Pig producers to hold symposium

This year’s annual pig symposium takes place on Wednesday June 27, 2018, at ART Farm, Pomona.

The Pig Symposium, hosted by the Pig Producers Association of Zimbabwe in partnership with the Stockfeed Manufacturers Association, brings together current and prospective pig farmers as well as service providers to the pig industry to share ideas on improving the competitiveness of pig production. This year’s theme is: “Improving Efficiencies in Pig Production.”

Participants at last years’  symposium

The event, which starts at 9am, features an impressive line-up of local and regional speakers. Zimvet Laboratory will open the proceedings with a presentation on microbiology, serology and feed analysis in the pig industry.

The Feed Analysis department at Zimvet Laboratory is furnished with world class equipment to analyse feed and feed raw material quality.

Contaminated stockfeeds negatively impact on pig performance and farmer profitability through increased use of costly medication.

There are close synergies between the operations of the Stockfeed Manufacturers Association and the Pig Producers Association as feeds account for more than 65 percent of pig cost of production.

“Premixes in Pig Production as a New Technology” will be discussed for the first time at the Symposium and producers will have the opportunity to ask questions and further their own knowledge on utilising home grown feed raw materials such as soyabeans and maize

Another key address on feeds — “Optimising the Feeding of Your Drove” — will be presented by Mr James Mhlanga.

Internationally, there has been an outcry on the excessive use of antibiotics in animal feeds which has been blamed on development of anti-microbial resistance affecting both animals and meat consumers.

At last year’s symposium, Dr Gilfillan from Kemin, South Africa gave a presentation on “Responding to Efforts to Curb the Use of antibiotics in Non-Ruminant Production.”

This excellent presentation was well received by producers and this year, Dr Gilfillan will make a keynote presentation on “Gut Health as a Supplement to Bio-security”, which again tackles strategies to ensure healthy pigs without excessive use of antibiotics.

The Pig Industry Board (PIB) in conjunction with PPAZ have established pig producer clubs and the smallholder pilot project in Goromonzi is taking shape, with three cluster groups now established in the Goromonzi, Ruwa, Bromley area, with the assistance of the Department of Livestock Production and Development.

To build sustainable smallholder production, the value chain approach has been adopted and PIB will provide extension and genetics. A suitable economic model for small-scale pig production is also being drawn up as a basis for development and funding of such production.

To assist in these efforts by the PIB and PPAZ, Dr Bruce will speak about pig housing and the innovations and new ideas that exist for small-scale producers. Appropriate housing is important for maintaining pig health and managing costs of production in a small enterprise.

The pig sub-sector is facing a multitude of challenges including increasing regulatory cost of compliance, increased competition from illegal imports, high cost of feed due to low local production of raw materials and lack of investments into inclusive integrated value chain development.

The Symposium gives an opportunity for stakeholders, especially women and youth, to share ideas about improving the contribution of this sub-sector to the Zimbabwe economy as well as deliberate on shared issues of concern to the industry.

The event will close with the 8th Annual General Meeting of the Pig Producers Association of Zimbabwe.

According to the symposium organisers, various exhibitors will also be displaying their products and services to the pig sector.

Networking opportunities also exist to meet established producers and to connect with service providers.

Mr Mudanga, chairman of the Pig Producers Association, notes that: “All members of the public who are interested in pig production and aspiring pig producers are very welcome to attend.

The cost is $15 per person and includes teas and a hot lunch.” Tickets are available from the Exhibition Park office or at the gate on the day

Ecocash and swipe facilities will be available.

ART Farm is situated in Pomona, a short drive out of Harare on Alpes Road. Cross Harare Drive and pass the Pomona Quarry and Barracks. Turn left into Calgary Close at the 16,5km peg, after the entrance to Wingate Golf Club. Follow the dust road to the T-junction and turn right to the parking area.

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