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MBABANE - Artificial insemination (AI) has been introduced to the local pig production to inflate production.

The introduction of AI in pig production would also expand the pig’s market locally, making it sufficient for export. AI offers producers numerous benefits by allowing more extensive use of superior sires. AI can also enhance the rate of genetic improvement and in terminal mating systems, increase the consistency of market hogs produced. Eswatini is currently working with expertise from the Republic of China on Taiwan to run an AI programme to assist farmers in their pig production in the country. Pigs’ Artificial Insemination is said to carry more advantages than disadvantages compared to natural mating. Pig’s production via AI is when semen from a proven boar is artificially collected, evaluated for quality and deposited into the cervix of a receptive sow.


In an interview with Director of veterinary Services, Dr Xolani Dlamini, from the Ministry of Agriculture he said farmers were trained to do their own insemination. The doctor also educated that carrying out the insemination without knowledge was dangerous because wrong timing could result to failure to conceive. “Physical injury to the pig or self,” Dlamini said. The doctor emphasised that it was important for the farmer to be trained on insemination. Dlamini also revealed that government was working with expertise from Taiwan to run the AI programme producing the semen at Mpisi farm, training the farmers and giving extension services. He also said the insemination process was done at the farmer’s place. “The farmer goes to Mpisi farm to buy the semen, come back home and inseminate the pig that is on heat,” he said. The Director encouraged farmers who wanted to learn to come forward and learn.


Minister of Agriculture, Jabulani Mabuza, advised farmers to form organised commodity groups to attain bargaining power in aspects ranging from bulk buying, input price negotiation, commodity price negotiations and other associated attributes. He said they should venture into production of animal feed especially the major feed ingredients in pig rations and fattening.
“Add value to the final product through processing, packaging and branding,” he said. The minister added that they should also explore other possible markets within the SADC region and beyond.

Mandla Mthupha, a swineherd based in Mandlangempisi said this is a valuable opportunity for the industry as it would expand their reach. He said it would be advantages to swineherds as it would increase production and supply to the local market thus generating profit. “Once we have sufficient pig’s to supply local market, it would be easy for us to expand to the international market as a brand,” he said. The swineherd added that they fear that this move may force them to decrease the amount they charge for supplying the local market. He said if a market is flooded by a commodity, the demand decreases forcing supply to decrease as well.  

Places to visit if one is interested to learn:
*Livestock Production Offices in Manzini (RA offices)
* Mbabane (Vet Offices)
*Nhlangano (Post Office)
*Siteki (Government Offices complex).
Advantages of AI over natural conception;
*Access to semen from outstanding boars
*Reduces stress from female which might result to no conception
*Reduction of disease transfer from boar to sow, sow to boar
*Fewer boars needed in the farm, savings on food costs and medicine costs for the boar.

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