Karimuribo et al., 2011. Livest. Res. Rur. Dev., 23 (8): 172
A study was carried out in Iringa and Kilolo districts of Iringa region of Tanzania in July 2007. The objective of the study was to characterise pig production system and identify constraints and opportunities of small-scale pig farming. The study farms were purposively selected and included only those farms with pigs (n=41) during the study period. Data collection was based on individual interviews using a questionnaire, examination of animals and animal houses, as well as, direct observations. Whereas all (100%) households reported livestock keeping and crop farming as their main sources of income, only 31.7% and 14.6% of household heads said they depended on business and salaried employment, respectively. The types of livestock owned by farmers were pigs (97.5%), chicken (75.5%), cattle (17.1%), rabbits and guinea pigs (12.2%) and goats (9.8%). The average number of pigs per household was 2.92.0 (ranging from 1 to 8) while that of chicken was 14.59.8 (4-56). For the cattle, small stock (rabbits and guinea pigs) and goats, the average number of animals per household was 8.39.7, 5.25.5 and 5.04.5, respectively. The main basal ration fed to pigs as reported by farmers was maize bran (100%), green leafy materials (12.2%) and vegetable residues (4.9%). Supplementary feeds provided to pigs were mainly sunflower seed cake (38.9%), vegetable residues (19.4%) and minerals (13.9%). The main production constraints identified by farmers included unavailability of animal feeds, inadequate animal health and inadequate extension service and diseases. Important pig diseases and signs of pigs perceived to be important were mange (44%), worm infestation (35%), hind limb paralysis (14%), abortion (4%), cysticercosis (2%) and diarrhoea (1%). Despite availability of reliable market for pigs in the study area, the average number of pigs kept per farm was very small indicating existence of opportunity for increased pig production which could be sustainable in the area.