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Namibian Army Base Converted to a Piggery

by 5m Editor
17 June 2008, at 10:42am

NAMIBIA - A Kavango woman, along with her husband, has purchased a 30-hectare plot which was formerly a military base for 202 Battalion that was one of the South African army units. She has now converted this plot of land into a piggery.

According to AllAfrica, the piggery specialises mainly in free-roaming indigenous pigs for pork.

In an area where a farmer cannot be classified as such unless they plant millet or they rear Samba cattle, this innovative woman has ventured into largely unknown territory.

Forty-one-year old Rundu-born Mukano Maria Baleka Domingo has a thriving pig farm at Cubu Farm at Kasote some 15 kilometres outside town in the Kapako Constituency.

Her stock comprises mainly of white indigenous pigs that are very hardy and scavenge for their food and are known to convert food with a low nutrient content efficiently.

She said she started pig farming in 2002 with a start-up stock of a mere two animals given to her through a Luxembourg-funded rural poverty alleviation scheme.

Through the scheme, prospective pig farmers received a sow and a boar for breeding, after which they were expected to give a similar breeding pair back to the scheme once their animal gave birth. And these pigs from the farmers were in turn given to the others.

Like they say, Baleka Domingo literally received a pig in a poke as she was lucky that one of her friends gave her one pig and she also bought another two from another villager who was not keen on this sort of farming which more than doubled her animals to five.

Since sows can reproduce twice in a year with each litter consisting of between five to 12 piglets, her pig stock has now swelled drastically to a 100 animals.

The number of her stock would have been higher as she often sells some pigs to government officials and to an information technology (IT) businessman based at Rundu.

Since market forces such as demand naturally dictate the price of any given commodity the present low demand for her pigs and pork resulted in some of the animals being sold for prices ranging between N$250 to N$300 each because not many seem keen on pork.

But the general consensus is she could fetch much more for her pigs with current soaring global food prices resulting in many commodities costing an arm and a leg.

Though a litter can consist of 12 piglets the number could increase to 15 if the sow is given supplementary feed and kept in a shade to reduce heat since these farm animals appear more tolerant of cold conditions as opposed to heat this seems the reason while they like to roll in mud as it generally protects their skins from the harsh rays of the sun.

View the AllAfrica story by clicking here.

5m Editor