Farmer’s Choice is one of the biggest processors of pork products in the country. The company’s products include fresh sausages, bacon, ham, and pork.
Established in 1980, Farmer’s Choice has served as a ready market for many pig farmers in the country. However, to win a contract with the agro-processing company, various standards have to be met by the farmer.
Some of the expected standards are:
- Pigs coming in for slaughter must be healthy.
- Pigs must be fit for human consumption on post-mortem meat inspection.
- Pigs must come from disease-free zones as per livestock movement policy.
- Farmers delivering pigs must possess relevant animal movement documents, e.g.valid animal movement permit from their local District Veterinary Officer(DVO).
- Animals must be heavy enough so that the meat yield is optimal, the best weight recommended is 90 to 100 kg live weight or more.
Bernard Nyaramba, a pig farmer who delivers pigs for slaughter to Farmer’s Choice every month, says after showing interest in selling the pigs to the agro-processing firm, it carried out an inspection to ensure he met the standards.
To deliver the animals according to the contract, Nyaramba strictly feeds the pigs on nutritious commercial feeds to boost their growth.
He restricts the movement of the pigs to minimize feeding on other wastes that lower pork quality while exposing the animals to diseases.
“I always believe in doing something unique to my neighbors. This gives me an opportunity to enjoy limited competition, therefore, ensuring a good market,” Nyaramba said.
He says that his animals take seven months to reach maturity, after which he delivers them to the Nairobi-based agro-processing firm.
From each animal, he makes a net profit of Sh16,000, which translates to a net profit of Sh400,000, upon delivery of 25 pigs every seven months.
Nyaramba says the venture has been giving him a constant income, unlike sugarcane and maize farming which he says is production intensive, and finding a market for the two products is challenging.