ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 70 Number 1
A physical and financial appraisal of a feeding system using combinations of low nutrient-dense and concentrated feeds for growing pigs in the Solomon Islands
A concentrated protein supplement based on locally available fish meal and wheat mill run was evaluated as a means of improving the efficiency and profitability of smallholder pig production in the Solomon Islands. In comparison with a low nutrient-dense diet based on cassava and coconut alone, supplementation with small amounts of concentrate [20% of dry matter (DM) intake] resulted in a much improved growth rate (P < 0.001), total DM intake (P < 0.001), and feed conversion ratio (P < 0.001) of growing pigs between 6 kg and 55 kg live weight. Restricting DM intake of pigs fed low nutrient-dense feeds and concentrate had little adverse effect on growth rate (P = 0.380) as the animals compensated for reduced feed intake with improved feed conversion ratio (P = 0.050). A financial appraisal of these data suggested that the improvements in production parameters observed with the use of concentrate would translate into an enhanced financial performance for the smallholder pig keeper albeit at an increased risk. Returns to labour for this system were greater than for other forms of land use currently practised in the Solomon Islands.
Keywords: Pig feeds; Solomon Islands; Cassava; Low nutrient-dense pig diets; Concentrated supplement