Organic garbage, which is collected from towns for dumping, has been free pigs feed for one Machakos County farmer since 2014.
Kennedy Musyoka used to feed his one pig on farm and kitchen waste, but after the mother gave birth to 10 piglets, he had to look for alternatives.
Having just delved into pig farming courtesy of a friend, who gave him the sow free of charge, he had no money to buy commercial feeds.
“The idea of helping in picking up organic garbage from the town struck. I tried one afternoon and it worked. Peels of fruits and other foods littering the town were sufficient for my 11 pigs,” Musyoka said.
He visits the ton in the afternoons and collects any organic refuse he gets. Although he cannot tell the quantity he collects in kilos per day, a 90kg sack full of refuse sustains the pigs per day.
Money in pigs
Musyoka has never bought commercial feeds. He only needs a little top up from the farm green, which again he says will be taken back as manure.
It costs him between Sh70 and Sh100 per day in transporting the feeds to his Manza Village daily.
The variety in fruits and vegetables give a mix of nutrients, which he says does not require additional feeds or supplements.
As the stock increased after birth of the 10 young ones, he also moves to secondary schools like Machakos Girls to collect more kitchen remains.
Pigs have a gestation period of 115 days. March 2015 was the first time that the sow gave birth to the 10 piglets. He sold seven of them in July 2015 at Sh7,000 each.
Twelve more others were born in August the same year. Selling them in December at Sh8,000 earned him Sh96,000.
Musyoka, who was employed to take care of pigs until 2014, has bought construction materials worth Sh150,000 for a block permanent residential house.
“Although I started with one pig, which I was given for free, the agribusiness is becoming my fulltime employment. I have built a bigger sty than the one I had to accommodate more than 10 mature pigs.
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He has three mature pigs and four piglets.
The pig champion
The 22-year-old farmer slaughtered a 100kg pig in December 2015 at his home after a week’s announcement.
“I paid a county meat inspection officer Sh1,000 to check if the pork was fit for consumption. I was shocked that even at Sh400, people bought 95 kilos,” he said.
His two-year-old boar was the champion during the Machakos County Agricultural Show, 2016 after clocking 160kg.
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It is recommended that pigs consume four per cent of its body weight. This means that a pig of 100kg should consume four kilos per day.
Musyoka offers each of them between three and four kilos per day, adding that the animal can feed continuously, hence the need for regulation.
PHOTO: Kennedy Musyoka's pig feeds from a trench in the Machakos ASK Show ground sty on April 17,2016.The two-year-old 160kg was crowned the champion in the agricultural affair. PHOTO BY LABAN ROBERT.