Although pig farming has not really picked up in Liberia like other parts of Africa, the number of small-scale pig farmers is, however, increasing despite inadequate extension services and the low percentage of agriculture investment.
Augustine Moore, a pig farmer in Gborfehla in Margibi County, is an example of a farmer who is increasing pig production. He joyfully told the Daily Observer recently on his farm that he has no worries about being employed because raising pigs gives him enormous profits.
Moore is a graduate of the William R. Tolbert Agriculture College who has ventured into pig farming in his village after obtaining agricultural skills.
He started his pig raising business with two sows (female pigs) and two boars (male pigs) on Shalom’s Farm in Gborfehla. At the moment he has a good number of pigs.
This has greatly motivated him to remain fully engaged in pig farming for his livelihood for the past five years.
He revealed that his secret to good pig farming is to improve on their sanitation, natural feed (cassava, corn, potatoes, grains, palm kernel, dried fish) and addressing their health problems.
Moore admitted that pig farming can be profitable through good breeding (process of giving birth to piglets).
“When selecting the female breed to mate, it is important to know the number of piglets it produces before buying from the farmers. A sow that produces more piglets will give more income.
“One should also ensure regular feeding for good marketable weight and proper health care,” he said.
Although Moore and other pig farmers are making profit, they face many challenges. He said pig farmers are using herbs, worm tablets and antibiotics which are not scientifically approved to treat their sick pigs.
“Limited knowledge about pig diseases and lack of money to buy proper pig medicine are some of the main challenges.
“Anytime I notice one of my pigs is sad and not eating, I give it worm medicine, which works sometimes,” Abraham Dennis, another pig farmer, told this newspaper recently in Margibi.
“I use herbs and engine oil to treat skin diseases on my pigs; I know it is not proven scientifically, but what is proven scientifically I cannot afford,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Daily Observer learned that wheat brand, recommended by animal trainers as the main feed for pigs is getting expensive on the market.
A 50kg bag of wheat brand costs LD$150 and transporting the product to farms in Margibi County, pig farmers say, further increases the cost.