Agri-business Business

Keembe to double pig production

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
KEEMBE Piggery intends to double its pig production capacity to 2,000 from 1,000 pigs annually to meet the demand for sows (female pigs).
To this effect, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock with the help of the World Bank expansion of the piggery have embarked on a construction and breeding project at Keembe piggery.
In an interview last week in Keembe, Livestock Development Trust director Renford Gombwa said the decision to increase production is due to high demand in breeding stocks from farmers, especially those who lost their pigs from the African swine fever.
Dr Gombwa said good selection of gilts is important for maintaining a productive herd.
He said, “We are increasing in terms of piggery panels as well as introducing an artificial insemination research centre, we are also doubling our capacity to about 2,000 pigs and we hope the centre can open before the end of this year or early next year.”
Currently, the piggery has about 179 maiden gilts, 281 piglets, 485 weaners (general term for weaned pigs) among others and has the capacity to offload over 20 gilts for sale on the market on a monthly basis.
Dr Gombwa, however, said the biggest cost in piggery enterprise is feed stating that, “About 70 percent of the costs are related to feed production. Keembe has about 1,279 pigs and we spend about K50, 000 on feed per month. We try to grow our own maize which is a major ingredient.”
Dr Gombwa said there is need for Government to allocate land where maize can be cultivated to help reduce the cost of feed at the centre.
He said the piggery has about 10 workers who help mix the feed for the animals.

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