ZAMBIA – Zambia Pig genetics and Leopard Company has launched first of its kind pig compartment facility in the country with the aim of providing a high-level biosecurity zone for safe pig production.

The company recently had its piggeries Chisamba and Chongwe fully certified and approved for the sale and export of pigs and pig products, hence necessitating the move.

To support the project, the government has committed to deploying veterinary and para-veterinary professionals to rural areas to help unlock the value chain within the livestock industry and protect the animals from disease.

Company Director Carl Irwin affirmed the local farmers that pig farming will be more lucrative now that the health status of pigs will be looked after, assuring the production of a breed that would yield more weight and be resistant to diseases.

The process of certifications began three years ago and was finalised in December 2022, and comprised instructing farmers on the right guidelines and protocols involved in pig farming.

Domestic production of pigs in Zambia is limited with the national herd constituting 481,000 animals, as of 2001. The country produced 1,100 tonnes of meat per year, according to a review of the animal and aquafeed industries in Zambia by G. Bentley and M. Bentley.

This has seen a certain positive growth trajectory with the country’s pork production in 2020 being 65,224 tonnes, translating to a pork consumption per capita of 3.5kg.

Marketed pork in the country however is generated almost exclusively on commercial farms like Zambia Pig Genetics and Leopard Company while traditionally produced pigs are generally reserved for home consumption.

Of the many obstacles the pig industry in the country is riddled with, the low consumption rate appears to be a significant one. Zambians have been reported to typically prefer fish, poultry and beef as compared to pork.

Other challenges in the industry include high production costs and diseases such as E.coli, greasy pig disease and the infamous African Swine Fever (ASF).

The sector has also been wallowing in the impacts of the drought experienced in 2019/20, which has pushed feed ingredient prices up leading to the recent sharp increases in the cost of pig feed.

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