Original Research

Efficiency indices and indicators of poor performance among emerging small-scale pig farmers in the Limpopo Province, South Africa

Japhta M. Mokoele, B. Tom Spencer, Leo A.M.G. van Leengoed, Folorunso O. Fasina
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 81, No 1 | a774 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v81i1.774 | © 2014 Japhta M. Mokoele, B. Tom Spencer, Leo A.M.G. van Leengoed, Folorunso O. Fasina | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 31 March 2014 | Published: 12 November 2014

About the author(s)

Japhta M. Mokoele, Department of Production Animal Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Limpopo Department of Agriculture, Limpopo, South Africa
B. Tom Spencer, Department of Production Animal Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Leo A.M.G. van Leengoed, Department of Production Animal Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Farm Animal Health, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Folorunso O. Fasina, Department of Production Animal Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Limpopo is a very important area for pig production in terms of animal populations and contributions to transboundary animal disease spread. Emerging small-scale pig farmers (ESSPF) are being encouraged to establish operations and spread in South Africa; however, for these farmers to perform optimally, they need to understand the basics of animal agriculture and contribute to enhancing biosecurity and efficient production systems. In the present study, the limitations to efficient production amongst ESSPF were evaluated and some improvements were suggested. It was found that the ESSPF are dominated by males and include a large percentage of older persons. A total of 26.54% of these farmers have post-matriculation qualifications. Undefined and indigenous breeds still dominate their animal genetics. The animal health technicians are the preferred channels by which farmers report diseases to the authorities (52.47%) and only one out of five (20.37%) will preferably report a disease situation direct to a veterinarian. These farmers do not vaccinate their stock, and knowledge of biosecurity is poor. Antimicrobials, especially tetracyclines, are abused. Animals that are slaughtered within the community or sold at local sale points, pension pay stations and auction markets are likely candidates for disease spread. It is recommended that the younger generations are retained and incentivised in animal agriculture. Improved training on management, health, biosecurity and better market access must be provided for the ESSPF, whilst efforts should made to consolidate these farmers into small cooperatives. The current government agricultural support system will need to be reworked to benefit the resource-poor farmers. Collaborative efforts in disease reporting and management among veterinarians, animal health technicians and extension officers will become necessary. Finally, the creation of a progressive quality grading system for ESSPF should be planned by the industry and this should be attached to a reward system that will encourage these farmers to target good farming practice.

Keywords

Emerging Small Scale Pig Farmers; Pig Industry; Efficiency Index; Poor Performance

Metrics

Total abstract views: 2533
Total article views: 6502


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.