Swine fever scares farmers


MANY farmers are now reluctant to keep pigs due to the significant losses recorded during the last outbreak of swine fever, says Pig Growers Association of Zambia junior secretary Michael Chileshe.
In an interview at the 89th Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show whose theme is “Innovation beyond the golden jubilee”, Mr Chileshe said farmers have opted to venture in other activities.

“The last outbreak of swine fever was so severe such that many farmers lost a lot of animals and they are now reluctant to rear pigs but we have been engaging the veterinary services and we are doing improved bio-security measures,” he said.
Only three farms with 50 pigs are exhibiting at this years’ show. They include Ziger Farms, Natural Resource Development College and Blessington Industries and Farms.
The animals being exhibited include large-white, landrace, Duroc and Hampshire breeds.

Mr Chileshe said the association has introduced a variety of pig breeds on the Zambian market.
“At first, some farmers were sceptical since the new breeds are dark coloured and the farmers thought that even the meat can be dark. But they are slowly embracing the new breeds especially that they are not prone to sun burn and are highly disease-resistant,” he said.