Main content area

The productivity of traditional smallholder pig production and possible improvement strategies in Xishuangbanna, South Western China

Riedel, Simon, Schiborra, Anne, Hülsebusch, Christian, Schlecht, Eva
Livestock science 2014 v.160 pp. 151-162
body weight, breeding, databases, energy content, farrowing, feed quality, herds, models, piglets, pork, prices, progeny, reproductive performance, research policy, rural poverty, sales, sows, surveys, swine production, China
Chinese smallholder pig producers, only outputting few pigs per year, still supply the major portion of pork consumed in the country. Research and policy focusing on this sector may therefore contribute to reducing rural poverty. This study analyzed factor productivity and reproductive performance of 162 traditional smallholder pig producers in a 50km² area of Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, southern P.R. China, by using the PRY Herd Life Model and comparing the actual to two simulated improved pig management scenarios. A progeny history survey covering 184 sows and 437 farrows, combined with an analysis of the quantity and quality of feed given and of live weight development of 114 pigs during a 16 months' time period supplied the base data. Feed energy content averaged 14.9MJMEkg−1DM, age at first farrowing was 14.5±4.34 months and farrowing interval was 11.4±2.73 months. A litter comprised 5.8 piglets and was weaned after 4.3±0.99 months. Monetary return on inputs (ROI) was negative for the current management (0.93:1), but improved (1.7:1) when culling of sows and fatteners was optimized for highest output per feed input. If in addition better feeding and higher sales prices at fixed ages were simulated, ROI substantially improved to 3.1:1 and beyond for four different grower groups. Results point to the potential of the regional smallholder pork production if simple measures of improvement in feeding, culling and breeding are introduced.