Embark on a transformative journey into pig farming with Buhle Farmer’s Academy’s Introduction to Piggery Management course. This comprehensive programme covers crucial aspects of pig farming, guiding participants through the intricacies of successful pig husbandry.
The piggy tale begins
Meet 18-year-old Dineo Makuwa who, despite her young age, already runs a thriving farm.
Buhle caters for new farmers without a tertiary education, and even without a Senior Certificate, as we know that many of these new farmers have the talent and dedication needed to run highly successful agribusinesses.
Dineo gained her initial exposure to farming as a child by working on the family farm during weekends and school holidays and attending livestock auctions with her father. She realises that pig breeding can contribute to food security for her community while building up her own farming business. This is why, after completing her course at Buhle in 2023 and registering her company, Sukuma Darkie Enterprise & Projects, she used her savings to buy ten piglets. She also inherited five cattle and 12 goats from her parents.
Dineo plans to expand her operations and is building a structure on her one-hectare farm so that she can breed her pigs. She has already reached an agreement with an abattoir, which will buy the animals. However, this strong-minded young farmer plans to build her own abattoir and supply supermarkets with her meat as well as to start an agro-processing enterprise, which will make bacon and mince sausage to supply to local supermarkets.
To cope with disease outbreaks, Dineo consistently ensures the health and safety of her animals. The quality of her meat matters to her, hence her focus on feed mix and the overall health of her herd.
The growth spurt
The growth stages of pigs, from piglet to market-ready, are explored in detail during Buhle’s Introduction to Piggery Management Course. During her training, Dineo gained hands-on experience in pig care and routine management, including understanding pig breeds, designing optimal pig housing, formulating balanced diets, recognising and managing common pig diseases, and implementing ethical practices for the welfare of pigs. As the pigs progress through growth stages, from the weaning phase where they transition to solid food (3-8 weeks) to the pre-grower stage (8-10 weeks), where they focus on optimal nutrition for growth, Dineo continue to nurture them with her newfound knowledge. In the grower stage (10-16 weeks) and finisher stage (16-24 weeks), a balanced diet becomes crucial to support muscle development as the pigs approach their final market weight. Should the need arise, Buhle’s Farmer Support Officers are on hand to assist her with business strategy or making hard decisions during episodes such as a Swine flu outbreak.
Why choose Buhle Farmer’s Academy?
Step into the dynamic world of pig farming and realise the opportunity not only to contribute to the farm-to-table journey, but also to shape a sustainable and prosperous future in pig husbandry. Through a carefully curated combination of facilitated learning, practical demonstrations, and fieldwork, this course at Buhle Farmers’ Academy offers a holistic learning experience.
Whether you’re a novice or an experienced farmer, join us in the Introduction to Piggery Management course, exploring the opportunities in pig breeding and take the first step towards mastering the essentials of this dynamic agricultural practice.