Pay it Forward: Bringing Home the Bacon!
Women farmers in Karatu, Tanzania want access to livestock because livestock can be a lucrative business – a mature pig of around 80 kgs can fetch $170. To respond to their priorities, CPAR Tanzania launched a pig campaign last Christmas. Here’s what has happened since:
In collaboration with local agricultural extension officers, we provided training in pig management to 80 women – 21 of whom are heads of their households. Topics covered included types of pigs and their selection, caring for pigs and piglets, feeding and pig nutrition, simple pig house construction using local materials, parasite and disease control, marketing, price negotiation and record keeping.
After constructing their pig houses, 80 sows and 20 boars, one boar for every four sows, were distributed to the women in their communities – Kambi ya Simba, Kilimatembo and Rhotia Kainam. The women responsible for the boars ensure that they’re in good health to provide quality services to the sows, while the rest of the women bring their sows to the boars once they show signs of being in heat.
With proper management, a boar can service sows for up to 5 years after starting the mating process. After that, the boar will be too weak to mate and produce healthy piglets. At that point, the women caring for the boars can sell them for not less than $200 each. Each woman is responsible to train and pass on two three-month old female piglets to another woman. So far, an additional 80 women have been selected — doubling the initial project investment — and the pig passing has begun with 20 women receiving piglets. This ‘pay it forward’ principle will continue.
Cash in the hands of women leads to paid school fees, more nutritious food and healthier happier kids. After that, a common priority is to lay the foundation and get started on constructing a modern house.