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TRADITIONAL PIG FARMING IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC: PROBLEMS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY

  • Ochetim, S. (School of Agriculture, University of the South Pacific)
  • Received : 1992.12.23
  • Accepted : 1993.04.26
  • Published : 1993.09.01

Abstract

The project was undertaken to provide information on the present system of traditional pig farming in the South Pacific region, to identify the problems currently limiting productivity of such pigs and to offer practical strategies which could be used for increasing productivity of the animals. The problems were identified by surveying some 220 subsistence pig farms in eleven island countries in the South Pacific region using a prepared questionnaire. The units were found to be generally small, consisting of about 2-4 sows per herd. The productivity of the units as assessed in terms of sow reproductive efficiency was rather low, being only about 7.5. Feed, housing, breeding, disease, marketing, lack of capital, technical know-how and existing social traditions were identified as current constraints. Based on three of the most limiting factors identified namely feed, housing and breeding, strategies for improvement were developed on the basis of better and more effective use of locally available feed resources, better housing and genetic improvement through crossbreeding programmes. These improvement strategies were tested as a package model on some ten farms in two of the island countries. The results of these on-farm trials indicated that using the improvement strategies increased sow reproductive efficiency by approximately 60 percent, to nearly 12. The significance of these findings in the overall management of traditionally raised pigs in the South Pacific region is discussed.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : International Foundation of Science (IFS)

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