"I got interested in raising pigs when I went to study at ARI. Before, my image of pig rearing was that people spend a lot of money, and yes, farmers in my community do spend a lot of money buying feed from the market. Often it doesn’t even contain the correct nutrients required for a healthy growth rate."
"Upon studying at ARI, I found that I can raise pigs at a low cost by using locally available materials to formulate my own feed in my community. This way of raising pigs can motivate other youth to go into farming and stay in the community, because it creates an income for them."
New pigs on the block - Joshua is raising local cross-breeds and Large Whites
"In December of 2020, I began pig farming with one mother sow and later I added another sow. The two sows farrowed in May and July of 2021, and I had 28 pigs in total. By 2022 I had four sows which farrowed in the midyear. My farm is in the Greater Accra Region, Ga East, Adenkrebi. It was registered in September 2021 under the name 'Paradise Hills Farm.' My pigs reach full growth (about 100kg) in 10-11 months. I formulate my own feed using locally available materials as given below:"
Carbohydrates: Maize and Cassava (bananas when in season)
Protein: Soya beans and fish meal
Fats & Oil: Wheat bran (palm fruits when in season)
Minerals: Egg shells, salt, red soil
Vitamins: Seasonal fruits such as papaya, bananas, and pineapples
Feed ingredients - look at the big cassava he is holding!
"I get 80 percent of these ingredients from my locality, and they are very affordable. Before my return, we had six pig farmers. After my return I taught many of the youth to use local materials in livestock rearing and now we have an additional seven young men who are doing pig farming.
Joshua’s homemade, fermented cassava grower feed
Basic recipe for 200 kg
130 kg Ground cassava (from local market, low price)
20 kg Soybeans (from town market, higher price)
20kg Fish meal (from town market)
30kg Wheat bran (from town market)
1 kg Salt
Handful Red soil one handful for each pig every two weeks
The cassava powder is mixed with the other ingredients, formed into a pile, covered, and left on the floor to ferment for 4 days. The mixture can be fed immediately to the pigs or stored in a plastic bag for roughly up to 7 days.
The following ingredients are plentiful, cheap, and often free when in season
Papaya and Pineapple (vitamins) – added to fermented feed mix
Palm fruits (fats and oil) – added to fermented feed mix
Bananas (carbohydrates) – the community is surrounded by banana trees which go unharvested. When in season, it is a free resource available to use in place of cassava. They need only be cooked, but if the amount is large, they can be fermented and stored for several days.
African Swine Fever reached Joshua's community over the summer and killed 90% of the pigs. He is now restarting his own piggery with one pregnant sow which was, luckily, on another farm at the time of the outbreak. She has already farrowed, the pen is full of healthy piglets. Joshua says he takes this trouble as a lesson and he will not give up!