Pig ban hits small-scale farmers hardest

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THE Small Livestock Association of Zambia (SLAZ) is concerned with the continued ban on pig movement and processing of pig products as it will adversely affect the income of most farmers who depend on livestock business for their livelihood.
SLAZ chairman Martin Mukuka said the ban has resulted in the increase in pigs in areas other than Lusaka and Southern Provinces, making it costly for both consumers and traders to buy.
Mr Mukuka said the price of pigs has increased by an average of K300 following the ban on the movement of pigs and processing of pig products in Lusaka.
He said the price of pigs has increased to about K1,000 from K750 for larger pigs while medium pigs are now selling between K400 and K500 from K280 and K300 respectively.
“As an association, we are appealing to the line ministry to speed up the process of controlling the spread of African swine fever to other parts of the country.
If measures are not followed [this] will drastically affect school going children as most farmers and traders depend on the selling of pigs to raise funds for their [living],” he said in response to a press query in Lusaka recently.
Mr Mukuka said the provinces where the ban has been effected are the major pig-rearing regions with Southern Province accounting for about 60 percent and Lusaka Province with 20 percent.
Other pigs come from Western Province accounting for 20 percent, although the area has not been cordoned.
Mr Mukuka said there is need for farmers in affected areas to work with Government in eradicating the disease.
He said farmers and traders are losing colossal sums of money due to the ban on the movement of pigs and pig processed products in Lusaka and Southern Provinces.
“We are satisfied with Government’s effort to combat the disease and believe that the ban will soon be lifted to avoid more disasters for our small-scale farmers,” he said.
Mr Mukuka urged stakeholders to engage the ministry in sensitising the farmers and traders on the disease to avoid unnecessary outbreaks.