Animal Health and Production

Livestock plays an important role in the social, cultural and economic environment of Pacific Island communities. Indeed many, of the important social and cultural events in island life cannot be properly carried out without the slaughter and presentation of livestock in sufficient numbers. The Animal Health and Production thematic team works together in the Pacific region to develop prosperous, efficient and sustainable animal health and production systems, producing healthy animals and safe products for food security and income generation.

Collaboration with live and learn
Sunday, 10 May 2009 12:21

Collaboration with Live and LearnThis was an opportunity for the extension of the findings of the ACIAR funded Animal Waste Management Project. The invitation to present on Pig Waste Compost emerged after great interest in pig rearing was registered by the four villages for the EU funded Live & Learn project: Developing Sustainable Communities. Thirty five (35) registered trainees as well as interested villagers present at the training site were  enthusiastic to adopt and implement “composting piggery” after the first day of the training workshop.

The presentation included sub-topics like definitions, the need for adoption, and,  on composting piggery construction. Later, there was an open discussion with some interesting questions like ‘why do we say that pig waste is destructive when directly flushed into the sea/water way, but not, when applying it as manure in vegetable gardens?’

Following the presentation, a field trip to the village piggery sites was organised where all piggery sites were visited, pig head count and GPS points recorded. Impacts of direct flushing of pig wastes out into the village foreshore were  evident with dying mangrove swamps as indicators. The villagers also confirmed that they were experiencing low fish catches and reduction in other marine resources which they depend on for subsistence use.

Feedback on the days’ work was discussed around a bowl of grog during the evening session, where photos of piggeries and areas where pig waste have an adverse effect  were presented with detailed explanations. It was significant that areas of high algal bloom confirmed high nitrate level and areas with brackish water confirmed eutrophication. Both were attributed to the direct flushing of pig waste into the sea. Animal welfare issues were also discussed using some of the photos taken from the field trip. These animal welfare concepts were something new to the audience.

The presence of an official from the Ministry of Agriculture was appreciated by members of the community. He responded very well to most of the trainees’ queries regarding pig feeds, breeds & piggery planning.

Composting Piggery in Votua, Fiji

The composting piggery at Votua which was completed in Jan 2006, initially accommodated 2 sows and 2 boars. Today, this number has increased to 2 sows and 11 piglets of varying sizes. Perched away from the river bank, a lot of improvements have been witnessed and reported by villagers.

These include improvements in the quality of the river water, and reduction in pig waste odor, flies, and levels of faecal coliforms around the vicinity of the old piggery.

Composted manure consisting of pig waste and sawdust is added to vegetable gardens replacing commercial fertilizers.

Healthy vegetables and livestock, as well as an odorless pig pen, have been the main benefits reported by the pig farmer with the newly adopted piggery.

Water quality monitoring is continuing at the Votua River.


PRIPPP Paravet TrainingSwimming pigs