pigs


A traceability system in the smallholder pig value chain in Kenya could help address challenges related to production, diseases, markets, pork safety and public health, according to a new study published by scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

Currently, Kenya does not have an operational livestock traceability system. Although a few systems have been piloted, these have only focused on the beef value chain and mostly in pastoralist areas. The smallholder pig value chain is suitable for the implementation of a traceability system as farmers usually keep a few pigs at a time and rely on a short marketing chain that is less complex.

The study, published in Tropical Animal Health and Production (16 Sep 2019), was based on a review of literature on pork traceability as well as on pig production in Kenya, with a focus on smallholder pig systems in western Kenya. Combined with the authors’ research experience in the region, the findings were used to inform the design of a traceability system for the smallholder pig value chain. 

Unique identification of animals is important for traceability. However, the review found that locally raised pigs were rarely identified. Farmers need to be made aware of the importance of identifying animals and recording their movements and how this can improve access to markets.

The study explains how a traceability system could support the surveillance of two important pig diseases in the region: African swine fever and porcine cysticercosis.

An effective traceability system could also enable the withdrawal of unsafe pork from the market, thereby helping to ensure the quality and safety of pork sold in local markets.

“Since meat inspection in the country has now been taken up by the county governments, we see traceability as an option that counties, in partnership with the private sector, could use to market themselves as producers of ‘safe and traceable’ pork”, the authors say. 

Starting with organized systems like commercial producer and trader groups, the concept can be piloted in the field to assess its practical application, paving the way for a national traceability system in line with the guidelines of the World Organisation for Animal Health. 

The authors of the study note, however, that implementing traceability as a tool towards improved animal health and food safety would require the participation of all stakeholders in the value chain. Therefore, appropriate incentives would need to be explored to ensure widespread adoption of the intervention.

Citation

Mutua, F., Lindahl, J. and Randolph, D. 2019. Possibilities of establishing a smallholder pig identification and traceability system in Kenya. Tropical Animal Health and Production. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-019-02077-9 

ILRI Asia

A two-year project that will assess veterinary health management and veterinary drug use in Vietnamese pig farms has been launched.

The Health and Antibiotics in the Vietnamese Pig Production Project, known as VIDAPIG, is a collaboration between the University of Copenhagen, the National Institute of Veterinary Research, the National Institute of Nutrition and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

It will carry out research to identify and evaluate factors affecting veterinary health and veterinary drug use with the aim of establishing antimicrobial usage practices that are based on a One Health approach across the smallholder pig sector.

The project will be implemented from February 2018 to January 2020 in Bac Ninh Province.

Inception workshop of VIDAPIG project in Hanoi, 2 March 2018From left: Hung Nguyen, ILRI regional representative for East and Southeast Asia, Anders Dalsgaard from the University of Copenhagen, Pham Thi Ngoc, deputy director of the National Institute of Veterinary Research and Le Danh Tuyen, director…

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Cross-bred Pigs in Kiboga District, Uganda

Cross-bred Pigs in Kiboga District, Uganda (photo credit: ILRI/Kristina Roesel).

Today is International One Health Day, an occasion celebrated around the world every year on 3 November to bring global attention to the need for One Health interactions and for the world to ‘see them in action’.

To mark this day, we highlight a new discussion paper published by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) that contributes towards a greater understanding of One Health from a largely overlooked social science perspective.

The report provides a summary of research conducted in 2016 in the peri-urban to urban pig value chain between Mukono District and Kampala in Uganda’s central region. Its focus is the zoonotic parasite Taenia solium, also referred to as the pork tapeworm, and cysticercosis, an infection with the larvae of T. solium. It highlights perceptions of T. solium and other pathogens associated with pigs as articulated by farmers, butchers, slaughterhouse workers, pork consumers and medical professionals.

Download the report, Pigs, people, pathogens: A qualitative analysis of the pig value chain in the central region of Uganda by Rebekah Thompson.

ILRI news

A local pork vendor at the wet market sells her meat to two local women, Hung Yen province, Vietnam (photo credit: ILRI/Nguyen Ngoc Huyen).

This article is written by Chi Nguyen, communications officer for ILRI Asia.

A two-day workshop, 7–8 Sep 2017, on the topic of ‘Improving food safety along the pork value chain—lessons learned and ways forward’, kicked off at the Hanoi Hotel on Thursday morning with an opening address by Chu Van Chuong, deputy director of the international cooperation department of the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. In his speech, Chuong said, ‘We look forward to further improvements through projects such as those being reviewed today. In the context of food safety, projects like PigRISK and SafePORK are welcome as they can provide policymakers and the public with scientific evidence that leads to actionable policy options to better manage food safety and provide assurance to producers…

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Feeding pigs in Nagaland

A woman feeds her pigs in Nagaland, India (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

 

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works with various partner organizations in northeast India on research-for-development activities aimed at improving the smallholder pig sub-sector in the region. This has been possible through a long-term Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) signed in 2004.

These research activities were recently showcased at a one-day roundtable seminar held on 3 June 2017 at the ICAR National Research Centre on Pig (NRCP) in the northeast Indian state of Assam. The seminar was organized by the Canadian High Commission in India in collaboration with NRCP, the Indian Chamber of Commerce and the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The event brought together researchers, industry stakeholders, government officials from different states in India, particularly from the northeast region, and representatives from ICAR and the Canadian High Commission to discuss the current status of India’s pig sub-sector, share information on the latest local and international developments in pig production and encourage collaboration and sharing of knowledge across the two countries.

ILRI scientist Ram Pratim Deka gave a special address on the institute’s pig-related research activities implemented in northeast India to date, namely:

  • Pig appraisal studies in the states of Assam and Nagaland
  • National agricultural innovation projects in the state of Nagaland
  • Enhancing Livelihoods through Livestock Knowledge System project in the states of Nagaland and Mizoram
  • Pig nutrition pilot project
  • Livestock service provider model for delivery of minor veterinary services
  • Analysis of hazards in raw pork sold in wet markets
  • Epidemiological study and policy initiative on classical swine fever
  • Framing of Nagaland’s pig breeding policy
  • Technical support for rolling out pig breeding policy and artificial insemination in pigs

Among the other topics discussed during the seminar were principles of biosecurity, nutrition, emerging pig diseases, breeding, genetics and disease control.

View the presentation, Brief overview of ILRI’s activities in Northeast India on pig system development

ILRI news

Selling pork in a traditonal Vietnamese market

Selling pork at a traditional ‘wet’ market in Hung Yen province, northern Vietnam (photo credit: ILRI/HUPH/Ngan Tran).

Pork meat sold in Vietnam has been found by researchers to commonly carry bacteria that could cause disease—but they also found that the risk of that meat sickening people is largely reduced due to the Vietnamese habit of buying very fresh meat and cooking it shortly thereafter.

The research results indicate ways that the safety of pork meat can be even further improved in this fast-growing and -evolving market. The bottom line is that ensuring safe pork consumption in Vietnam is very important—and very doable.

Conspicuous (pork) consumption

Pigs and pig keeping, and pork and pork eating, are ubiquitous in Vietnam, where pork remains the favoured meat—the food choice of both the poor and the rich, of the rural farm worker and the urban elite. Pork is consumed daily and widely in Vietnamese…

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Safe Food, Fair Food

Plate served with fried pork Serving of fried pork and raw relishes in a pork joint in Kampala, Uganda (photo credit: ILRI/Martin Heilmann).

Research findings from the Safe Food, Fair Food project were presented at the first joint international conference of the Association of Institutions for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (AITVM) and the Society of Tropical Veterinary Medicine (STVM) which was held in Berlin, Germany on 4–8 September 2016.

AITVM is a foundation of 24 veterinary faculties and livestock institutes based in Africa, Asia and Europe with the mandate to improve human health and quality of life by means of increased and safe food production in tropical regions through enhancement of research, training and education in veterinary medicine and livestock production within the framework of sustainable development.

STVM is made up of scientists, veterinarians and students from more than 40 countries with common interests in tropical veterinary medicine. It is a non-profit organization whose purpose is…

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