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This study assessed the profitability of swine production in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Three specific objectives, three research questions and two null hypotheses were stated for the study. The population for the study consisted of 4,003 registered swine farmers in Akwa Ibom State (Uyo branch). Descriptive survey research design was used and structured questionnaire was drafted for data collection. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, profitability ratio and Pearson product moment correlation. The two null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance using profitability ratio for null hypothesis one (1) and Pearson product moment correlation was used to test null hypothesis two (2). Major findings revealed that 52% of the respondents were 40 years of age, 42% had secondary school education, 68% engaged in business as their major occupation, 61% used semi-intensive management system and 50% of the respondents had 10 years farming experience. The findings further indicated that an annual production variable cost was ₦365,200, fixed cost was ₦94,760 and total cost was ₦459,960 and sales of output was valued at ₦1,239,000 (TR) while the net revenue was ₦779,040. The profitability ratio was 3.39. The profitability ratio showed that there was a significant relationship between costs and benefit of swine production while Pearson product moment correlation showed that there was a significant relationship between constraints faced by farmers and swine production. Based on the findings, it is recommended that the government of Akwa Ibom State. Agricultural development programme should increase veterinary service by supplying necessary vaccine at lower cost by establishing new veterinary care centres. This will help to increase profitability.
1.1 Background to the Study
One of the major challenges facing Nigeria is satisfaction of the ever-increasing
demand for protein. Most Nigerian diets are deficient in animal protein. FAO (2010)
recommends that the minimum intake of protein by an average person should be 65g per
day; of this, 36g (that is, 40%) should come from animal sources. However, Nigeria is
presently unable to meet this requirement. At present, the animal protein consumption in
Nigeria is 15g per person per day which is a far cry from the FAO recommendation.
Consequently, widespread hunger, poor and stunted growth as well as increase in spread
of diseases are evident in the country (Tijjani, Tijani, Tijjani and Sadiq, 2012).
This shortage of animal protein consumption is partly due to the high cost of
conventional sources of meat like cattle, swine, goat, sheep and poultry (Tewe, 1999). It
is therefore necessary to search for cheaper alternative source of meat to meet the ever
increasing demand for animal protein. This quest can only be met by “short-cycled”
animals such as rabbits, poultry and swine. Swine have been described as one of the
most prolific and fast growing livestock that can convert food waste to valuable products.
They excel above other read met animals such as cattle, sheep and goat in converting feed
Ekarius (2008) defines swine as a farm animal with hoofed feet, short prickly hair
and along snout used for digging and is the oldest domesticated animal. It is omnivores
and is a highly social and intelligent animal. It has the potential to be highly prolific,
because it is capable of producing many litters after a relatively short gestation period.
The productivity in terms of yield of meat per tone of live weight of breeding females per
year is in the region of six times that of cattle. Domesticated swine is raised
commercially for meat (generally called pork, ham, gammon or bacon) as well as for
leather. A sow stays pregnant for an average of 114 days (three months, three weeks and
three days). A growing swine of improved breeds that is managed and well fed from
weaning to slaughter can reach a weight of 90kg in 150 days with good life weight
growth pattern (Ekarius 2008). The profitability of swine production is vital to the
national economy in the case of generating employment opportunity, additional income
for households and improving the nutritional level of the people. MOF (2012) report
show that about 2.58 percent of GDP in Nigeria came from animal farming during
2010/11 financial year. In addition, swine is an excellent source of protein and nutrients
which are essential for health and growth of the human body.
In addition, the profitability of swine production include: swine have high
fecundity, high feed conversion efficiency early maturity, short generation interval
(gestation period 114 days) and relatively small space requirement, they are multipurpose
animals providing about 40% of meat in the world market, cooking fats and bristles
(Babatunde and Fetuga, 2000). Also, swine have higher survival rate especially under the
scarcity of inputs. Swine is equally important for agro-based industries like feed mills for
provision of bone and blood meal respectively, which are a good source of calcium in
animal nutrition. In addition, swine manure is an excellent fertilizer for enriching poor
soils for crop production. Its skin is also useful for light leather production. It is
produced under a variety of production systems ranging from simple backyard piggery,
swine living on garbage belt`s to family operated farms or large scale integrated swine
industries with sophisticated bio-safety measures (Babatunde and Fetuga, 2000).
Swine production have been recommended as a good alternative source of cheap,
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