Nigeria: Big Dutchman seminar about profitable pig production well-attended
Pork is a healthy food. It provides important protein for the human body and is rich in iron, zinc and B vitamins. Moreover, pigs are very productive and convert feed very well. It is therefore not surprising that pig production has become an important part of Nigeria’s livestock sector. Using the animals’ full potential requires considering a number of factors, however. A seminar recently organised by Big Dutchman Agriculture Nigeria Ltd. in Ogun state’s capital Abeokuta and entitled “Profitable pig management” was thus well-attended. More than 100 farmers and experts had followed the invitation of the German pig equipment supplier, which has its own office in Nigeria.
“We want to share our knowledge on relevant issues and aspects of the business,” said Elmar Dorenkamp, director of the Big Dutchman office in Nigeria, about the event’s goals. The intensive exchange of information among experts is set to be repeated annually in future and will deal with issues of pig breeding and finishing.
Food production in Nigeria
Today, more than 190 million people live in Nigeria. This figure will increase by an additional 4 million inhabitants per year, and experts have calculated that the largest economy in Africa will have a total of 450 million inhabitants by 2050. This means that the food demand, which is already high today, will rise further. At the same time, many people do not receive sufficient animal proteins.
For Nigeria, the question of how to improve both the quality and the quantity of food production is thus a central one – especially considering the fact that local farmers usually rely on subsistence agriculture. Their yield cannot satisfy the population’s need for food, which is why Nigeria currently imports food for approximately USD 22 million per year.
Challenge: pig production
Nigerian farmers interested in pig production face many challenges. Capital shortage, high feed costs, lack of knowledge about efficient production methods, but also the tropical climate have the effect that many farmers cannot use the full potential of their livestock. Problems include low daily weight gains, diseases and a high mortality. For sow managers, piglet losses of up to 50 % due to overlying are an issue.
“All attendees of our seminar were absolutely motivated! Many farmers would like to bring their production up-to-date or improve their results, but in many cases, they do not know how,” summed up Dorenkamp. The attending farmers were thus very interested in the detailed and professional information supplied during the seminar. The equipment the organisers had brought from Lagos to illustrate the presentations was also deemed very helpful. “The information was very practical in nature,” complimented the attendees.
Economic pig production
Steffen Martens, Area Sales Manager for Big Dutchman, showed both a theoretical and a practical point of view. Martens, whose family operates a farm with 160 sows, emphasised the importance of hygiene in the house as a basic prerequisite for healthy stock. “Stale water and feed are ideal breeding grounds for germs,” he explained, and continued by warning: “Other types of transmission include the work clothes and dirty feed hoppers, as well as pets or wild animals that can enter the barn at will.” According to Martens, there is great potential for optimisation in this area.
Wolfgang Etzl, Big Dutchman sales executive for the regions Europe, Middle East and Africa, also stressed that extensive hygiene measures are an absolute necessity. Etzl gave his audience valuable tips for improving their results by means of genetics, house design, equipment and the implementation of proven management procedures.
Bert de Jong complemented the management topic in his presentation. As a product manager at Koudijs Animal Nutrition and previous sow manager, de Jong had much useful information about ideal housing conditions and feeding up his sleeve.
Professor Akin Adesehinwa from the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) discussed the topic from the Nigerian point of view. He showed weak points that negatively influence the success of pig production, and asked the attendees to “implement the basic best practices on your farm”. Only those who knew management procedures that work and applied them to their own stock as well as possible would be able to produce profitable, stressed Adesehinwa.
Big Dutchman is happy to provide support. The world market leader from Vechta in Germany has had its own office in Lagos since 2015. Dorenkamp was very glad about the attendees’ positive feedback: “We are already planning the next event on best practices in pig production!”
BD Agriculture Nigeria Ltd. guarantees that Big Dutchman can be much closer to Nigeria’s pig farmers in Nigeria for consulting and planning as if the support would come from Germany. Dorenkamp added that apart from spare parts procurement, BD Agriculture Nigeria also offers a wide range of other services.
The Big Dutchman team furthermore train farm staff directly on site. The team’s knowledge extends to all areas of pig production, including key questions regarding production and climate, and covers pig finishing as well as sow management and piglet rearing.
Big Dutchman is considered the international market leader for pig equipment and feeding systems for modern pig production and has been for many years. The innovative family enterprise’s range of products includes traditional and computer-controlled feeding systems as well as equipment for climate control and exhaust air treatment. The scope of services ranges from small to large, fully integrated turn-key farms. Big Dutchman provides customers with all options – from planning to commissioning.
BD Agriculture Nigeria Ltd.
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