If you fear soiling your clothes then you have no business talking anything farming and earning clean justifiable money/income. The statement is a fact to those who still struggle to understand why Agriculture is regarded as the backbone to most economies in the world. For Instance Pig farming is quoted as the most profitable exercise and suitable for people who would want to make quick money yet it involves some activities not everyone can cope up doing.
Did you know that this type of farming is taking root in Kenya’s capital Nairobi? A number of rich people are already into this business. Some started with as little as a pig and now narrates stories of how they have been making hundreds of thousands as profit each month.
Such stories are awash in many slum dwelling areas in Nairobi. Just to pin-point, deep in the valleys of Mathare, Huruma, two brothers are minting good money from pig farming after they almost lost their future to an alleged crime which made them spend ten years in prison each. Their journey of transformation has seen them rear hundreds of pigs in their small farm just close to the filthy Mathare river.
After just 9 years, the two have managed to settle down with their families. They have also invested heavily in real estate and drive expensive cars in and out of their farm everyday. Having been in the business for some time, the duo shared with Agritours some of the basics required to establish a successful pig farm in Nairobi.
Suitable Farm Land
Pigs require adequate space in a quite environment. This is opposite to the conditions in various regions in Nairobi. It is therefore important to consider, select and settle for a farm favorable to the growth of your pigs.
Apart from basing your selection on the number of pigs and security of the neighborhood, also consider the following;
- Pick a calm and quiet place far from the noisy residential areas in Nairobi.
- Your firm must be located close to a source of sufficient water i.e a pond, river etc.
- Consider proximity of the farm to a market in the area. This ensures that you can easily sell your products and buy necessary things from the market.
- Also, ensure that the area/farm selected is close to a veterinary service provider.
- Local cost of acquisition and accessibility to feeding elements help to reduce production cost.
- Try to settle for land in slum areas to be sure of getting cheap labor, feeding elements and even lower the cost of buying or renting the land.
While choosing proper breeds for your business, consider the following signs in the pigs. Remember that it is the breeds you end up with that will determine the quality of products you deliver in the market hence increase your chances of beating your competitors.
The most common and profitable breeds in Nairobi are Large White, Land race, Yorkshire, Duroc and Hampshire.
Also ensure that the piglets you pick have a pair of bright eyes, glossy coat, alert and responsive to it’s surrounding environment, have good temperament, good appetite for food, moves easily and normally and are free from natural signs of disability such as lameness.
While purchasing, ask the farmer to provide you with their health information, history of treatment, growth chart and any other important records in their possession.
Also consider their price tags. For instance, a month old pregnant Large White sow retails at an average of Sh45, 000 while a Duroc and Hamphire retails at Sh40,000 in most farms.
Considering that a pig requires a space of at least 24 square meters, in order to raise two pregnant sows, on should consider a constructing a pig shed measuring at least 20 meters by 24 meters. This is because, after a gestation period of three months, each pig is likely to sire at least 10 piglets.
Pigs are very sensitive to temperature. Generally, adult pigs are very sensitive to hot temperature and piglets are affected adversely by cold temperature. There is therefore a need to control temperature in the pigsty. This also helps maximize growth and production in your farm.
A strong, warm and spacious pigsty measures about 30 by 45 meters. This will consume about Sh75,000 as costs for timber, 25 iron sheet measuring 3 meters and nails.
Other requirements will include;
- 15 wheelbarrows of ballast.
- 10 wheelbarrows of sand
- 5 bags of cement.
- Saw dust which helps keep pigs warm
Feeding is the most important part of pig farming. Good and nutritious food always ensure good production. Pigs can be fed on both meat and grains. Corn is their main food but having a diet of protein from soybeans or cooked meat will be effective too.
Piglets need higher protein sources of food than the adult pigs. Along with sufficient nutritious food, always serve them sufficient amount of clean water.
A pig consumes an average of 3 to 4 kgs of feed per day. This translates to about 120 kgs per month.
Pure breeding is purely a mating process for your pigs. Such must be determined by you in consultation with a veterinary service provider in your firm.
Cross breeding, out breeding and in breeding is the common types of pig breeding models you can use in Nairobi.
Sows produce piglets twice a year and about 10 piglets each time.
There is no specific pork market in Nairobi. However due to popularity of pork products like ham, bacon, sausages and burgers; companies like Farmers Choice located in Kahawa West in the outskirts of Nairobi are buying directly from farmers.
The company slaughters about 400 pigs per day and pays farmers according to cold dressed weight (CDW) after slaughter. Farmers can also sell their pigs to Lytano slaughter house in Nairobi, Ndumboini in Kiambu, Kabati in Murang’a among others.
Reading this, you really have no reason to worry about marketing your products once you have set up your pigsty, brought in quality breeds, maintained their health, fed them properly and apply proper breeding technique. Just like the two brothers in Huruma Estate, Nairobi, you will be smiling to the bank each and every month as your pig farming business continues to grow.