In China, individual pig producers play an important role in the pig production sector. This study aimed to get insight in the individual household pig farming system in Changyuan County, Henan Province, China
In China, individual pig producers play an important role in the pig production sector. This study aimed to get insight in the individual household pig farming system in Changyuan County, Henan Province, China. Thirty and twenty individual household pig farms were selected from the rural area and the city periphery, respectively. These farmers were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire about household characteristics and pig farming, also, veterinarians, and 20 neighbours were interviewed.
Farmers started pig production about 7 years ago. Before, they worked in construction in cities, had been crop farmers, or had their own businesses. In both areas, the majority (70-73%) of the farmers had no off-farm activities, others were employed or had private businesses. Backyard pig farming was defined as producing up to 80 head per year. Specialized household pig farming was defined as producing a range of 80-1000 head per year. Seventy per cent of the farmers were specialized household farms according to this definition. All the farmers marketed their pigs through a pig dealer or directly to local slaughter houses. Pig feed was from various sources; the major feeds were crops and crop residues from farmers’ own fields in the rural area and swill in the city periphery. Seventy five per cent of farmers in city periphery used swill to feed the pigs. Pig farmers mainly regard the feed prices, availability of capital, and pig prices as the main constraints. The low-educational level, the competitiveness of large commercial farms, and the absence of their distinctive voice in the pig production chain are also limiting the development of their pig farming.
The individual household pig farms will continue to play an important role in the Chinese pig sector. The backyard pig farming system will decrease in importance or may even disappear. However, the specialized household pig farming system will continue and may develop at a faster rate than large commercial pig farms, because of the comparative advantage of very low investment costs and the considerable profits.
Student: X. Guan
Supervisors: dr ir H. Udo