Can Pig Farming in Kenya Make You Rich?

Are you looking to rear livestock animals for sale? Consider commercial pig farming for bacon and pork. It is one of the fastest growing agribusiness value chains in Kenya and other East Africa countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Kenya slaughtered an average of o.4 million heads of pig each year between 2016-20. The per capita consumption was around 13kg per person each year and it’s expected to double by year 2030. The aggregate supply in year 2020 was 27 Metric tons.

Tips for profitable pig farming in Kenya

What makes you a successful pig farmer? This post will guide you on how to start a pig farm and raise high quality animals.  To make money in the pork farming, you need to observe the good agriculture practices (GAPs) for raising pigs. The key practices you must combine are summarized in the list below.

  1. Draw an investment plan
  2. Hire skilled labor/seek professional advice
  3. Start with high quality pig breeds
  4. Invest in proper housing
  5. Follow a good nutrition/feeding schedule
  6. Maintain a vigilant disease & pest management program
  7. Invest in latest information on modern pig farming

Best counties to rear pigs in Kenya

The small intensive pig farming is common in the central (Kiambu, Murang’a, Kirinyaga & Nyeri, Meru), Nairobi, North Rift (Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia), Narok and Eastern Kenya (Machakos).

Small holder raising systems are common in Busia, Bungoma, and parts of Kisumu. Northeastern and Coast zones have the least pig populations in the country.

How Profitable is pig rearing in Kenya?

Pig farming can make you a millionaire if done right. The pigs are fast maturing and produce high quality meat and fat. To estimate the profits for your pig farm, you will need to do a simple cost and benefit analysis (CBA) or prefeasibility study to determine if its worth your efforts.  

Your CBA will compare your net profits by getting the difference of the total revenues the  total costs using the formula below.

Net Revenue (NR) = Total Revenue (TR) – Total cost (TC)

where the TC is Total cost = Total variable cost (TVC) + Total fixed cost (TFC)

Other analysis you can consider are the Gross margin and the Benefits cost ratio determined as follows

Gross Margin (GM) = TR – TVC

Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) = TR/TC

The sample below is an investment plan for rearing a herd of 22 pigs for 6-9 months. While you can use it for planning purposes, you will need to update it with actual figures once you implement your program.

How much money can you make rearing pigs in Kenya?

You can make a Total revenue (TR) of Ksh 573040 from your pig farming in Kenya over a period of 6 months. It translates to you making a Ksh 1 million each year if you can manage 2 herds.  You will get these monies by selling

  • 20 fattened mature pigs as porkers or baconers at a price of Ksh 23655 each
  • 2 growers (pure breed boars and sows) to other farmers at a price of Ksh 50,000 each
  • 102 empty bags at a price of Ksh 30 each
  • 35 bags of pig manure at a price of Ksh 70 each

Where can you sell your pigs in Kenya?

Kenya has 2 market types for pigs. The formal and informal.

Major pig slaughterhouses in Kenya
Pig slaughterhouses in Kenya

In the informal market. farmers sell grower and mature pigs to slaughter slabs, slaughterhouses or other farmers in their vicinity. Brokers buy live pigs from farms or you can opt to sell yours at a major pork center that operate near the three pig slaughterhouses in the Country. They are; Ndumboini, Kenol-Kabati and the Lyntano

On the other hand, you can sign a formal contract with the Farmers choice, the largest pig slaughterhouse, processor and exporter. You will lock a price and enjoy extension services and quality products from them.

Other farmers opt to slaughter and sell pig meat to their neighbors.

What is the cost of starting a pig farm in Kenya?

It costs around Ksh 50,000 to construct a pigsty that can accommodate 30-60 pigs. Such a pig house is constructed to international standards allowing for highest drainage standards. Each unit will have a good drainage, feeding and watering troughs. If you are looking for hygiene and reduced cost of production, watering nipples should be an option.

Such a modern pig farm will allow you to feed and attend to them from a central corridor. It will have bio-security and disinfection infrastructure such that you reduce infections in the farm.

Best pig breeds in Kenya

Kenya has both exotic and local pig breeds that perform well.

The exotic pig breeds in Kenya are the Large white, Landrace and the Durocs.  They mature fast and grow larger than the local breeds. The three of the most valuable exotic pig breeds in Kenya are summarized in the table below.

Pig breeds in Kenya
Exotic pig breeds in Kenya

The local breeds are the many in-breeds which are cross breeds between the exotic cross breeds and cross breeds from the neighboring country of Uganda. The black and white coat-colored pig breed is one of the most popular local breeds of the Landrace and Duroc pig.

Where to buy the best pig breeds in Kenya?

To stock your pig farm, source for breeding stock from the Farmers Choice or a commercial contracted pig farmer near you. You will need a pure-bred boar and a pregnant gilt or sow. The cost of a mature boar ranges from Ksh 40,000 while a pregnant sow can go for Ksh 60,000. The cost of the 3 pigs to start your farm will cost you around Ksh 160,000 assuming an average cost of Ksh 50,000 for each.  

The gestation period for pigs is 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. Your 2 pregnant sows will give birth to at least 22 piglets raising your community herd to 25. It takes between 6 and 9 months for pigs to mature in Kenya. You will now have 22 baconers or porkers to sell.

Besides, you can buy grower pigs or weaners for fattening from your neighbors. They go at around Ksh 5000. A herd of 22 would cost you Ksh 110,000.

Which are the best commercial feeds for your pigs?

To grow high quality pigs, stick to commercial pig feed only. However, you can  supplement your feeding with vegetables and other home made pig feed made from maize bran and wheat jams to cut your cost.

The table below is the recommended feeding program for pigs in Kenya. As shown, you need 3 types of commercial pig feed; the starter, weaner/grower and the finisher. You will feed your piglets on the starter feed between week 8 and 10. You will then introduce them to the weaner or grower feed when they are between 11 and 16 weeks old. For the last three months, feed your pigs on the finisher feed.

Pig age (wks)Body weight (kg)Feed Ration each pig /day (kg)Feed TypeFeed Amount for 22 Pigs/day (kg)
03-072-110.50Pre-starter11
08-1012-150.66Starter14.52
10-1215-201.0Sow & weaner22
12-1620-402.0Sow & weaner44
16-1840-502.5Finisher55
18-2450-843.0Finisher66
24-2884-1053.0Finisher66

 The cost of commercial pig feed in Kenya.

You will need 102 bags of pigs feed each of 70kg to raise 22 pigs to maturity. 3 of them will be starter, 22 weaners feed and 77 will be the finisher type of feed.

The total cost of your pig feed will be Ksh 254,760. This assumes the prevailing price of Ksh 2500 for each bag of feed.

Disease and pest control measures for your pig farm

Domestic and exotic Pigs are prone to many disease outbreaks. The common ones that can easily wipe your herd are the African Swine Flu (ASF), Influenza A and the Porcine Cysticercosis. Others are helminthes, coccicidia and diarrhoea among others. The Mange, jiggers and worms are the common reported pests by pig famers in Kenya.

 You will need to maintain hygiene, observe biosecurity farm measures and vaccinate your pigs against pests and diseases.

To observe hygiene, rear your pigs in concrete floor houses, Wash them daily with chlorine or another disinfectant.  Provide your pigs with clean water daily. Have a foot deep on entrances  to prevent transfer of infection from one pig section to another by your workers and provide sanitation units for people to wash hands.

The farmers choice have a pig vaccination schedule observed by their contracted farmers. You will vaccinate your animals against Erysipelas, E.coli. Porcine Parvovirus and Clostiridium. Farmers in the central region deworm their pigs monthly. The summary of this vaccination program and deworming for a farm raising pigs is as shown below

Where to get the best information on pork farming

Information is power. You can get more profits from your pig farm by seeking and using latest information on the pork market. You will scout about the best pig breeds, market prices and how to care for the pigs on your farm to international safety standards.

If you are looking for cheap, credible and reliable information look for information from following online sources, extension office or visiting other farms.

  • Online sources by joining a pig farmers forum on Facebook or a blogging communities.
  • Register for membership in the Kenya National Pig Farmers Association (KENPIFA) lobbying group.
  • Watching interviews with successful pig farmers on YouTube (see the one below).
  • Published journals and PDFs on pig farming (see resources below) are well researched and not intended to market a certain company product like pig feeds or vaccines.
  • Agriculture county officer or an expert from a large pig farm like the Farmers’ Choice
  • Visit other nearby successful pig farms to learn on bio security.

Resources on pig farming in Kenya

Farmer’s Choice Pig Management Manual pdf

FAO Handbook on Pig Production in pdf

Profitability Analysis of Pig Production under Intensive Management

Pig farming in Kenya-Farmers guide from farm to fork YouTube video

Samuel S.K.

S.K is the founder and senior agribusiness development consultant at Agcenture. He can be reached at info@agcenture.com

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