Development programs recommend fattening of pigs aged between 1 and 2 years by supplementing their local diet with industrial cereal bran, to improve womens' income. At the best moment to start this activity, just after the rainy season, high demand for these pigs induced higher prices and low margins. The start after the rainy season does not fit in the existing production system as farmers sell their surplus pigs before and during the rainy season. Traditional pig fattening lasts 3 years. About 60 women in 8 villages tested early fattening of young piglets. Piglets of the treatment were supplemented with a special concentrate and showed higher daily weight gains compared to the traditionally fed group. The gross margin of the early fattening was equal to the recommended pig fattening, but the first solved problems related to availability of piglets and thus fits better in the existing production system. Almost half of the early fattened pigs were sold within a year. Most of the women appreciated the experiment positively and suggested positive margins can be attained by selecting suitable piglets and rigorously respecting feeding and management schemes. Criteria were developed for selecting the most suitable piglets with a simple tailor tape. A projection on 3 years shows that the gross margin of early fattening is higher compared to traditional fattening and that it facilitates the production of more meat against lower cost.
|Journal||Livestock Research for Rural Development|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|