The Livestock Division under the umbrella of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is topping up its pig stocks with the arrival on new genetics imported from Hamilton New Zealand.
According to a statement from the Government, the new stock promises to revolutionize the local piggery industry.
Arriving by commercial flights, the 23 pigs include eight male boars and 15 weaner gilts. They will undergo 28 days of post entry quarantine under the watchful eye of the Division’s Head of Animal Health, Renee Orange.
The quarantine period will allow the Animal Health Unit time to tests if the animals are disease free before they are given out to the farmers.
And for the animals to adopt and readjust to their new environment, says Ms. Orange.
“Most importantly, we want to use the opportunity to introduce and encourage bio-security to all livestock farmers as one way to protect their investment from diseases,” she said.
It’s been ten years now since the last ship of imported pigs set foot in Samoa also from New Zealand and the new stock according to Assistant Chief Executive Chief Livestock Officer, Aiolupotea Tony Aiolupotea, is to revive the piggery industry with new genetics.
“The breeding programme will start in three months and we hope by October we should have enough stock to be distributed to our multipliers in Upolu and Savai’i,” continued Aiolupotea.
“The aim is to manage this injection of new stock and maintain strong genetics for future pig generations.”
At cost of NZ$40,000, the imports expenditures to Samoa which included transportation by air is funded by the World Bank through the Samoa Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project (S.A.C.E.P.).
Aside from piggery, S.A.C.E.P. is also benefiting close to 2,000 cattle, poultry and sheep farmers.
The project’s goal is to support livestock producers and fruit and vegetable growers improve their productivity and take greater advantage of market opportunities.
Its three main targets are;
• Component 1: Livestock Production and Marketing. This will work to promote superior breeds of livestock, improved husbandry practices and stock management, productivity enhancing on-farm investments, while improving the quality of meat sold in local markets.
• Component 2: Fruit and Vegetable Production and Marketing. This will enable interested fruit and vegetable growers to access new, higher yielding varieties, adopt improved technology and production techniques, make productivity enhancing on-farm investments, and organize themselves to strengthen their presence in the market and meet the demands of local retailers and foodservice operators for year-round supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables.
• Component 3: Institutional Strengthening. This will improve the effectiveness of agricultural institutions (government and non-government) providing extension and adaptive research services to Samoan farmers; and the ability of these same institutions working individually or in collaboration to implement and monitor the project.