Pig farming in rural South Africa: A case study of uThukela District in KwaZulu-Natal 

DOI: 10.18805/ijar.11175    | Article Id: B-370 | Page : 614-620
Citation :- Pig farming in rural South Africa: A case study of uThukelaDistrict in KwaZulu-Natal .Indian Journal Of Animal Research.2016.(50):614-620

Sibongiseni, T.  Gcumisa1, James, W. Oguttu1* and Mary, M. Masafu1

Address :

Department of Agriculture and Animal Health, University of South Africa, Cnr. Christian De Wet and Pioneer Ave, Florida, 1710, South Africa.

Submitted Date : 7-09-2015
Accepted Date : 10-03-2016


We assessed the status of pig farming and its contribution to the livelihoods of rural households in the study area. Snowball sampling was used to sample respondents (n=533), and data was collected using a structured questionnaire. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA. The majority (62%) of respondents were females over 46 years of age. Most respondents (62%) had no schooling or had only attended primary school. Male respondents reared significantly (p < 0.05) larger herds. Respondents who had secondary school education tended to rear significantly (p < 0.05) larger herds. The few respondents (1%) who held formal jobs tended to rear significantly (p < 0.05) larger herds. Livestock contributed less (10%) to household income compared to government grants that contributed 47.3%. More than half of respondents (63%) kept pigs for household consumption, while only 33% reared pigs as a source of income. Respondents still reared local pig breeds, and fed their pigs predominantly on swill (81%). Very few respondents had been exposed to training on pig rearing. Most pigs are slaughtered locally and sold mainly at social grant pay points on days when grants are paid out. The potential of pigs to support rural households has not been fully exploited in the study area. There is a need for skills transfer to limit the risks associated with feeding swill and poor animal husbandry practices. Meat inspection services are needed to limit the risk of diseases like cysticercosis.


Constraints to farming Health risks Pig husbandry Poverty alleviation Rural livelihoods.


  1. Ajala, M.K., Adesehimwa, A.O. and Mohammed, A.K. (2007). Characteristics of smallholder pig production in southern kaduna of kaduna state, Nigeria. Am Jounal Agric Environ Sci., 2:182-188.
  2. Bellaver, C. and Bellaver, I.H. (1999). Livestock production and quality of societies’ life in transition economies. Livest Prod Sci., 59:125-135. doi:10.1016/S0301-6226(99)00021-4.
  3. Bradford, G. (1999). Contributions of animal agriculture to meeting global human food demand. Livest Prod Sci., 59:95-    112. doi:10.1016/S0301-6226(99)00019-6.
  4. Carter, N., Dewey, C., Mutua, F., de Lange, C. and Grace, D. (2013). Average daily gain of local pigs on rural and peri-    urban smallholder farms in two districts of Western Kenya. Trop Anim Health Prod., 45:1533-1538. doi:10.1007/    s11250-013-0395-2.
  5. Chiduwa, G., Chimonyo, M., Halimani, T.E., Chisambara, S.R. and Dzama, K. (2008). Herd dynamics and contribution of indigenous pigs to the livelihoods of rural farmers in a semi-arid area of Zimbabwe. Trop Anim Health Prod.,40:125-    136. doi:10.1007/s11250-007-9071-8.
  6. Chimonyo, M., Bhebhe, E. and Dzama, K. (2005). Improving smallholder pig production for food security and livelihood of the poor in Southern Africa. African Crop Sci., 7:569-573.
  7. de Villiers, J.F. (2005). A strategy to improve agricultural productivity in a rural community through on-farm research and technology transfer. PhD, Pietermaritzburg: University of Kwazulu-Natal
  8. Halimani, T.E., Muchadeyi, F.C., Chimonyo, M. and Dzama K. (2012). Some insights into the phenotypic and genetic diversity of indigenous pigs in Southern Africa. S Afr J Anim Sci., 42:507-510.
  9. Hossain, M., Chakma, S., Khatun, M., Hasanuzzaman, M., Miah, M. and Biswas, M. (2012). Production systems of swine in the rural areas of Rangamati and Khagrachari districts of Bangladesh. Bangladesh J Anim Sci., 40:4-9. doi:10.3329/bjas.v40i1-2.10787.
  10. Kagira, J.M., Kanyari, P.W.N., Maingi, N., Githigia, S.M., Ng’ang’a, J.C. and Karuga, J.W. (2010). Characteristics of the smallholder free-range pig production system in western Kenya. Trop Anim Health Prod.;42:865-873. doi:10.1007/    s11250-009-9500-y.
  11. Karimuribo, E., Chenyambuga, S., Makene, V.W. and Mathias, S. (2011). Characteristics and production constraints of rural-based small-scale pig farming in Iringa region, Tanzania. Livest Res Rural Dev., 3:(Article #172). http://    www.lrrd.org/lrrd23/8/Kari23172.htm.
  12. Krecek, R.C., Michael, L.M., Willingham III, A.L. and Schantz, P.M. (2004). Questionnaire results from a community-    based project on porcine cysticercosis in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Southeast Asian Trop Med public Heal., 35:271-274.
  13. Kumaresan, A., Bujarbaruah, K.M., Pathak, K.A., Das, A. and Bardoloi, R.K. (2009). Integrated resource-driven pig production systems in a mountainous area of Northeast India: production practices and pig performance. Trop Anim Health Prod. 41: 1187-1196. doi:10.1007/s11250-008-9299-y.
  14. Kumaresan, A., Bujarbaruah, K.M., Pathak, K.A., Bijoy, Chhetri., Das, S.K., Anubrata Das. and Ahmed, S.K. (2007). Performance of pigs reared under traditional tribal low input production system and chemical composition of non-conventional tropical plants used as pig feed. Livest Sci.,107:294-298. doi:10.1016/j.livsci.2006.12.007.
  15. KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. (2015). Livestock. Online. http://www.kzndae.gov.za/en-za/    agriculture/programmes/livestock.aspx. Published 2005. Accessed November 6.
  16. Lemke, U., Kaufmann, B., Thuy, L.T., Emrich, K. and Valle Zárate, A. (2007). Evaluation of biological and economic efficiency of smallholder pig production systems in North Vietnam. Trop Anim Health Prod.,39:237-254. doi:10.1007/s11250-007-9001-9.
  17. Madzimure, J., Chimonyo, M., Zander, K.K., Dzama, K. (2012). Potential for using indigenous pigs in subsistence-oriented and market-oriented small-scale farming systems of Southern Africa. Trop Anim Health Prod.,45:135-142. doi:10.1007/s11250-012-0184-3.
  18. Moyo, S. and Swanepoel, F.J. (2010). Multifunctionality of Livestock in Developing Communities. In: Swanepoel F, Stroebel A, Moyo S, eds. The Role of Livestock in Developing Communities: Enhancing Multifunctionality. First Edit. Bloemfontein: SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein 59 Brill Street, Westdene, Bloemfontein, South Africa, 9301. https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/3003/roleLivestockFarming.pdf?sequence=1. Accessed November 5, 2015.
  19. Mtileni, B.J., Muchadeyi, F.C., Maiwashe, A., Phitsane, P.M. and Halimani, T.E. (2009). Characterisation of production systems for indigenous chicken genetic resources of South Africa. Development., 2:18-22.
  20. Nakai, S. (2011). Pig domestication processes: An analysis of varieties of household pig reproduction control in a hillside village in Northern Thailand. Hum Ecol., 40:145-152. doi:10.1007/s10745-011-9438-3.
  21. Nissen, S., Poulsen, I. H., Nejsum, P., Olsen, A., Roepstorff, A., Rubaire-Akiiki, C. and Stig, Thamsborg, M. (2011). Prevalence of gastrointestinal nematodes in growing pigs in Kabale District in Uganda. Trop Anim Health Prod.,43:567-572. doi:10.1007/s11250-010-9732-x.
  22. Nsoso, S.J., Mannathoko, G.G. and Modise, K. (2006). Monitoring production, health and marketing of indigenous Tswana pigs in Ramotswa village of Botswana. Livest Res Rural Dev.,18:125. http://www.cipav.org.co/lrrd/.
  23. Pauw, K., C. Punt., van Schoor M, et al. (2005). A Profile of KwaZulu-Natal: Demographics, Poverty, Inequality and Unemployment. PROVIDE Project;. http://wwwold.elsenburg.com/provide/documents/BP2005_1_5 Demographics KZ.pdf. Accessed November 5, 2015.
  24. Petrus, N.P., Mpofu, I., Schneider, M.B. and Nepembe, M. (2011). The constraints and potentials of pig production among communal farmers in Etayi Constituency of Namibia. Livest Res Rural Dev., 23:159.
  25. Phengsavanh, P., Ogle, B., Stür, W., Frankow-Lindberg, B.E. and Lindberg, J.E. (2010). Feeding and performance of pigs in smallholder production systems in Northern Lao PDR. Trop Anim Health Prod. 42:1627-1633. doi:10.1007/    s11250-010-9612-4.
  26. Pondja, A., Neves, L., Mlangwa, J., Afonso, S., Fafetine, J., Lee Willingham III, A., Thamsborg, S. M. and Johansen, M. V. (2010). Prevalence and Risk Factors of Porcine Cysticercosis in Angónia District, Mozambique. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 4:e594. Doi: 10:1371/journal.pntd.0000594.
  27. South African Government. (2000). Meat Safety Act | South African Government. South Africa; http://www.gov.za/documents/    meat-safety-act. Accessed November 5, 2015.
  28. StatSA (Statistics South). Provincial Profile/ : KwaZulu-Natal.; 2014. http://www.statssa.gov.za/?page_id=1854&PPN=    Report-03-01-74. Accessed November 5, 2015.

Global Footprints