Socio-economic and technical characteristics of pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) production system in the humid forest with monomodal rainfall agroecological zone of Cameroon
Pig production has become a great source of income and employment in Sub-Saharan countries and Cameroon in particular. However, many pig farmers face difficulties as the production system has not been improved everywhere. Hence, the present study was conducted in other to assess the socio-economic and technical characteristics of pig production system in the humid forest with monomodal rainfall agro-ecological zone of Cameroon. For this purpose, a total of 45 smallholder pig farmers were selected using a snow ball test from the study zone and investigated. A structural questionnaire was used to interview the pig farmers. Data generated included: socio-economic characteristics of the respondents, housing, breeding, feeding, health care, management practices and challenges in pig production. The data collected were analyzed by descriptive statistics. The study revealed that most of the respondents (62.2%) were male and 35.6% were between 40-69 years old. 82% of the pig farmers were married and all (100%) were Christians. With regards to education, only 4.4% of the farmers had no formal education while 55% had an experience of 10 years in pig farming. Majority of the farmers (44.4%) jointly reared cross (exotic x local), local and exotic pigs. 57.8% of farmers feed their pigs with compounded feed associated with kitchen and farm residues twice daily, morning and evening in feeding through mostly made of plastic materials (37.8%). 84.44% of farmers housed their pigs to avoid destruction and diseases (64.44%). Piggeries were mostly made of wood (60.0%) and had concrete floors (57.8%). However, 22.2% of farmers practiced free range production system. The farmers mostly practiced free will (55.6%) and group mating and delivery takes place in the herd (62.2%). 77.8% of the farmers faced health problems and 91.1% considered pig farming to be profitable. The main challenges faced by farmers were disease outbreak and expensive feed cost (22.2%). Although pig production is profitable, there is no ready market. Nevertheless, pig production has a positive impact in the lives of rural dwellers.
Keywords: Socio-economic, pig farmers, Production system, Cameroon.