An outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) caused by a virus last July has done great economic damage to the multimillion naira pig industry in Ogbomoso, Oyo state.
Within a month, the Samaday pig cluster, which is the second largest pig farm colony in Nigeria after Oke-Aro pig colony in Abeokuta, Ogun state, has suffered a total wipe out of the pigs in the colony, with an estimated 100,000 pigs killed.
The Samaday pig cluster is standing on about 40 acres of land at Samaday area along Ibapon road, with about 1,000 farmers on fulltime and parttime basis having pig pens.
According to a section chairman in the cluster, Mr. Fatayo Dayo, they used to sell off over 2000 pigs, each weighing above 50kg to pig merchants from the Eastern part of the country, on a weekly basis but that the deadly outbreak has cut off farmers’ income from sales of pigs and thrown many families into penury.
‘It is not uncommon for farmers here to dispose off pigs weighing individually as large as 100 kg and above to buyers mostly from the Eastern part of the country, we had farmers selling a pig at a price as high as N170,000. But the outbreak has done an incalculable damage to the pig population in the cluster, it is total decimation,’ Fatayo bemoaned.
Fatayo who said he burned off the carcass of his remaining pigs that morning having died from the disease, further disclosed that the disease spread to Ogbomoso from Oke-Aro cooperative pig farm which had earlier recorded an outbreak leading to a loss of about 300,000 pigs, due to poor quarantine services at the pig cluster.
He regretted however that while Oke-Aro pig farm received prompt assistance from their governments, the Samaday pig cluster is not even known to government not to talk of assisting them in this period of economic devastation.
He said though they had a registered association – Pig Farmers Association of Nigeria, Ogbomoso branch, and provide source of economic mainstay to many Nigerians including pig farmers, food vendors, security guards, farm workers, water vendors, drink sellers, feedmillers and so on, ‘it is disheartening government never took interest in the farm before and since the outbreak of the ASF.’
He maintained that if government fails to assist them, it would take nothing less than five years to resuscitate the pig cluster.
He added, ‘Many took loans from cooperatives, SEAP, LAPO, Seedvest etc to run their farms and it is a fact that pig farmers don’t have savings because we believe in investing everything we have into the business believing more profits will accrue through that, so it will be difficult for many of our members to start all over again if we fail to receive assistance from government or well-meaning individuals.
‘The reason is that the disease has killed off all our stocks – pregnant sows, piglets, growers, breeding stocks, fatteners and what have you, it is really a catastrophe. So, we strongly appeal to governments and well-meaning individuals to come to our aid even as many affected farmers have been hospitalized.’
Meanwhile, he revealed that Mr. Tunde Aremu, the chairman of Irorun Agbe Farm Booster has doled out a sum of N500,000 to them noting the philanthropist still promised to provide two boreholes in the farm.