Have you been looking for a lucrative business opportunity? Are you interested in farming? Do you like dealing with animals? If you've answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions, then this article is exactly what you need! We will tell you everything you need to know about pig farming in Nigeria: the cost of the pig farm, supplies, directions and so much more. Continue reading to learn more about pig production and how you can become a part of it.
Pig market in Nigeria
Even though pork is the most consumed type of meat everywhere in the world, Nigeria produces less than 5% of the world’s pork. Due to the fact that a big part of Nigerian population is Muslim, pork production in the country is not as huge as it could have been. Which is why it is a great spot to fill, as you will not have that much competition.
Usually, pigs (or their meat) are sold pretty fast in Nigeria. Most of the times, buyers book your piglets in advance, before they have even matured. One kilogram of pork goes for around ₦300 on the market, depending on the quality and the age of the meat. Taking into account that pig feed and the general cost of pig farm upkeep is relatively low, you will be making a profit in no time!
Complete guide to commercial pig farming in Nigeria
If you are still not sold on pig farming, consider this:
☑ 38% of all the meat consumption in the world goes to pork (according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of UN). This means you can export your pigs and/or their meat to any country of your choice, and we guarantee you there is going to be a demand for it.
☑ Pigs’ pregnancy lasts for only four months, and each female pig (sow) can give birth to 6-12 baby pigs (piglets) in each litter. This gives you up to 12-24 piglets a year, if your sow gets pregnant twice. Usually, it takes about half a year for piglets to mature, but if you work things right, you will have a recurring stream of piglets coming your way.
☑ Pig production is relatively inexpensive. Pig feed does not cost that much, and the farm upkeep will not empty your wallet. It is also one of the least expensive farms to keep up when compared to other farm animals. At the same time, it will definitely bring in a steady stream of revenue.
Are you in yet?
Then let’s get down to business! Here is a sample 'pig farming business plan' to help you start your own pig farm.
Pig farming business plan
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☛ Location. Before you open up your farm, you obviously need to choose a right place for it. We strongly advise you not to breed pigs in your own backyard. Even though pigs are quite adorable, they are very stinky and messy animals. Both you and your neighbours will not be too happy to live next to the pigs.
Instead, consider looking for a piece of farmland. All you need is one plot of land, if you want to have a small pig farm. However, you can also think of the future and purchase a piece of land that is larger than you need. That way, you can expand your farm, as the business will bring in the first profits.
☛ Housing. A pig house, a place where your pigs will dwell, is called a pigpen. You definitely need one, as it will protect your pigs from bad weather and various diseases, as well as keep them all in one place. Recommended materials for a pigpen are concrete or iron, depending on your preference and budget.
When constructing your pen, do not forget about the good drainage system. Otherwise, the whole thing will smell absolutely terrible. It should be cleaned regularly to avoid excessive stink and contamination. Think also about the water system for the pigs. There should be a water pool, which should be cleaned often, as they like to swim in it, too.
☛ Piglets. If you have your farm all set up, the next step is buying piglets. You can ask around the neighbourhood if any other pig farmers have any pigs for sale. Alternatively, you can buy them on the Internet now, how convenient!
You should buy both male and female pigs. Depending on how big you want to start, you can buy from just two pigs to 20 pigs. Consider the size of your farm and the scale of your production before deciding on the amount. Always check that the piglets are healthy; ask for their vaccination history and take a look at the conditions they have been kept in.
☛ Professional assistance. Make acquaintance with your local veterinarian, who will help your pigs stay healthy and treat them in case they catch a disease. The doctor should take care of regular vaccinations, frequent visits and check-ups and give you recommendations on how to take care of your pigs.
☛ Feed and water. Pigs are great in a way that they can eat practically anything. They do not really require a special diet you need to stick to, so you can relax. However, be sure you tend to their nutritional needs. If you want your pigs to grow and be healthy, you need to give them protein, fibre, carbohydrates, as well as various minerals and vitamins.
Clean water is also extremely important. As we have mentioned before, pigs love to bathe in their water basins, so you need to make sure you change that water regularly. You should also consider installing a water system that will supply water straight to their pens (think guinea pig cage on a much bigger scale).
☛ Marketing. Find your buyers. Advertise your product to people in your area, as well as cover the other markets with the help of the Internet. Decide whether you want to sell live pigs, or if you can muster the courage and slaughter them yourself. However, pig slaughter will also lead to more expenses. Therefore, we recommend new farmers to just sell live pigs.
Cost of starting a pig farm in Nigeria
Obviously, it is hard to calculate exactly how much money you might need to start your own pig farm. Depending on your scale of choice, you can start of from as little as ₦200,000. Your expenses should include buying land, building the pens, making the feed, buying your piglets and hiring a veterinarian.
Of course, you can save money, if you already have the land, and your local veterinarian is your relative/friend/acquaintance. However, you still need to spend some money on food and water for the pigs.
You will spend the most money (around ₦80,000-100,000) on the pigpens. Here are the types of pens you should consider:
♢ A breeding pen, where your mature pigs will mate. It should not be too large; there should be just enough space for a male and a female pig to coexist and copulate.
♢ A farrowing pen, where your sows will give birth and nurse their piglets. Make sure it is extra comfortable for both the mother and her babies.
♢ A weaner pen, where young piglets spend the first two months of their lives. In this pen, they first try eating solid food, as they were only exposed to their mother’s milk.
♢ A grower pen, where the adolescent pigs (2-9 months old) live their lives. Try to make this space as big as possible, so that your pigs have room to grow and be comfortable. Do not, we repeat, do not cut cost on this pen. It is very important that the pigs are as comfortable as possible while they are growing up.
♢ A finisher pen, where your mature pigs wait to be taken to the next stage of pork production, whether on your farm, or on someone else’s pork production plant.
Try to have enough money and space to accommodate all of these pens, so that your pigs will grow big, happy and healthy.
That is it for our pig farming guide for Nigeria. We hope our tips will help you start your own pig farm, which will earn you large profits. Take good care of your pigs, and the farm will take care of you (financially). Good luck!
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