Approximately three kilometres from Runyenjes town, one arrives at a famous pig farm christened Leece Farm. It is not difficult to trace it, thanks to the Bodaboda riders.
Felix Nyaga Murage, a quantity surveyor working with the Embu County government owns the farm that has been a force to reckon with besides being a hub for farmers to learn skills on pig rearing and management.
Although he recently started dairy cows and goats rearing, Murage says he is more interested in pigs as they grow and multiply faster—fetching handsome returns for a farmer within a short duration.
Murage’s farm is located in Muthege village of Kagaari Northward, Runyenjes constituency in Embu County. He keeps two main pig breeds including Landrace and Large white although he crossbreeds the two types.
“I recently started keeping dairy cows and goats but I am more interested in pig farming. This is because they multiply faster, therefore, bringing about quick money. I have over 100 pigs and I have been slaughtering an average of four pigs in a week, with each weighing between 40 to 60 kilos,” he reveals.
When he learned that his pigs were increasing swiftly, he opened a joint called Pork City in Runyenjes town where he sells pigs meat after slaughter. A kilo of pork goes for at least Sh450 in the local market.
He says demand for pork in the area has grown rapidly making him sell only piglets to farmers. He sells a three months old piglet at between Sh3, 000 and Sh3, 500 depending on the weight.
Murage says he likes keeping the two breeds as they have a motherly ability, meaning that they are able to bring up their young ones without eating them.
The middle-aged farmer is passionate about pig rearing. Although he had raised some pigs during his secondary school days, he earnestly ventured into pig rearing five years ago after completing his university education. He started with only four pigs — three females and a male.
When Murage reared the animals during his teenage, he had no prior knowledge of any farming venture. And, he decided to rear pigs since he was aware that he would be getting leftovers from hotels and vegetable market, thanks to the fact that his parent’s home is located near Runyenjes town.
“I supplemented leftovers with avocados which are still in plenty to date. I sold all of them when I was going to university and restocked in 2014 after completion when I had done enough research and learned that it was the best bet for me. Pigs are mostly affected by pneumonia,” he says.
Murage says a mature pig should eat at least three kilos of feeds per day. However, due to the high cost of feeds, he has grown sugarcanes, nappier grass, and Sukuma-Wiki which after harvesting, he puts them to dehydrate before giving them to his animals to feed on.