Did you know that pork (pig meat) is the most widely consumed meat in the world, closely followed by poultry and beef. That’s right!
The value of trade in pig products around the world runs into billions of dollars every year and Africa enjoys less than 5 percent of this action. China, with a fifth of the world’s population, is both the largest producer and net importer of pig products on the planet!
Pig products have some of the most versatile uses on earth. They probably have the highest profit potential of all farm animals because they cost little to feed and maintain. Compared to this, pigs produce much more meat than cattle, goats and sheep.
Here are a few benefits of pig farming:
- Pigs yield more meat…
Despite their ability to convert more feed into body weight (flesh/meat), pigs produce more meat when they are slaughtered.
Unlike cattle, sheep and goats which produce between 50 and 55 percent meat from their bodies, pigs can yield up to 70 percent edible meat because they have a much smaller proportion of bones than meat.
Meat processors and marketers handle and package pig carcasses better compared to other types of meat.
2. Consumption of pork products is already growing across Africa!
Urbanization and economic growth is leading to the increasing presence of international and local fast food restaurants across our continent.
Foreign tourists, workers, investors, and their families are also flocking to our shores for business and pleasure. As a result, more of the hotels and restaurants who have a large customer base of foreigners now want to serve pork delicacies. This surely means that local pig farmers will be needed to maintain a huge and regular stock of pork products to satisfy the growing demand.
3. Pigs are highly adaptable and easy to farm
According to research, pigs have over 15,000 taste buds (humans have just about 9,000). This enables them to eat everything humans eat and other stuff like grass, forage and feed eaten by other animals.
In fact, pigs are the best and most efficient animals for converting kitchen wastes, garbage, leftover food and other non-conventional feed stuffs into meat.
Considering the high and rising cost of grains and concentrates used to produce animal and livestock feeds, the ability of pigs to consume a wide variety of foods increases its profit potential as a business. Since they are able to recycle most materials (which they eat and convert to meat), pigs help farmers to largely reduce feeding costs and waste.
Pigs also have a high resistance to diseases as they hardly get sick and adapt easily to most environments (hot or cold). This makes it possible for pigs to be raised on both a small and large scale.