AuthorKambashi, BienvenuPicron, PascaleBoudry, ChristelleThéwis, AndréKiatoko, HonoréBindelle, Jérôme
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Smallholder pig production systems along a periurban-rural gradient in the Western provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), pigs are raised almost exclusively by smallholders either in periurban areas of major cities such as Kinshasa or in rural villages. Unfortunately, little information is available regarding pig production in the Western part of the DRC, wherefore a survey was carried out to characterize and compare 319 pig production systems in their management and feeding strategies, along a periurban - rural gradient inWestern provinces of the DRC. Pig breeding was the main source of income (43%) and half of respondents were active in mixed pig and crop production, mainly vegetable garden. Depending on the location, smallholders owned on average 18 pigs, including four sows. Piglet mortality rate varied from 9.5 to 21.8% while average weaned age ranged between 2.2 and 2.8 months. The major causes of mortality reported by the farmers were African swine fever 98 %, swine erysipelas (60 %), erysipelas trypanosomiasis (31 %), swine worm infection (17 %), and diarrhoea (12 %). The majority of the pigs were reared in pens without free roaming and fed essentially with locally available by-products and forage plants whose nature varied according with the location of the farm. The pig production systems depended on the local environment; particularly in terms of workforces, herd structure and characteristics, production parameters, pig building materials, selling price and in feed resources. It can be concluded that an improvement of Congolese pig production systems should consider (1) a reduction of inbreeding, (2) an improvement in biosafety to reduce the incidence of African swine fever and the spread of other diseases, and (3) an improvement in feeding practices.