Pig farmers cry foul

pig_farming_zimHARARE - There is a widening gap between producers' output and the market demand for pork as farmers in Matabeleland battle to get pig farming on its feet.

“The issue that we have to address is not having enough pigs to supply the market. We have to come together as pig farmers, put our heads together and work hard. The market has been left wide open for us. All the talk about value addition is useless if we don’t have enough pigs to supply the market,” one Dereck Ngulube a farmer said.

He said one butchery wanted a supply of over 40 pigs a week, and the market could not meet that demand. “Bulawayo slaughters an average of 35 pigs a week, which is less than the butchery’s demand. What about OK Zimbabwe? What about TM Hyper?” he said.

The farmers said they struggled with high input costs, which force them to increase their prices.

“We set our prices at US$3,50 per kg but reduced to US$3,20 per kg, which still is too high for buyers. Harare is flooding the market and asking for as low as US$2,80 per kg,” said Sipho Ntonga, a pig farming specialist.

The farmers argued that their counterparts in Harare had access to cheaper inputs in their region.

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