Smallholder Pig Marketing Systems in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania

Eliakunda Casmir Kimbi, James Mlangwa, Stig Thamsborg, Helena Mejer, Faustin Paul Lekule


A study using two cross-sectional and a longitudinal research designs was undertaken to assess smallholder pig marketing system to explore basic information for  improving smallholder pig production and marketing systems. The first design involved a cross-sectional survey of 300 pig farmers randomly selected in 30 villages in Mbozi and Mbeya rural districts. The second design used a cross-sectional survey of 124 pig traders randomly selected in 65 villages in Mbozi and Mbeya rural districts, and Mbeya Municipality. The third one used a longitudinal design and collected data from 40 pig farmers in 10 villages who had also participated in the first design. Results showed that, pig-marketing systems had various channels and segments moving mainly pigs and pork to farmers, traders and consumers.  Major market participants in the pig market chain were the pig farmers who played a dual role as pig producers and buyers, traders of live pigs and pork, and finally pork consumers. Most farmers (85%) bought pigs for breeding, while few (18%), bought for fattening. The mean (±SD) weight and age of pigs purchased was 18.2±12.6 kg and 6.2 ±4.7 months, respectively. Farmers sold about 70 and 30% of their pigs to pig traders and other farmers, respectively.  Pigs sold to farmers had significantly (P< 0.001) lower mean age (6.1±1.5 months) and live weight (LW) (14.3± 3.6 kg) than pigs sold to traders with a mean age of 12.8± 1.5 months and LW of 40.0± 3.6kg. The study concludes that marketing systems were dominated by informal marketing channels, hence, limit the effectiveness of pig production and marketing. Marketed pigs had smaller weights compared to their ages, therefore contributing to poor returns to pig farmers and sub-optimal pork market supply. The study recommends strategic development of pig value chain for sustainable improvement of smallholder pig production and marketing systems and quality pork to consumers.

Keywords: Smallholders farmers, pigs, marketing channels, price determinants

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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