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© 2015,Science Huβ,

ISSN: 2153-649X, doi:10.5251/ajsir.2015.

Socio-economic characteristics and management practices of small scale

intensive pig production in East Shewa of Central Oromia, Ethiopia
Mulugeta Berihu and 2Berhan Tamir
Department of Animal Science and Eco-Tourism Management, College of Agriculture, Aksum
University Shire-Campus, Shire, Ethiopia
Department of Animal Science, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa
University Bishoftu-Campus, Bishoftu, Ethiopia


The aim of this research was to assess the socio economic profile and management practices of
small scale intensive pig production in East Shewa of Central Ethiopia. The research used
structured questionnaire administered to 105 household pig farmers, randomly selected from
three towns (Addis Ababa, Bishoftu and Adama) in East-Shewa. Focus group discussions were
also employed to check the reliability of the information obtained through questionnaire interview.
Data generated included socio-economic profile (age, sex, family size, land size, educational
level, farming experience, source of income and wealth status), farm characteristics (type of
breed, labour, working hour, herd size, source of foundation pig), management practices of pig
production. Data were analyzed using ANOVA, chi-square and descriptive statistics. The survey
results indicated that the mean farm experience in years per household was significantly higher
(P<0.05) in Bishoftu town (10.3±1.032) than in Addis Ababa (5.1±0.494) and Adama (3.3±0.547)
towns. The mean farm size in hectare per household was significantly higher (P<0.05) in Bishoftu
(4.5±1.28) than in Addis Ababa (1.2±0.646) and Adama (1.2±0.568). Significantly higher (P<0.05)
percentage of wealthy households were detected in Bishoftu (65%) compared to in Addis Ababa
(48.6%) and Adama (33.3%). Average number of pigs per household was significantly higher
(P<0.05) in Bishoftu (186.5±175.5) than in Addis Ababa (21.1±4.54) and Adama (8.5±6).
Significantly higher (P<0.05) percentage of households in Bishoftu (22.5%) employed the
recommended housing designs for pigs compared to households in Addis Ababa (5.7%) and
Adama (6.7%) towns . Brick walled housing was utilized by significantly higher (P<0.05)
percentages of respondents in Bishoftu district (30%) compared to Addis Ababa (11.4%) and
Adama (10%) towns. Thus, development interventions should be designed and implemented
accordingly to improve the benefit of small scale intensive pig keepers.

Keywords: Small Scale, Intensive Pig Production, Housing, Socio-Economic Characteristics

INTRODUCTION increasing demand for it. This demand can be met by

rearing fast-growing species with efficient feed
The dietary protein consumption of Ethiopia is
conversion rates such as pigs (Yeshambel and
estimated at 56 gram per day per person (FAO,
Bimrew, 2014).
2010) which is lower than the average dietary protein
consumption of the world (85 gram per day per Pig production is an attractive business for the
person), developed countries (104 gram per day per reason that superior production efficiency per unit
person) and developing countries (80 gram per day area of land (FAO, 2009). Pigs are not only a source
per person). Likewise, it is at the same level as the of quality animal protein but also a source of income
dietary protein consumption of Africa (62 gram per (Ikwap et al., 2014). Pig is one of the most prolific
day per person) as well as low-income food-deficit and fast growing livestock species that can convert
countries (57 gram per day per person). The low food waste to valuable products (Vicente et al.,
protein consumption is partly due to the high cost of 2010). Pigs have greater income because of big litter
conventional sources of meat like cattle, goat, sheep size, shorter pregnancy period (114 days) and lesser
and poultry. It is therefore necessary to search for a feed conversion ratio (1kg pork from 3kg feed), in
cheaper alternative source of protein to meet the ever relation to other livestock species (Ikwap et al.,
Am. J. Sci. Ind. Res., 2015, 6(4): 82-89

2014). Keeping pigs plays a crucial role in numerous extends from October to February. The mean annual
tropical countries (Bienvenu et al., 2014). According maximum and minimum temperatures are 26°C and
to Theodros et al. (2013) who stated that small scale 14°C respectively, with mean relatively humidity of
pig production was a newly introduced farming 61.3% (Dinka and Yakob, 2006). College of
activity in Ethiopia. The population was estimated to Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, the National
be 33,000 heads depicting 0.1% of African pig Veterinary Institute, the Pan-Africa Veterinary
population (FAO, 2013). For the last number of years Vaccine Centre, and an Ethiopian Institute of
adequate emphasis has not been given for pigs and Agricultural Research are also located in Bishoftu.
unlike other livestock, they are concentrated in Therefore, it has the way to use veterinary service
central part of the country (Seid and Abebaw, 2010). and professional support.
Associated with the blessings of pig production, a
Adama is located at 8° N latitude and 39° E
well managed pig industry may bridge such glaring
longitude about 99 km Southeast of Addis Ababa. It
protein deficit. However, before deciding on any
is placed at an altitude ranging from 1600 to 1700
planned use for pigs, assessment of socioeconomic
meters above sea level. The area entertains an
characteristics, farm profile and management
average annual rainfall ranging from about 600 to
practices of pig production are required in order to
1150 mm which is inconsistent in nature. More than
make more efficient and sustainable pig rearing
67% of the mean annual rainfall showers in June,
activity (Bienvenu et al., 2014). Similarly, bringing in
July, August and September. Some additional rains
external development options is unsustainable both
(about 23%) taken place during the remaining dry
in the short and long term as they fail to appreciate
months with sometimes mean monthly rainfall of
the complexity of livestock production systems that
being zero. The minimum and maximum daily
farmers face (FAO, 2002). o
temperatures of the area are 12 and 33 C,
Therefore, in view of the above mentioned facts, the respectively (NMSA, 2010).
present study was planned to examine the
Data collection procedure: Questionnaire was
socioeconomic characteristics and management
developed and data were collected on small scale
practices of small scale intensive pig production in
intensive pig rearing. The pretested structured
three locations of Central Oromia, Ethiopia, depicting
questionnaire was administered to a total of 105
three agro ecologies. The data gathered will be used
randomly selected respondents by enumerators
by policy makers in better addressing the needs of
recruited and trained for this purpose under close
the pig farmers.
supervision by the researcher. The data for the study
MATERIALS AND METHODS were collected between January 2014 and April
2015. Data were collected on socio-economic profiles
Description of the study area: The research was
of the respondents (family size, educational level,
conducted in three major cities in East Shewa of
age, years of experience, farm size, source of income
central Ethiopia, namely: Addis Ababa, Bishoftu and
and wealth status), farm characteristics (breed type,
Adama depicting highland, midland and lowland
labour, daily time devoted to pig, herd size and
agro-ecologies, respectively. The towns were chosen
source of stock), management practices.
based on their nearness, pig population, pig
fattening, feed production and marketing. Addis Focus group discussions: To validate the data
Ababa is located at 9° N latitude 38°E longitude and collected through questionnaire survey focus group
average altitude of 2355 meters above sea level. The discussions were conducted. Selection of participants
area obtains a bimodal rainfall with a long rainy was made together with the urban agricultural staff.
season occurring from June to September and On average six people (ranging from 4 to 11)
annual rainfall of 1184 millimeter and average participated in the discussion.
temperature of 12.2°C (Addis Ababa Bureau of
Analytical techniques: Data collected through
Finance and Economic Development, 2013).
questionnaire (socio-economic characteristics, farm
Bishoftu is located at 9°N latitude and 40°E profiles and management practices) were analyzed
longitudes at an altitude of 1850 meters above sea using by ANOVA, Chi-square and descriptive
level and 48kms south east of Addis Ababa. It has an statistics of statistical package for social sciences
annual rainfall of 866mm of which 84% is in the long (SPSS for windows, version 16.0, 2006).
rainy season (June to September). The dry season

Am. J. Sci. Ind. Res., 2015, 6(4): 82-89

Table 1: Socio-economic characteristics of small scale intensive pig production in East Shewa
Characteristics Addis Ababa Bishoftu Adama Total Test
N (%) N (%) N (%) N (%) X -value p-value
a a a
Female 1(2.8) 1(2.5) 1(3.3) 3(2.9) 0.043 0.979
a a a
Male 34(97.1) 39(97.5) 29(96.7) 102(97.1) 0.043 0.979
Educational level
a a a
Junior 9(25.7) 10(25) 8(26.7) 27(25.7) 0.025 0.988
a a a
Senior 10(28.6) 11(27.5) 8(26.7) 29(27.6) 0.030 0.985
a a a
University 17(48.6) 19(47.5) 14(46.7) 50(47.6) 0.024 0.988
Source of income
a a a
Salary 2(5.7) 2(5) 2(6.7) 6(5.7) 0.888 0.957
a a a
Pension 3(5.7) 3(7.5) 2(6.7) 8(7.6) 0.085 0.959
a a a
Sell of livestock 4(11.4) 4(10) 3(10) 11(10.5) 0.051 0.975
a a a
Various combinations 27(77.1) 31(77.5) 23(76.7) 81(77.1) 0.007 0.997
Wealth status
a b a
Poor 11(31.4) 3(7.5) 18(60) 32(30.5) 22.323 0.000
a a a
Medium 7(20) 11(27.5) 2(6.7) 20(19) 4.856 0.088
a b a
Welloff 17(48.6) 26(65) 10(33.3) 52(50.5) 6.953 0.031
Mean ± SD Mean ± SD Mean ± SD Mean ±SD F-value p-value
a a a
Age in years 39.63±1.72 39.85±2.08 39.87±2.0 39.78±2.1 0.16 0.850
a a a
Family size 3.14±0.355 3.13±0.335 3.17±0.379 3.14±0.352 0.118 0.889
a b c
Farm experience in years 5.1±0.494 10.3±1.032 3.3±0.547 6.6±3.079 809.04 0.000
a b a
Land size in hectares 1.2±0.646 4.5±1.28 1.2±0.568 2.5±1.85 156.6 0.000
N (%) depicts number or percent of respondents; SD refers to Standard Deviation; numbers connected by different
letters are statistically significant
Table 1 indicates the socioeconomic characteristics was in agreement with the findings of (Adesehinwa et
of small scale intensive pig keepers in East Shoa. al., 2003; Defang et al., 2014), who clarified that men
Sex of respondents was not associated with the are capable of doing more tedious work which is
towns (p>0.05). Majority (97.1%) of the respondents usually associated with pig farming than the females.
were male headed households while 2.9% were The results of the analysis showed that age of pig
female headed households considering the total farmers at the three towns were similar. The average
population size. This may highlight the low age of the pig farmers was 39.78±2.1 in view of the
participation of female farmers in raising pigs. The total population. The average age of pig producers
low percentage of women involved in pig production was under 40 years. This mean age along with
than men could be as a result of drudgery, physical farmers may suggest high level of vitality for
and energy demanding as well as capital-intensive agricultural activities and play central role in
nature of investment required by pig production, productive enterprises (Eliakunda et al., 2015).
which discourages women. The predominance of Furthermore, it is in agreement with earlier findings
men in swine production as observed in this study (Ajala et al., 2006; Banta et al., 2012; Duniya et al.,

Am. J. Sci. Ind. Res., 2015, 6(4): 82-89

2013), who reported that farmers were within an of universities and colleges in Ethiopia that could be
economic active age (under 40 years), making important to the farming community. This could also
positive contribution to agricultural production. The ease the acquisition of scientific information and
mean family size across the towns were not different uptake of new technologies on pig husbandry and
(p>0.05). The overall mean family size per household production aspects. The relative high level of literacy
in the studied towns was 3.14±0.352 people. This among the districts might enhance innovativeness of
result is lesser than the average family size (4.7) of farmers. Additionally, it may assist to extension
Ethiopia (CSA, 2007). The smaller family size of the officers for easy communication and understanding of
current study might be linked to the high educational extension message, especially for application of new
status and which may improve family plan among the technology in swine production and management.
pig farmers. This conforms to earlier reports of Zanu et al. (2012),
who indicated that there is high level of education
Pig rearing experiences of farmers were different
among the pig producers in Ghana.
(P<0.05) across the study. The mean farm
experience of respondents was significantly higher in There was no relationship (p>0.05) between source
Bishoftu (10.3±1.032 years) compared to Addis of income of respondents. The intensive pig farmers
Ababa (5.1±0.494 years) and Adama (3.3±0.547 considered various combinations (77.1%) as their
years) respectively. It seems that Bishoftu farmers main source of income followed by sell of livestock
commenced raising pigs earlier than Addis Ababa (10.5%) salary (7.6%) and pension (5.7%) in relation
and Adama. Most farmers had experience on pig to total population size. Pig farmers that regarded
production which might improve their productivity and various combinations as their source of earning
expand their activities bearing in mind the total conducted diverse tasks such as dairying, gardening,
population size. Farming experience could generally meat processing, import and export of different
be correlated with attainment of improved skills in commodities. The diversity in sources of income
agriculture. Accumulated field experiences may tend mirrored that the global economic activities of the pig
to tailor farmers choices of feedstuffs, feeding farmers. The current results were in line with reports
standard and breed of pigs among others away from of Nsoso et al. (2003).
official standards approved for tropical environment
Wealth status of pig keepers was significantly
(Okoli, 2005). The overall farming experience for the
associated with (P<0.05). Significantly, higher
present study agreed with the findings of Adesehinwa
percentage of wealthy farmers was identified in
et al. (2003). There were differences (P<0.05) in
Bishoftu than in Addis Ababa and Adama.
farmers' land size along with the three towns. The
Significantly, smaller proportion of poor pig farmers
mean farm size was significantly larger in Bishoftu
were detected in Bishoftu compared to Addis Ababa
(4.5±1.28) than in Addis Ababa (1.2±0.646) and
and Adama. The difference in wealth status might be
Adama (1.2±0.568). The present variation in land
related to the variation in collection of income by
size might be related to the nature and land allocation
farmers across the. The overall results is in
system of the three. Education level of respondents
accordance with reports of Deny et al. (2011), who
was not associated with (p>0.05). As regards to total
noted that large number of farmers had well-off
educational level, 47.6% were university, 27.6%
livelihood of farming pigs in Papua and West Papua,
senior and 25.7% junior levels. This indicates that
New Guinea.
majority of the respondents were found in a better
level of education. The high level of education may Characteristics of small scale intensive pig farms
be attributed to the quick expansion and development in East Shewa:

Am. J. Sci. Ind. Res., 2015, 6(4): 82-89

Table 2 depicts the characteristics of small scale market place. The overall results of the current study
intensive pig farms: breed, labor, working hours, herd disagreed with reports of Part et al. (2014), who
size and source of parent stock. For all herds, the stated that pigs were mostly (93.33%) procured from

Table 2: Characteristics of small scale intensive pig farms in East Shewa.

Farm characteristics Addis Ababa Bishoftu Adama Total Test
N (%) N (%) N (%) N (%) X -value p-value
cross 48(100) 57(100) 30(100) 105(100) - -
Sources of labor
a a a
Mother 4(11.4) 4(10) 3(10) 11(10.5) 0.051 0.975
a a a
Father 7(20) 8(20) 6(20) 21(20) 0.000 1.000
a a a
Children 6(17.1) 7(17.5) 5(16.7) 18(17.1) 0.008 0.996
a a a
hired 18(51.4) 21(52.5) 16(53.3) 55(52.4) 0.024 0.988
Sources of parent stock
a a a
Neighbor 30(85.7) 34(85) 26(86.7) 90(85.7) 0.039 0.981
a a a
others 5(14.3) 6(15) 4(13.3) 15(14.3) 0.039 0.981
Mean± SD Mean± SD Mean± SD Mean± SD F-value p-value
a a a
Working hour 7.06±0.236 7.1±0.304 7.07±0.251 7.07±0.251 0.64 0.529
a b a
Herd size 21.1±4.54 186.53±175.2 8.5±6 88.5±136.3 31.0 0.000
N (%) depicts number or percent of respondents; SD refers to Standard Deviation; values with one superscript letter in
common are not significantly separated
pigs were cross bred considering the total population local market and just 5.55 % respondents collected
size. Respondents’ preferred crossbred pigs for the pigs from any organized farm. The present
better growth performance, higher weight gain, larger variation may be due to the difference in social
litter size and greater back fat thickness which are in tradition of pig farming in central Ethiopia. Working
conformity with the reports of Rahman et al. (2008). hour was similar while pig herd size was different
The current study is also consistent with reports of cross the towns.
Defang et al. (2014), who noticed that the
The overall mean time spent on feeding and
crossbreeds were predominant (70.91 %) in West
managing pigs was 7.07±0.251 hours per day. The
region of Cameroon. Sources of labor and foundation
current results agreed with reports of Nsoso et al.
stock were not associated with town (P>0.05). Hired
(2003) and Johan and Arie (2011), who mentioned
labor was the leading supply of labor in the studied
that intensive pig production system required
cities in view of the total population. The utilization of
significant inputs of time. The number of pigs reared
more hired laborer in the study districts might indicate
per household in Bishoftu town was higher (P <0.05)
good paying ability of the pig producers. Similar
than those in Addis Ababa and Adama towns. The
results were reported by Okoli et al. (2009), where
higher number of pigs in Bishoftu could be attributed
most pig farmers utilized hired labors in their pig
to better adaptation, relatively adequate feed
farms. The majority (85.7%) of respondents in the
production and allocation of more land for livestock
three surveyed districts acquired their foundation
stock from neighbors’ herds while 14.3% of them
obtained from other districts and country; however
none of the respondents procured pigs from local

Am. J. Sci. Ind. Res., 2015, 6(4): 82-89

Watering practices for small scale intensive pig production in East Shewa
Table 3: Water sources and watering frequency for small scale intensive pig production in East Shewa.
Variables Addis Ababa Bishoftu Adama Total Test
N (%) N (%) N (%) N (%) X -value p-value
Watering frequency
a a a
Once/day 9(25.7) 10(25) 9(30) 28(26.7) 0.244 0.885
a a a
Twice/day 26(74.3) 30(75) 21(70) 77(73.3) 0.244 0.885
Source of water
a a a
Tap water 33(94) 37(92.5) 28(93.3) 98(93.3) 0.096 0.953
a a a
Water well 2(6) 2(7.5) 2(6.7) 6(5.7) 0.088 0.957
Use of water trough 35(100) 40(100) 30(100) 105(100) - -
N (%) depicts number or percent of respondents; values with one superscript letter in common are not significantly separated
Watering practices for small scale intensive pig agreed with the reports of Defang et al. (2014), who
production are presented in Table 3. Frequency of stated that most respondents supplied water to their
watering and sources of water did not vary across pigs twice daily. the farmers reported that tape water
sites. All households in the three sites reported that (93.33%) the main source of water across the study
water was supplied to the pigs using water troughs. A sites.
large number of (73.3%) farmers provided clean
Housing practices for small scale intensive pig
drinking water, meant for humans, twice a day, which
production in East Shewa
Table 4: Housing practices for small scale intensive pig production in East Shewa.
Variables Addis Ababa Bishoftu Adama Total Test
N (%) N (%) N (%) N (%) X -value p-value
a a a
Wood walled 8(22.9) 8(20) 7(23.3) 23(21.9) 0.139 0.933
a b a
Brick walled 4(11.4) 12(30) 3(10) 19(18.1) 6.20 0.045
a a a
Wall made of soil and wood 23(65.7) 23(57.5) 20(66.7) 61(62.9) 0.801 0.670
a b a
Recommended housing 2(5.7) 9(22.5) 2(6.7) 13(12.4) 6.113 0.047
a b a
Not recommended housing 33(94.3) 31(77.5) 28(93.3) 92(87.6) 6.113 0.047
Group housing 35(100) 40(100) 30(100) 105(100) - -
N (%) depicts number or percent of respondents; values with one superscript letter in common are not significantly
Table 4 indicates housing practices for small scale farmers in Bishoftu reinvested the cash obtained from
intensive pig production in, Addis Ababa Bishoftu and sell of pigs on constructing brick walled houses.
Adama towns. A large number of (p<0.05) brick
All the farmers used group housing management.
walled pig houses were obserbed in Bishoftu than
Pigs were grouped and housed according to their
Addis Ababa and Adama. In addition, a large portion
ages and performances. Farmers had separated
(p<0.05) of pig farmers in Bishoftu constructed pig
fattening and maternity pens. The focus group
houses based on the recommended housing system
discussions conducted across the three districts
for pig production compared to Addis Ababa and
revealed that the space allowance per pig was
Adama. The results might indicate that the pig
inadequate. The insufficient floor spacing could

Am. J. Sci. Ind. Res., 2015, 6(4): 82-89

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