Development of balanced diets using local feeds for smallholder Kenyan pigs: Implications for livelihoods, human health and gender
Development of balanced diets using local
feeds for smallholder Kenyan pigs:
implications for livelihoods, human health,
Natalie Carter,1,2 Cate Dewey1, Ben Lukuyu2, Delia Grace2, Cornelis de Lange3
1. Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Canada 2. International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
3. Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Canada
Background and Rationale
Pig production can alleviate poverty1. In western
Kenya, farmers, many of them women, raise 1-3
pigs and sell them to pay for medicine,
education, and food2,3.
Insufficient feed, seasonal shortages, and
unbalanced diets contribute to slow growth of
local breed pigs. Slow pig growth results in
farmers earning below-potential profits and
Inexpensive, nutritionally balanced pig
diets are needed to improve pig
What we did:
• Modify National Research
Council (2012) nutrient
requirement for Kenyan pigs
• Estimate growth rate and
nutritional needs of Kenyan pigs
from 5 feeding trials 4,5,6,7,8
• Identify locally available pig
• Review literature and conduct
nutritional analysis on local
• Collect price of feeds at local
• Estimate seasonal availability
• Rate accessibility of ingredients
• Formulate least cost diet 10
using linear programming
• Seasonal availability, farmer
access to ingredients, and
human/pig food competition
were considered when
• Balanced least-cost pig diets make use of locally available feed resources, promote
sustainable smallholder pig production, and improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers,
particularly resource-poor and widowed women.
• Research about the impact of these diets on men and women smallholder farmers and their
pigs, seasonal feed shortages, and human/pig food competition is planned.
Department of Population Medicine , University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
This document is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution –Non commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License June 2012
Ecohealth 2014-August 2014
1. Estimate the nutrient requirements of local
breed pigs raised on smallholder farms in
2. Develop affordable, nutritionally balanced pig
diets using seasonally available local
3. Efficiently use locally available resources,
promote sustainable smallholder pig
production, and improve the livelihood of
smallholder pig farmers.
Results: Nutrient sources and human/pig competition
Figure 2. Example s of available
pig-feed ingredients in western
Grist mill waste
Figure 5. Wet season diet: least cost with sweet potato vine
Figure 1. A smallholder farmer
feeding her local breed pig
Results: Ingredient composition for
least-cost diets (% of diet dry matter)
1. FAO, 2012. Pig Sector Kenya. FAO Animal Production and Health Livestock Country Reviews. No. 3. Rome.
2. Kagira, JM., Kanyari, N, Maingi, N, Githigia, SM, Ng’ang’a, JC and Karuga, JW, 2010. Characteristics of the smallholder free-range pig production system in Western Kenya, Tropical Animal Health Production, 42, 865-873.
3. Dewey, CE, Wohlegemut, JM, Levy, M, and Mutua, FK, 2011. The impact of political crisis on smallholder pig farmers in Western Kenya, 2006–2008, Journal of Modern African Studies, 3, 455-473.
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7. Len NT, Lindberg JE and Ogle B, 2007. Digestibility and nitrogen retention of diets containing different levels of fibre in local (Mong Cai), F1 (Mong Cai · Yorkshire) and exotic (Landrace · Yorkshire) growing pigs in Vietnam, J. Anim. Physiol. Anim. Nutr., 91, 297–303.
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Figure 4. Dry season diet: least human/pig food/feed competition
Table 1. Nutrient sources for pigs and human/pig food/feed competition
Nutrient type Pig feed ingredient Pigs and people
compete to eat it
Energy Cattle blood
Crude protein Cattle blood
Crude protein “Weeds” amaranth, dayflower, hairy beggarticks
Crude protein Wilted cassava leaf
Fat (ether extract) Avocado
High in fibre Cattle rumen contents
High in fibre Rice bran
High in fibre Millet brewers’ waste