 8 months old but weighs less than 25kg.

Malnourished 8 month sow
Malnourished 8 month sow

 

Below is a starter feed formula given to my good friend pig farmer in Akuse. Pig farmers can use it to prepare feed for starters to make them pick up well. You can use rice bran in place of wheat bran.

ITEM

QUANTITY

UNIT PRICE(GH)

MAIZE

8

50

WHEAT BRAN

15

15

SHELLS

10kg

5

SOYA CAKE (Grind again)

2

150

FISH MEAL

2

150

PALM KERNEL CAKE  (Grind again)

1

20

CUPRA CAKE              (Grind again)

1

25

SALT

5KG

10

VITAMIN PREMIX

2.5KG

15

LYSINE

1.5KG

15

METHIONINE

2KG

20

MYCOFIX

1 KG

20

 

Total weight of this formulation  is 1046 kg and it will cost about  GH1300.00. All these ingredients can be purchased at Ashaiman Timber Market.

How to feed your weaned  Piglets

Another mistake most farmers make is that in their bid to control cost, they feed their animals reduced quantity of feed so that the feed can last long. The right thing to do is to note that each piglet should receive a quota of 0.5kg of feed every day. So suppose you weaned 100 piglets. below is the table of the quantity of feed you have to give them daily.

MONTH QUANTITY OF FEED/DAILY
FIRST MONTH 50KG
SECOND MONTH 100KG
THIRD MONTH 150KG
FOURTH MONTH 200KG
FIFTH MONTH 250KG
SIX MONTH 300KG

 

If you can follow this plan religiously, then know you can attain 100kg easily in six month. But if you want to play management with your feeding, then expect to raise a pig like the one above.

Challenges of Supplying the Mall Pork Meat

January 11, 2015
West Hill Mall

West Hill Mall

The joy and excitement of supplying the Mall pork meat waned just after one week when i realized that the work was not an easy task. It becomes even more difficult when you do not have the pigs in your farm. The major challenge is meeting the requirement set up by the authorities of the mall. Some of the challenges of not supplying for the past two weeks were;

Scarcity of Pigs

Shortage of pigs during the past festive season was quite unbearable. Pigs were scarce due to a lot of factors i will not want to enumerate here. It helped push up the price of pork which is a good thing. However, obtaining 10 pigs a week on a constant basis actually forced me to hold on with the contract and prepare well.

Pig Business is Serious Money Business

It is not easy buying pigs to supply. You need to have a good capital base to enter into this line of business. Supplying 40 pigs in a month before being paid is not a fluke. You will need roughly GH30,000.00 to be able to supply continuously for one month. unfortunately, i did not have that kind of cash in last December. I was also strongly advised from going for a loan  from  micro-finance companies.

Weight range of Pigs wanted at the Mall

I have been supplying pigs to some pork joint in my neighborhood for about 3 months now and all the pigs i buy have carcass weight of about 45 – 55kg. My clients want pigs with carcass weight within the range of 60- 70 kg. The animals should also not be fatty. Getting such animals is not easy. In large quantities almost impossible.

Way Forward

To supply within the coming week, i need partnership from  serious pig farmers who have the pigs in Large quantities. I am a very busy person and don’t really have time roaming for pigs to buy to supply. So if you are a farmer out there with pigs within the range of 50kg to 80kg and you have 150 – 200 of such pigs, look for my number on this blog and give me a call. We need to secure this opportunity before it is taken from us.

Advise to Fellow Pig Farmers 

Some of us have been joking as pig farmers. We rear 10 animals and we say we are pig farmers. We need to increase our capacity. If we don’t want importation of pigs, then we need to rear a lot. The minimum animals a farmer should have should be 200 pigs on the farm. Demand is growing and we need serious farmers to help supply. We are starting with 10 pigs a week. It will grow to 50 pigs a week by next year because more malls are coming up.

Getting the weight required  means we have to feed the animals well. A farmer should hit this target in 6 months if the animals are fed well. So pig farmers out there, together we can make this work. So please give me a call if you have the animals and lets do business.

As William Arthur said; Opportunities are like sunrises, if you wait too long you will miss them. Call before it is too late. Happy new year to all my followers.

Hurray, Pig farmers get order to supply pigs to Newly built Mall

December 19, 2014

agromacpigs_thumb.jpgAfter chasing for a contract to supply the Accra Mall for a whole year, luck finally smiled on me today when I was given the contract to supply one of the malls Pork Meat. I am required to get at least 10 pigs with the average weight of 60 to 70kg carcass weight to the mall every week. The carcass should be lean with minimal fat.

What will it take to raise a Pig to that Weight

Raising Pigs profitably depends on the type of breed and quality of feed given. Mistakes most farmer make is to buy just any pigs as breeding stock. Farmers are to ensure they get the right breeding stock when starting their farms. This alone can save them a lot of wasted money. A well fed Large White Pig can attain a weight of 80kg to 100kg in 7 months if fed well.

Unfortunately,  most farmers in their attempt to cut down on feeding cost feed their animals brewery waste (Malt) mixed with cassava. The malt itself is not so nutritious, It contain high fiber with minimal protein. You cannot feed your animals only this combination and expect them to grow well. You only end up producing fatty pig which is not wanted of late. My next article would be on how to feed your pigs well.

My problem right now is how to get the quality pig the malls want. So if you are a pig farmer out there and you have pigs that weigh roughly around 70 to 80kg live weight. Then call me and lets do business, It is an opportunity for all of us, So pig farmers out there, lets make this work.

Increased Demand for Pork meat

Surprisingly, my prediction that there could be shortage of pigs came to pass. I have heard of middlemen going round with KIA trucks looking for pigs to buy and they are not getting. My little research at the malls indicates that they need 50 pigs every week. Aunt Julie kills 30 pigs everyday. Adding all the pork joints, hotels and the smaller marts I can estimate that Accra alone needs about  300 pigs every week.

This translate into 1200 pigs a month and 14400 pigs a year for Accra alone.  Adding Tema’s demand into the equation, you are looking at roughly 20,000 pigs annually for Accra and Tema.  So the question is, if we cannot produce this amount, what option do we leave the government? It will allow importation from Burkina Faso and other countries.

In over two years of rearing pigs, i have not seen a pig farmer with up to 1000’s of pigs and i think  this is the level we pig farmers must strife to attain. Let’s increase our capacity to rear at least 500 to 1000 pigs. If we can get 40 serious farmers with a herd size of about 500, we can supply both Accra and Tema. We just need to grow a lot of Soya beans and Maize as a country. This can be done. Our land is rich, we have water,so what’s our problem. Surprisingly, This amount can be supplied by just one farm in the USA. Obasanjo’s Farms in Nigeria is also producing a lot. Ghana also need the likes of Obasanjo’s who can invest their wealth to feed the nation. Pig farming is lucrative if it is done well.

So coming back to the main issue, we need pigs. So if you are out there with lots of pigs, just call me on 0244092052. I will not start supplying if i am not sure of a regular supply of pigs. I just don’t want to disappoint. That was the only warning I was given. ” We don’t want disappointments and excuses”. If you are also contemplating  starting a pig farm, this is the time to start.You need any help, give me a call. Consultation will not be free next year.

Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year to all my blog readers

 

 

Pigs Wanted Urgently

December 8, 2014

agromacpigs2.jpgI never believed i will also be going round looking for pigs to buy for my two clients who need about 200kg every week.Pigs seems to be short this year and i believe if everything remains equal, the price will rise to the benefit of farmers.

Why is there Shortages of Pigs?

As i explained in my last article, there are numerous factors helping the increase in the local demand for pigs. The government needs to be applauded for cutting the import quota of importers who normally import large volumes of pork meat  into the country. Presently, to help the local currency, importation of pork meat  has been reduced drastically.

The new malls is also helping in boosting demand. I know of a member who needs 50 pigs every week to satisfy one of the malls. He is not even getting the pigs to supply.

The low price of pigs coupled with increase in feeding cost with the effect of the African Swine Fever made some pig farmers quit the business altogether. So for this year, farmers who managed to feed their animals well will laugh all the way to the bank.

If you are also contemplating this business, this is the time to start. You need any help, just give me a call. Consultation is free for this year. From next year onward, prospective pig farmers would pay a consultation fee.

So if you are a farmer out there with lots of pigs and you want market, please give me a call and let me link you up. my number is 0244092052 .

Middle Men Fight over sale of my Pigs

November 22, 2014

My weaners are growingWonders they say never ends. Last Saturday, I was surprised to see  two middle men from Accra on my farm  who wanted to buy six of the pigs i was actually  reserving for Christmas. Whilst one had cash at hand, the other wanted a 10 day grace period before the money was delivered with the assurance of buying 30 pigs later.

But who sells pig on credit these days? I just followed my conscience and gave it to the buyer with cash since i needed the cash to buy feed. After the sale I wondered a little and started asking myself plenty questions. Why the rush for pigs all of a sudden? What has changed in the pig Industry? Is there shortage of pigs?

Why the rush for Pigs Now?

In the beginning of the Year,  African Swine Fever  wiped out most of the pigs  in Western Region and  in Greater Accra. This has resulted in some farmers folding up and leaving the business all together. Millions of pigs were also culled as a result. Importers also seem to have slowed down on the importation due to the exchanged rate, at a point during the year, the Cedi was almost GH4.00 to a Dollar.

Demand for pigs has also increased significantly due to the opening of the West Hill Mall. Lastly, it seems Ghanaian’s are really enjoying the pork meat because the pork joints have increased significantly. All these factors have increased the demand for meat which is quite short in the system.

So to the farmers who were able to keep the animals well, I believe their cocoa season has come. If you are also contemplating starting a pig farm, now is the time to start because i don’t see the demand coming down soon.

Delivered my First Pork Meat

Last year by this time, i had over 120 matured pigs with nobody to buy. I chased for middle men to purchase my pigs. They all wanted to rip me apart. What options did i have then? And its not a funny thing if you have animals you cannot feed. I had to let the animals go for pittance. So I decided to find my own market. My first option was to open a joint, but the pressure of work will not allow me to handle it well.

So I targeted the pork joints. God being so good, I had my first contract two days ago. I delivered 200kg of pork to two different pork joints in my neighborhood.

Since my matured pigs had finished, I traveled to another pig farm at Nsanwam to buy them at GH8.00 per kilo carcass weight. So if you are out there and you have animals to sell. Just Hala me on 0244092052. Will come to your farm and buy already dressed pig. Its not really about making profit, I just want to create market outlet for some members who have pigs so that when mine is ready, i will already have some market outlets.

Pork Market to be Established

Plans are far underway to establish a pork Market at the Texpo Markets off the Spintex Road. It would afford consumers the chance to buy directly from the farmers. Influence of middle men would be minimized drastically in this business when the pork market is established. Help is however needed since the cost is very high. But if farmers really want to enjoy the fruit of their labour, all hands should be on board to make the pork market work.

Workshop Postponed till January

The workshop for pig farmers has been postponed till January due to financial constraint. Organizing this workshop would cost at least GH3,000.00 which the executives are still combing around for cash. So hopefully in the fourth week of January 2015, The Pig Farmers Association of Ghana would host its first general workshop for pig farmers.

 

In all, the year has been a good one. Even though we had our challenges, i believe the pig industry is still growing. Pig farmers should come together to make the industry a better one. If you don’t hear from me again this year, then I am wishing all my fellow pig farmers out there a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year in advance.

 

Pure Large White Boar for Crossing

August 9, 2014
Large White Boar crossing my gilts

Large White Boar crossing my gilts

After almost two years of waiting, I finally secured a pure large white boar from the Nungua Breeding Station. I refused to cross my gilts because i wanted the best of breeds for my pigs. The breed I bought initially I guess where crossbreeds. The new boar I believe will get me the best of breeds on my farm.

The success of a pig farmer lies most importantly on the type of breed of pigs being reared on the farm. There are some breed that will look like piglets even after four to five months. The boar I brought to the farm weighed 105 kilogram. It was seven month old.

So if you are farmer and your pigs are not putting on weight, then it is either you are not feeding them well or you don’t have the right breed of pigs on your farm. I will advice you to sell off all your pigs and change your breeding stock.

I am starting all over again. I will maintain a 15 sow unit on the farm and do some little work on marketing before they mature. Hopefully, my next generation pigs can hit 120kg in 8 months.

Pig Farming Challenges and Opportunities

August 2, 2014
Pig Farmers Executives meet Agriculture Minister

Pig Farmers Executives meet Agriculture Minister

It’s been a while since I last posted articles on this blog. I have not abandoned the pig farming business but rather looking for ways and means to make the Pig farmers Association a Stronger one.

We met the deputy minister of  Food and Agriculture in June to deliberate on numerous issues affecting pig farming in Ghana, we were admonished to build a strong database of all pig farmers in Ghana. Other issues deliberated upon will be in my next article.

This year did not start well for pig farmers in general. The outbreak of African Swine Fever in the Western Region caused a lot of farmers to loose their pigs. Pockets of the disease has also caused harvoc in Greater Accra.  What this means is that there is going to be shortage of pigs during the Christmas festivities.  My recommendations for prospective pig farmers, don’t bother yourself to buy gilts, buy piglets and fatten them for Christmas.

More opportunities exist in the pig industry but it is quite unfortunate that every prospective pig farmers wants to rear pig. Marketing of pig products is highly profitable.  I will encourage those who want to invest in this business to seriously consider feed processing and marketing.

Challenges in Pig Farming

High Cost of Feed

The greatest challenge in the pig farming  Industry in  Ghana is the high cost of feed.  Wheat bran in my locality  is  going for about $6.00 per 25kg bag. If the country cannot invest more in agriculture and grow more maize,  then all the hullabaloo about the poultry farmers producing  40% of our meat requirements would remain a mirage.

Bio-Security

This is one area most pig farmers take for granted and it has  caused some farmers to loose all their animals.  We allow anybody to visit our farms without any form of disinfectation, we transfer animals to our farms without any check on their health,  we rent our boars out to cross gilts in another farm, These are just a few lapses in our bio security that we take for granted. Pig farmers need to be educated to make them aware of the long term effect of continuously ensuring basic bio security on their farms.

Marketing Agency

Imagine what will happen if we had an agency like COCOBOD in the Pig Industry. I will call it  Ghana Livestock Board. It’s role will be to buy all livestock at an agreed price, process and market. At least it will create a ready market and a uniform price for pig and other livestock all over the country.

No Feed Mill.
Lack of Feed mill is also a major problem. I had to drive for about 3 hours from Tema Roundabout to my farm around Winneba Roundabout to mix feed for my pig. At the mill, I met a poultry Farmer who was coming from Kpando, he claims in that vicinity up to Hohoi, there is no feed mill. Meaning for all the poultry and pig farmers in Volta Region, Central Region and even Western Region, there is no feed mill.
How can we produce in large quantities if we have to spend the whole day preparing one tonne or two tonne of feed? We need help but I don’t think the government is ready yet, so if you really want to invest in Agriculture to help poultry and pig farmers, invest in a feed mill for us.

 

 

Effect of African Swine Fever on Pig Farming in Ghana.

January 31, 2014

20130219_081453We were just about starting a pig market in Tema when the news of African Swine Fever in the Western Region of Ghana hit the headlines in Ghana. The news disturbed me a lot because I know the rippling effect it will have on pig farmers. There is a saying that if you see your neighbours house on fire, get enough water ready because your house might be the next to be burnt. Before we can even start
thinking of how to prevent it from spreading to the others regions, I think we ought to investigate how it got there in the first place

History
African Swine Fever was first reported in West Africa in April 1996 where over 120, 000 pigs were culled in Ivory Coast. They traced the Inception of the disease to a farmer who collected Swill from the leftover of a rich community in Abijan which patronized imported pork products.

The disease soon spread to Benin, Nigeria and Togo before being transferred to Ghana. Thousands of pigs were culled as a result.

How does the disease Start
The warthog and the bush pigs have been identified to be the source of the virus. The warthog and the Bush Pig are found in sub sahara Africa. Transmission of the virus from the Warthog and bush pig to domestic pigs is through the bite of the soft tick or by the ingestion of the warthog or bush pig tissue.

What this really means is that free ranging pigs have the highest tendency of getting infected since they can easily get bitten by infected soft ticks. Once infected, transmission to other pig farms within a wide radius is just matter of days

Movement of Pigs
As has been said earlier on ,infested pigs carrying the African Swine Fever virus should be properly managed to curb a fast breakout of the disease. It is imcumbent on the authorities to put in the right checks and balances to regulate the movements of pigs from one region of location to the other.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture ensure that vertinary offices at the district and municipal levels are well equiped to assist farmers to conduct the necessary inspections and provide the right documentation needed to transport safe and non-infested pigs to other locations.

The way forward
To protect the pig industry in Ghana, Authorities would have to regulate the activities of pig farmers nationwide. They can start by registering all pig farms or encourage them to join an association. Pig farms that do not meet some basic requirement must be closed down.

African Swine Fever was introduced into Portugal when a pig farmer fed leftovers from an Airport in Lisbon to his pigs. In most European countries, feeding of swill to pigs is illegal and a criminal act.

To protect the pig industry in Ghana, the Government would have to be proactive and pass some laws that can curb or totally reduce the occurrence of the African Swine Fever in Ghana

The issue of free ranging pigs must also be looked at. Most people do not eat pig because they are perceived to be dirty. When they see the animals wallowing in some dirty gutter, their apprehension towards that animal remain for a long time. Apart from the effect it has on the consumers, it is also one of the quickest means by which African Swine Fever can be introduced into the country. It will take some laws to get all pigs out of the gutter. What is our Government doing about free ranging pigs.

We have a long way to go as pig farmers. Whilst we were strategising on how to market our pigs, African Swine Fever shows its ugly head in the Western Region. If things are not done right, it will not take long before it affects pigs in the Central and Greater Accra Region. This is a fight all pig farmers should be prepared for.

The entire industry is hanging in a balance, we need to come together, have one strong voice before our concerns can be considered. Our next meeting is scheduled for the 8th of February, come and lets strengthen the association and plan our next line of action after the introduction of the African Swine Fever in the Western Region.

Pig Farming in Ghana; Review of 2013

December 29, 2013

20131206_142223All too soon we have come to the end of another successful year. Pig farming as picked up considerably in the year 2013. Major problems I foresee in 2014 will be marketing and pig importation.

I started 2013 with 8 gilts and a boar and at December 30th, I have six sows that have given birth twice, thirty five 7 to 10 months old weaners and 45 piglets.

During the course of the year, I with the help of some pig farmers and prospective pig farmers launched the Ghana National Association of Pig farmers. We have met twice with the next meeting scheduled for 8th February.

Challenges of 2014.
We have to brace ourselves for a very challenging but fruitful 2014. The major problem I envisage for pig farmers is lack of market. If we as pig farmers cannot come tigether and start a pig/Pork market, then we are going to be at the mercy of the middle men who will not mind chopping off our heads to maximize their profit.

Honestly, I think we need more guys to enter the processing and marketing section to make pig farming really profitable. So if you are contemplating starting a pig farm and you have cash, lets hook up, from my experience during this Christmas season, marketing and processing is much more profitable.

To all pig farmers in Ghana, to all those who have visited my blog, to all those who supported me when GNAPF was launched, I just want to use this opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous 2014


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