Bulawayo youths invade pork industry

17 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Bulawayo youths invade pork industry Farmer Joe Samamahwe shows off some of his pigs

The Chronicle

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
TWO Bulawayo youths Messrs Joe Ndebele (24) and Gift Sanyamahwe (27) have transformed a piece of land donated to them by their parents to good use by running a thriving piggery project in Umguza District, Matabeleland North.

Today they are supplying several butcheries in and around Bulawayo with quality pork and commercial producers with superior genetics.

The 10-ha Jubilee Farm was donated to the two cousins in 2014. They started with only three pigs and today they are running nine-sow unit (female breeding pigs), which gives them an average of 15 piglets at a time resulting in the numbers going up to 150 at any given time.

The pigs give birth at least twice a year. The first thing that one notices when walking into Jubilee Farm piggery sheds is their cleanliness. The sheds are virtually free of the strong ammonia smell normally associated with commercial piggery.

Mr Sanyamahwe, co-founder and owner of Jubilee Farm, said initially when they decided to venture into commercial pig production, it was out of passion  until they realised that it was a quick income generating project.

“We started this project in 2014 and like any other business we have had ups and downs, but we are not giving up because of the love of the project and the  passion that we have in terms of farming,” said Mr Sanyamahwe.

“With farming you barely go wrong because there are a thousand mouths that need to eat on a daily basis and that is our motto.”

Mr Sanyamahwe said they reduced their sows from 15 due to drought coupled with the difficult economic climate.

“We mainly rely on producing our own feed, but when there is drought, it becomes a challenge because we don’t have a permanent water source that we are using. Due to drought, we lost out on the maize that we had planted and we hope as we expand, we will cut on the cost of buying feed,” he said.

“We are, however, looking forward to increasing our sow head by the end of the year to 20.”

Jubilee Farm also provides hybrids for Duroc, Large White and Landrace breeds to commercial pig producers. The breeding stock that they sell goes through rigorous selection that includes visual appraisal and data review.

Mr Sanyamahwe holds a degree in agronomy from the Midlands State University while Mr Ndebele is doing business studies in the United Kingdom.

Mr Sanyamahwe is also a holder of a certificate in piggery from the Pig Industry Board.

“I have had the experience of keeping pigs for seven years now. We have our five-year plan which is to set up our own retail outlet in Bulawayo and we hope it will be the biggest and with the best pork in the country,” he said.

 

As part of value addition, Jubilee Farm also offers training programmes to up-and-coming farmers as well as managing start-ups.

“In every business we need to do value addition and therefore at Jubilee Farm we have ways of adding value to our business.

Everything in piggery counts for a dollar and we are currently running a training course for beginners in piggery,” said Mr Sanyamahwe.

“We have a five-day course that we offer at US$65 and that is one of the ways of adding value. We also have a vaccination programme whereby we vaccinate pigs for other farmers at a low-cost including consultation services to other farmers.”

To sustain their market, Mr Sanyamahwe said they have quite a number of farms including start-ups that they are managing.

“As a business we need to be sustainable by keeping on supplying all our customers. We get some of our produce from the farms that we manage. We also sell manure at the farm to farmers involved in horticulture because there is nothing that goes to waste,” he said.

“We have breeding stock and supply pork. Our breeding stock starts from US$60 for weaners up to US$300 for the boars and pregnant pigs. The breeds that we have include Duroc, Large Whites and Landraces and cross breeds of all the three breeds.”

Mr Sanyamahwe said the Duroc, which they recently introduced, has high resistance when it comes to diseases.

“The Duroc breed has a fast growth rate, good mothering ability in terms of nurturing the piglets and the lean meat that they produce.

We are trying to blend in with other breeds that we have and because of its high demand, everyone is looking for a Duroc,” he said.

Mr Sanyamahwe said from their first batch they sold quite a number of pigs and from the money that they got, they managed to build the structures.

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