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Barbados Pig Sector at All-Time High

by 5m Editor
6 October 2010, at 9:31am

BARBADOS - Acknowledging that the pig sector in rural Barbados is developing into “an exciting industry“, Randolph Outram, the new director of the Rural Development Commission (RDC), has revealed that the commission, through its Loan Portfolio, has assisted the industry by disbursing over $1.2 million in loans to farmers, as they seek to utilise modern management practices and continue to improve pig production.

Speaking to participants during the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) and Pinnacle Feeds Ltd. workshop, “Pig feeding Strategies”, yesterday at the Glebe Resource Centre, Mr Outram said that the sector is currently enjoying sustained growth as local demand for pork and its by-products is at an all-time high.

“Pig production has become a specialised activity as market segments require exact carcass specifications. This has placed a greater responsibility on large and small scale producers capable of introducing new breeds to produce carcases that the markets demand,” he noted.

The Barbados Advocate reports that according to Mr Outram, feed is the largest cost element in the production of pigs for slaughter or sows for weaner production.

“This can contribute approximately 75 per cent of total costs and, therefore, the best use must be made of the feeds available for maximising lean growth. Providing the best feeding strategy could make the difference between dollars spent and dollars saved.”

Expressing that the RDC is pleased to be associated with the workshop, he told the farmers that by them participating the knowledge gained will assist in feeding their pigs potions and creating healthy pigs that will grow large and lean, as time comes to slaughter, the meat will be of the highest quality.

“Perhaps the Barbados Agricultural Society could help with the development of feeding curves to help farmers track the performances of each pen to determine the correct lysine level. While the developed world institutes its own feeding strategies, we in the Caribbean must utilise indigenous resources. For example, sugar cane molasses is recommended as a source of energy for feeding pigs in tropical areas and trails have included the characterization of the digestive efficiency, as well as the metabolic aspects of these non –conventional alternative feeds,” he explained.