By Robert Tapfumaneyi
VALUE Chain Alliance for Livestock Upgrading and Empowerment has imported 245 pig breeding stock consisting of grandparent and parent breeds meant to assist hundreds of local swine producers to improve on their animals’ genes.
The pigs, which include the popular Duroc, Landrace, and Largewhite breeds were delivered last week and will be quarantined for 21 days at the Pig Industry Board (PIB).
VALUE is a local project under the European Union-funded Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme running for four years between 2019 and 2023. It is led by ActionAid Zimbabwe in partnership with COSV and Mercy Corps.
Running under the theme; “Pork Value Chain”, the project works with private sector pig farmers namely Bradford and Shamiso farms as integrators to support hundreds of small and medium producers.
“We are grateful to the government of Zimbabwe and the European Union for supporting this noble initiative. The top-quality genetics are coming in at a time the majority of small-scale farmers have expressed interest in accessing improved genetics,” VALUE team leader, Newton Chari told NewZimbabwe.com.
“Prevalence of tired pig genetics amongst small and medium pork producers has resulted in poor feed conversion ratios, increased susceptibility to diseases resulting in lower carcass weight and poor-quality meat thus affecting profits.
“The breeding stock will largely address breeding level system constraints that have otherwise affected our farmers in attaining the desired productivity, organisational efficiencies and market competitiveness.”
After the quarantine period, the pig breeding stock will be housed at Shamiso Farm (Mashonaland East Province Integrator) and Bradford Farm (Mashonaland West Province Integrator) while the other pigs will remain at the PIB. Farmers can access the genetics through these institutions in the form of boars and gilts or through artificial insemination services.
“The recent importation of new progeny and genetics is a serious indictment to the intent and key investment for competitive and comparative capacity being built into the small-scale pig production sector and its evolution and mainstreaming into commercial pig production industry,” said Samson Chauruka of Shamiso Farm.