Husbandry Practices, Farmers’ Perception and Constraints of Pig Farming in Bishoftu and Holeta Areas, Central Ethiopia
The study was conducted to describe and compare the current pig production practices in Bishoftu and Holeta towns and their surroundings, central Ethiopia. The areas were selected since they are the most important pig production areas in the country. A structured questionnaire was used to interview 20 and 23 pig farmers from Holeta and Bishoftu, respectively. The parameters studied in the survey included socio-economic characteristics, production and management, ownership, herd structure, purpose of keeping, feed resource, feeding and fattening practices, reproductive management, meat utilization and marketing, and pig production constraints. Results indicate that household characteristics of pig keepers did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) between the two study areas. Pig farmers keep adapted exotic pig breeds. Herd composition did not differ statistically (P > 0.05) between the two study areas. Mean pig herd size per household was 5.72. The majority (58%) practice both pig breeding and fattening. The two study areas were similar (P > 0.05) in the type of pig house. Pigs were permanently housed by 88.4% of the households. Major feed sources offered to
pigs in both study areas include household wastes, market wastes and crop residues. Reproductive managements did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) between the two study areas. Similar results (P > 0.05) were obtained for origin of animal stocks in the two study areas. Most (83.7 %) of the farmers acquired their foundation stock from local markets. The farmers did not slaughter pigs for home consumption and pigs were kept as a source of income. Farmers in both study areas named high cost of feeds, followed by pig mortality due to diseases, marketing constraints and lack of capital as major constraints for pig production. Despite the existence of production constraints, most respondents had aspiration to continue rearing pigs and plan to expand pig farm. It can be concluded that an improvement of pig production in Central Ethiopia should consider an improvement in feeding
practices, marketing system, prevention of diseases, and a reduction of inbreeding.