- Roxie runs the establishment named Juja Pig Farm full-time, along with her two employees.
- The key to successful pig keeping is quality foods, quality breeds and good management to keep your pigs healthy.
- Roxie says that their profits are currently about Sh100,000 a month on average.
- Apart from pigs, Roxie also rears ducks and chickens, dairy goats, and plants vegetables, all which complement the pig farming.
If you met the vivacious Nancy Roxie on the streets, the last thing that would come to mind would be pigs.
But it is in the activities of this very animal’s life that she has invested in for the last three years since she took up pig farming.
Roxie has the wisdom to realise that one can divvy their life up into sectors, and be both cool city slicker and a hog farmer.
Starting almost by default, pig farming had never crossed her mind and that of her husband until 2013 when they met a friend who introduced them to a man re-locating to the US, wanting to sell his pigs.
The couple, whose youthful appearance belies the fact that they are in their early 40s, bought the 150 pigs, but did not have a place to keep the animals.
“While looking for a place, we saw a sign on the road, advertising land for sale. By coincidence, this person selling the land already had a pigsty. He had burnt his fingers trying to rear pigs and now just wanted to dispose of the land.”
They bought the 150 pigs for Sh1 million and spent another Sh12 million to buy three-and-a-quarter acres in Juja, Kalimoni, where the farm is.
This was just the beginning. Training for farm employees, renovating the structure, purchasing feeds, setting up water supply and electricity among other things saw the couple invest Sh25 million in total, with all the money coming from their savings and a bank loan.
Roxie now runs the entity named Juja Pig Farm full-time, along with her two employees.
She also runs other family business, all after quitting her job as a marketer with a state corporation for 10 years. Her husband works outside the country.
“It’s been a tough but sweet journey. Pigs are capital intensive, especially in terms of feeds. They eat a lot, twice a day, and the food has to be quality; it cannot be left-overs. If you don’t feed it, you will see it clearly, it will be very thin and miserable. Groups like Farmers Choice want quality."
Roxie is not exaggerating when she talks about how pricey feeding hogs can be. Every week, she spends between Sh100,000 and Sh200,000 on feeds for her 300 pigs.
“About 80 per cent of the investment goes to feeding the animal. For one to break even, you need to do big numbers. I feed them on commercial feeds and a 70kg bag sells for Sh1,950,” she adds.
FEEDS OFFERS MAIN EXPENSE
Roxie avers that their profits are currently about Sh100,000 a month on average, the cost of feeds being the main expense.
A pig weighing 80kg and above will fetch Sh18,000 from Farmers Choice, which is her biggest market.
The couple sells 25 pigs a month, but their target is to sell 50.
Apart from selling pigs to the market, they also sell to farmers wanting to rear them, at between Sh20,000 and Sh35,000 depending on the breed.
Apart from regular returns, the fact that their sows give birth thrice a year with each litter carrying up to 10 piglets, makes the investment worth it.
They are yet to fully break even on their investment but Roxie is optimistic.
“It’s a long-term investment and we haven’t seen big returns yet because we were focusing on laying the infrastructure first. The next stage is production. It requires a lot of patience. We’re not in a hurry. Eventually, we also hope to do value addition.”
In the three-years she has been doing this, she has read a lot and visited successful pig farmers.