THE Pig Industry Board (PIB) says the establishment of an artificial insemination centre to provide semen to farmers as part of efforts to boost the national herd, will be completed by the middle of the second quarter.
PIB director Andrew Shonhiwa told Southern Eye Business yesterday that when completed, the artificial insemination centre would help boost the national herd, which declined over the years due to the economic meltdown.
“This year the PIB is hoping to complete and operationalise the artificial insemination centre,” he said.
“Workers are on site working on the project. Hopefully everything will be completed by the middle of the second quarter.
“The artificial insemination centre will help to reduce the cost of producing pigs by both small-scale and large-scale producers and it will help to distribute pigs of high genetic quality to farmers in the country.”
The centre is being built with funds provided by the government under the Public Sector Investment Programme. Shoniwa said the poor performance of the economy negatively affected the pig industry as producer prices were low in 2014.
He said the producer price of pork varied throughout the country and ranged between $2,55 and $3,30 per kg depending on the demand and supply situations.
“When there is a shortage, the prices are firm, but when there is a glut on the market, the prices weaken,” he said.
“Viability of the piggery business is affected by many things. The producer price is important, but is not the main factor. The efficiency of production also determines whether one makes money or not.”