“When World Vision Kodumela provided us with capital to embark on this pig farm adventure, I never thought pig farming would eventually become my passion”, said France Kgabo, Phafogang Piggery project secretary. Started in 2006, the piggery is becoming a serious profit making and a job creating project in Kodumela. It has employed eight women and three men, representing a tangible positive change in the lives of more than thirty children from the area. These include both World Vision registered and non-registered children. “The little pig farm now requires us to take on management practices that we did not know were possible four years ago. Now we realise we are in this to ensure the quality of the meat that we share with our family, friends and local markets”, said Kgabo.
Through World Vision’s intervention, the project staff received proper training on pig maintenance and business management, making them qualified project owners. “Such an experience alone makes me feel so special and important”, said one of the project women. Officers from the Department of Agriculture have done inspection and blood tests on the pigs and given a green light. This means the pigs have no diseases and are safe for consumption. Meat sellers from around the area have also been visiting the project, and showing interest in buying the pigs for slaughtering.
The project pigs are attractive to the market because they are not only reasonable, but they produce healthy meat without any additives or medicine remnants. In the market Phafogang can pocket close to R5 000 for one pig. The future looks bright indeed as they have about ten pigs and more than thirty piglets. “Although we have not yet made a lot of profit so far, but the fact that I’m able to feed my children and take them to school means so much to me”, said another woman from the project.
All this is music to Ledile Mphahlele’s ears, Kodumela ADP Manager. The ADP has not only been supporting the project technically and financially, but its daily running has been influenced by Mphahlele’s leadership. “The most fulfilling part for us is to see people emerge from poverty. The lives of the men and women who work in this project have truly changed and this in turn mean better lives for the children in these families”, said Mphahlele. The group has also started a food garden, next to the piggery project. “We decided to start this garden in order to get cheaper and fresh feed for our pigs”, said one of the project members, Samaria Lewele. According to Lewele, a good feed for the pigs is grinded maize, vegetables and clean water.
The families of the project members also benefit a great deal from the garden project. The surplus from the garden is shared among the members. This is something most of these parents have never experienced before. “There is nothing as gratifying as being able to provide for your family. I’m not only able to put a warm plate of food on the table for my children, but I’m also a proud mother of four children, who all go to school wearing full school uniform”, said Lewele. Community members are also encouraged to buy piglets from the project and start their own projects.
- Olwetu Mafutha is communications officer at World Vision South Africa.