WINDHOEK – To boost local pig production, two South African experts, Duncan Stephenson and Lauren Trusler, will address members of the Pig Producers Association at their annual general meeting (AGM) tomorrow on basic bio-security and the value of a balanced ration.
Under the theme, Feeding for Success, the AGM comes at a time of increased interest in pig farming but with most only having between three and ten pigs. Vast potential for growth is possible as was shown last year when Namibia had to import about 1,049 tonnes of pork, 38 percent less than in the same period in 2016. Pig farming proved a sector that was never affected during three difficult years of livestock export drama for Namibian producers from 2013 to 2016 because Namibia is not yet in a position to export pork.
Stephenson, of Lionels Veterinary Suppliers in South Africa, paid Namibian pig farmers a visit last year, reminding commercial producers of the importance to keep up with the latest technology regarding floor construction, heating and waste handling and recommended that farmers on any level invest in pig feeders. He explained that South Africans consume less than 4 kg per person per year while in Germany people consume more than 53 kg of pork every year.
Pig farming in Namibia is still very much a family set-up. Whether it is in a remote communal area or on a more commercial scale, pig farming has traditionally stayed within the family or community. But things are changing fast and with the infant protection the industry is receiving in Namibia, pig farming is growing in all areas. It is now accepted that it is not economically viable to farm with less than 250 pigs in the commercial market.
The Namibian pig industry is still facing big challenges despite the protection it enjoys from the government. The Meat Board of Namibia (MBN) introduced the Pig Protection Scheme in 2012 on a trial basis to promote and protect local pig producers. Through the scheme, the MBN worked out a formula for fluctuating monthly.