How to become a pig farmer | Fin24

How to become a pig farmer

Aug 09 2014 12:43

Cape Town – Prospective small business owners often have good ideas, but don’t have the resources to get started.

Fin24 user Tseko Rantai said he was interested in going into pig farming. “What are the crucial success and failure factors in this kind of business.”

Portia Matsane from the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (Sappo) responded with these key points:

The following are the problems encountered by developing pig farmers when they attempt pig farming at a commercial level:

- Lack of finance to start pig farming at a commercially viable level.
- Lack of experience and training to produce commercially.
- Lack of advice and mentorship to sustain a viable piggery.
- Failure to meet abattoir requirements to market their pigs.

Developing pig farmers must take the below points into consideration when planning to start a piggery at a commercial level. Sappo would then be able to assist.

Market agreements

It is the responsibility of a farmer to do a feasibility study and research about the availability and proximity of markets to the proposed piggery and to enter into agreements with those prospective markets. Sappo will assist by providing relevant information about such markets.


Prospective farmers must ensure that they have ownership or a long-term lease for the land. The size of the land required will vary with how many pigs are kept, at what age they are sold and how intensively the pigs are farmed, but the lay-out must measure up to basic biosecurity rules.

Environmental Management Plan (EMP)

It is also the duty of a prospective pig farmer to provide an approved EMP for the identified land as required by the environmental laws. An EMP is a component of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which must be provided in any commercial piggery. Sappo can assist with contact details of consultants who can perform this.

Prospective pig farmers must also be ready to register with the Department of Water Affairs for water user and waste discharge water related use licenses.

Pig farming requires high capital investment from the beginning. Sappo can assist developing pig farmers with generic business plans for either an out-grower unit or a farrow-to-finish unit. These business plans are available electronically on request from Sappo and the farmer can adjust them to her/his needs. Sappo will also provide a list of financial institutions which can assist financially.   

Construction plans

Sappo can provide these plans where possible once there is an indication that there is finance to start a piggery on an approved site. It is the duty of the farmer to obtain quotations for the execution of the plan.

Production inputs

It is the responsibility of a farmer to negotiate better deals when purchasing production inputs for her/his business operation. Sappo will assist in identifying sources of production inputs for the piggery project.

Joining Sappo

Sappo is an organisation of commercial pig farmers. A prospective who becomes actively involved in the commercial production and marketing of pigs may contact a Sappo office for joining in his/her respective province. Sappo will assist developing pig farmers whether they are members of Sappo or not.

Sappo assists developing pig farmers to overcome the problems they face by:

- Providing a generic business plan for use to apply for financial assistance.
- Training of prospective and existing pig farmers.
- Providing mentorship to certain piggeries as they may be deemed suitable by Sappo.
- Providing technical information at study groups and farmers’ days.
- Identifying convenient markets for new entrants in the industry

- Fin24

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agriculture  |  entrepeneurs  |  small business


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