Mbabane: Minister of Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza has launched Phase II of the Pig Industry Enhancement Project supported by Taiwan to the tune of E50 million.
The project seeks to establish a pure pig breeding supply system and develop a stable supply of quality pig genetics in the country. The official launch of the project took place at the Mountain Inn on Thursday.
Mabuza thanked the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Republic of China on Taiwan for prioritising commercial livestock production among other commodities, to contribute towards sustainable economic development of the country.
He said the ministry aims to achieve food and nutrition security, increase employment opportunities and rural incomes through promoting livestock production enterprises and expand livestock and livestock product exports. Pig production is one livestock commodity that can achieve the above because of their prolific nature, short generation and high turnover.
Mabuza said his ministry was honoured to receive technical and financial support once again for the second phase of the Pig Industry Enhancement Project. This phase has been financially aided to about E 50 000 000 (Fifty Million Emalangeni). This proves the devotion by your Government in developing the pig industry of Eswatini through the Ministry.
Over Phase I of the project, which began in 2016, local pork production has increased from less than 800 tonnes per year to about 2 000 tonnes. The project has also renewed pig breeding at Mpisi Pig Breeding Station & produced 884 gilts to piggery.
Mabuza revealed that the Mpisi Pig Breeding Station is now enhanced and capable of supplying more than 300 high quality breeding stock per year. The station was launched in the first phase of the project and it now boasts of a Pig Artificial Insemination Centre that processes and supplies semen straws to farmers for breeding every day. The supply of breeding stock and semen to pig farmers has greatly improved production performance of the national pig flock.
The minister highlighted that 91 male breeding pigs, 884 female breeding pigs and 6 097 semen straws were sold to farmers from 2017 to 2020 through which, the project generated E 4 040 400. In addition, 1 038 weaners and 507 culls were also sold, of which an amount of E1 240 240 was made. As such, between 2017 and 2020 a grand total income amount of E 5 280 640 was realised by phase 1 of the Pig Industry Enhancement project.
He said other deliverables for phase 2, are to promote hygienic pork slaughter and establish a pig identification system. This will allow traceability of pigs from farm of origin to abattoirs and markets. Pig identification and traceability will further pave a way towards export market opportunities and improved incomes for farmers and the country as a whole.
Taiwan Ambassador Jeremy Liang said although considerable achievements have been achieved in the first phase of the project, there are still many factors to be improved, especially in the parts of pure bred pig breeding, hygiene slaughtering and stable pork marketing.