Smallholder Pig Rearing Systems in Northern Lao PDR

  • Phengsavanh, P. (Livestock Research Center, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute) ;
  • Ogle, B. (Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Stur, W. (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture) ;
  • Frankow-Lindberg, B.E. (Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Lindberg, J.E. (Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
  • Received : 2010.08.11
  • Accepted : 2010.10.28
  • Published : 2011.06.01


This paper describes the results of a survey aimed at characterizing smallholder pig production systems in northern Lao PDR. A total of 341 households from five Northern provinces were interviewed in the survey. Village meetings and individual interviews, using a semi-structured questionnaire, were used to collect information. Three main pig rearing systems, free-scavenging, semi-scavenging and confinement (enclosures and pens), were found in the survey areas. These systems were practiced differently by smallholders depending on the level of intensity of crop production, ethnicity and purpose of keeping pigs. The confinement system was mainly practiced by Lao-Tai and Tibeto-Burman groups, who mainly bought piglets and fattened these pigs for sale. In contrast, the Mon-Khmer and Hmong-Mien reared pigs in free-scavenging and semi-scavenging systems, and usually keep sows for piglet production. The main factors that affected the changes in rearing systems were found to be level of intensity of crop production, local regulations and outbreaks of disease. The main constraints found in smallholder systems were outbreaks of disease, high mortality of piglets and the slow growth rate of fattening pigs.


Rearing System;Ethnic Group;Disease Outbreak;Intensity of Crop Production


  1. DLF. 2008. Annual report of livestock development and policy. Planning section, Department of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry: Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic.
  2. FAO. 2010. Good practice for bio-security in the pig sector - Issues and options in developing and transition countries. FAO Animal Production and Health Paper No 169. Rome, FAO
  3. Government report. 2009. 2009-2010 National Socio-Economic Development and Plan for 2010-2011. The Government of Lao PDR, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
  4. Hong, T. T. T., N. Q. Linh, B. Ogle and J. E. Lindberg. 2006. Survey on the prevalence of diarrhea in pre-weaning piglets and on feeding systems as contributing risk factors in smallholdings in Central Vietnam. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 38:397-405.
  5. Kennard, R. O., S. Phatlamchanh and K. Sithivong. 1996. Livestock production and diseases study. Final Report of Louang Namtha Integrated Rural Development Project, Lao PDR - EU. Department of Livestock and Fisheries: Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic.
  6. Keoboualaphet, C. and C. Miklet. 2003. Growth performance of indigenous pigs fed with Stylosanthes guianensis CIAT 184 as replacement for rice bran. MSc thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
  7. PASW Statistics 18. 2009. Command Syntax Reference. SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinoi, USA.
  8. Phengsavanh, P. 1997. An environmental evaluation of forages in Lao PDR. Livestock Development Division, Department of Livestock and fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry: Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic.
  9. Phengsavanh, P. and W. Stür. 2006. The use and potential of supplementing village pigs with Stylosanthes guianensis in Lao PDR. In: Proceeding of a Workshop on forages for Pigs and Rabbits, Phnom Penh 22-24 August 2006. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Http://
  10. Phengsavanh, P. and W. Stür. 2007. Farmer-led Research in Lao PDR. In: Proceeding of the Workshop on Pig Systems in Asia and Pacific, Bangkok 23-24 November 2006. International Livestock Research Center: Bangkok, Thailand.
  11. Phengsavanh, P., B. Ogle, W. Stür, E. B. Frankow-Lindberg and J. E. Lindberg. 2010. Feeding and performance of pigs in smallholder systems in Northern Lao PDR. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 42:1627-1633.
  12. Pravongviengkham, P. P. 1998. Swidden based farm economies in Northern Laos: Diversity, constraints and opportunities for livestock. In: ACIAR Proceedings No 87. Australian Center of International Agricultural Research: Canberra, Australia.
  13. Thorne, P. 2005. Pig raising in Northern Lao PDR. Working Paper No 4 Participatory Livestock Development Project (ADB PPTA No 4287-Lao). CIAT/ILRI: Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic.
  14. Tuyen, T., N. N. Phuc, L. V. Tao, C. H. Phu and L. T. Tuan. 2005. Determining pathogenic factors of E. coli isolated from Tam iep farm that suffered from diarrhea. Veterinary Sciences and Techniques, XI, 22-28.
  15. Vongthilath, S. and S. Blacksell. 1999. Classical swine fever in Lao PDR. In: ACIAR Proceedings No 94. Australian Center of International Agricultural Research: Canberra, Australia, 122-125.
  16. Wilson, R. T. 2007. Status and prospects for livestock production in the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 39:443-452.

Cited by

  1. Feeding regime and management of local Lao pigs in Central Lao PDR vol.45, pp.1, 2012,
  2. Nutritive value of three tropical forage legumes and their influence on growth performance, carcass traits and organ weights of pigs vol.48, pp.6, 2016,
  3. Is a 10-sow unit economically sustainable? A profitability assessment of productivity amongst small-holder pig farmers, Mpumalanga, South Africa vol.83, pp.1, 2016,
  4. Urban and peri-urban family-based pig-keeping in Cambodia: Characteristics, management and perceived benefits and constraints vol.12, pp.8, 2017,
  5. Integrating market chain assessments with zoonoses risk analysis in two cross-border pig value chains in Lao PDR vol.30, pp.11, 2017,
  6. Herd dynamics reflect constraints for pig production and farmer attitudes in smallholder systems in Lao PDR vol.58, pp.11, 2018,
  7. Effects of provision of water and nesting material on reproductive performance of native Moo Lath pigs in Lao PDR vol.50, pp.5, 2018,