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Pig Farmers Using Garbage as Feed

by 5m Editor
23 March 2011, at 11:21am

CHINA - They live next to a mountain of free pig food and never have to worry about the rocketing CPI, which may be making other pig farmers feel the pinch. They just get free or almost free food for their herd of thousands.

They live by garbage landfills, which are the source of food for their pigs.

Dozens of farming families, living around the garbage landfills in Shuige village in Nanjing's Jiangning district, East China's Jiangsu province, have been making their living by raising pigs with garbage collected from the landfills, according to a report by Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday.

The farmers collect leftovers from the landfills and mix them with some pig feed. About 90 families in the village raise an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 pigs each year.

"We can collect hundreds of kilograms (of the leftovers) every day. Only two families in our village feed their pigs with restaurant leftovers, and the others just collect pig food from the garbage landfills," said a woman whose family raises dozens of the animal each year.

Wang Caifu, whose family is currently raising 22 pigs, said he earned 30,000 yuan ($4,600) last year by selling pigs, and the number of animals his family raised was the lowest in the village.

"Collecting garbage to feed pigs costs nothing. There is no better job than raising pigs here," said Mr Wang.

A man who came to the village to work as a pig farmer from Lianyungang, also in Jiangsu, said he can earn about 500 yuan by selling each pig fed with garbage. But according to industry insiders, one pig fed entirely with feed can bring only about 100 yuan in profit in 2010.

"Garbage brings a lot of germs and may also contain heavy metal and pesticide remains," said Liu Tiezheng, a researcher with Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, adding that the meat safety of those pigs can hardly be guaranteed.

Wang Dajin, an official with Nanjing city management bureau, said they considered banning local pig farmers from collecting garbage at the landfills to feed pigs - which is technically illegal - but abandoned that plan after farmers blocked roads several times in protest.

Chen Lixia, from Jiangning's forestry bureau, said they have asked the pig farmers around the garbage landfills to promise not to feed the animals with garbage, but whether they kept that promise was hard to say.