FORT HARE Piggery Trust, a cut above the rest

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The Fort Hare Piggery Trust ranks as the top piggery in South Africa when compared to 52 pig farms in the country with medium to large herds. The Trust has held this national ranking by the Pig Improvement Company (PIC) -the largest pig breeding company in the world and in South Africa - for four consecutive quarters.

Located on the Alice campus, the state-of-the-art piggery was built in 2012. The project is a partnership between UFH, Number Two Piggeries – one of SA’s most successful piggery business- and Amadlelo Agri - a black empowerment agricultural business.  It is managed by a board of trustees, with UFH represented by Prof Nomakhaya Monde, the Dean of Faculty of Science and Agriculture and Mr Phumezo Kwinana, Director of the Forté School of Science and Technology (FOSST) Discovery Centre.

The piggery has 1 000 sow breeding unit and a fattening unit that produces 400 to 500 baconers for the market every week.  It also serves as a training facility for students in the Faculty of Science and Agriculture.

So what makes this pig farm a cut above the rest?  Farm manager, Mr Bucks Crous believes the answer lies in a combination of many aspects, including expertise knowledge, hard work, and enthusiastic staff.

“Number Two Piggeries, who are responsible for managing the piggery are experts in this field and have years of experience. Adding to that advantage, the piggery has well trained and enthusiastic management and staff,” he said. 

According to him, the team follows stringent bio-security protocol to keep the herd safe and healthy. “Animal welfare is our priority and the basics of animal husbandry is of an exceptional standard,” expressed Crouse.

 The protocols include the following:

  • Maintaining a close herd, meaning no animals are bought from outside into the herd.
  • The unit only uses artificial insemination with top genetics, which is a very strict selection programme.
  • They only use feed formulated by an international pig nutritionist.

 Crouse says being ranked the best in the country four times in a row, is no small feat. “We are very proud of this achievement. It is the result of great effort and hard work from the whole team.”