In Summary
  • The disease has no treatment or vaccine and can wipe out an entire pig farm in weeks.
  • Sadly, the disease has no treatment or vaccine and can wipe out an entire pig farm in weeks.
  • Vehicles should also pass through a disinfectant to curb the spread of the disease, he says, adding one should further maintain high standards of hygiene on the farm.
  • A farmer should watch out for biting flies, ticks, and limit the number of vehicles and people visiting the farm since they are carriers of the disease.

Sometime in 2011, Juda Mwabili ventured into pig farming after buying two piglets, a male and a female, of the Landrace breed for Sh5,000 each.

Nearly a year later, the sow calved down to eight piglets, putting his farm at Kajiweni in Mombasa County on a growth path.

It did not take long before the animal once again delivered, this time round 14 piglets.

And as his brood increased rapidly, Mwabili started to sell the animals to sustain the business and reduce chances of inbreeding.

“In April 2014, I sold four boars which weighed about 200kg each earning Sh200,000,” he told Seeds of Gold on his half-acre farm. “From the earnings, I bought a dairy cow at Sh100,000 to diversify my business.”

And as luck would have it, the cow calved down to two calves, enabling him to get 22 litres of milk every day.

Sometime in 2015, Mwambili sold 45 piglets to a customer and made a total of Sh320,000, the highest income the farm had ever offered him.

“The huge profit made a big difference in my life. For the first time, I realised farming pays handsomely,” he said, noting he spent at least Sh2,000 per day on pig feeds that included wheat bran and maize germ.

From the income, he used Sh200,000 to buy two heifers to boost his milk out as demand had risen. “Later from my earnings from pigs, I constructed a biogas unit at a cost of Sh200,000 enabling my family to use clean fuel.

I also built an underground water tank that stores up to 54,000 litres of water at a cost of Sh500,000 and added six dairy cows at a cost of Sh620,000,” says Mwambili, who at one time kept up to 170 pigs.

In November last year, however, the farmer suffered a major setback when African swine fever attacked his pigs.

ENHANCE BIO-SECURITY

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