Pig Farmers Association of Nigeria has called on the government at all levels to provide high breed species of pigs for farmers to boost their production.
Secretary of the Delta State chapter of the association, Mr. Joe Okolie, said, in Abuja, on Wednesday, that pig farming had been neglected over the years.
Okolie, who is also the Managing Director of JMO Farms Limited, said that if the government assisted farmers with high breed species of pigs, more people would be encouraged to go into pig farming.
The secretary, who described the business as lucrative, said that a pig farm could generate over N6 million annually.
He listed some of the high breed pigs, which could be found in developed countries, as “large white’’, “large black’’ and “American boron’’ species, among others.
Okolie said that pig farmers in the country had access to only low crosses of pigs which had gone through very long life spans and were, therefore, diminishing in production.
He said that a pig was a cheap, segregated animal whose protein level was high, adding that pork was very nutritious and affordable.
“Rearing pig is not very difficult venture and it is highly lucrative. A pig can give you 20 piglets and it produces three times a year.
“However, there are some limiting factors in pig production like capital because pigs are voracious eaters and if you do not have enough money, you may find it extremely difficult to rear pigs.
“We are looking at high breed species. We have pigs that are as tall as six feet and can produce up to 18 to 20 piglets once and the piglets become mature within five to six months. If you have such animals, then you are in business.
“If the government can provide high breed pigs and feeds for distribution across the states, it will go a long way in supporting pig farmers,’’ he said.
Okolie, however, said that swine fever, a viral disease, was a major killer disease afflicting pigs, adding that pig farmers should, therefore, clean and sanitise their farms regularly to curb the outbreak of the disease.
“Pigs have a gestation period of three months, three weeks and three days but swine fever is a viral disease that can wipe them out.
“In those days, we usually have sanitary inspectors coming to inspect farms but now, they are no longer there.
“I advise pig farmers to keep their environment and farms cleans,’’ he said.
Okolie appealed to government at all levels to always liaise with farmers’ associations during the distribution of farm inputs so as to identify and reach genuine farmers. (NAN)