As we tread carefully towards Paul Omondi’s homestead in the afternoon sun, we are welcomed by unpleasant smell from the pigsty but to him, here is his port of making profits.
Otieno confides that he has been in the business of pig rearing for the last seven years having started with only five piglets that were two and a half years old.
He says after a lot of careful studies and consultations regarding pig rearing from experts, he began from a small scale and today, Paul boasts more than 80 pigs at one point.
Paul, who is also a sugarcane farmer, says rearing and selling pigs has remained his favourite job ever since and has never bothered to seek employment elsewhere.
During KNA’s visit a happy Omondi had 25 pigs left in his farm having sold over 40 pigs earlier to give him an opportunity to introduce a new breed.
“Pigs are easy to manage since they require little labour and space for rearing,” explains Paul. He says the simple nature of that form of agriculture is an added advantage.
He adds that he dedicates a lot of time for them only in the morning and evening and during those times, he cleans the pigsty and gives food to the pigs concurrently, and insists that he has followed the routine religiously.
This, he says, also gives him opportunity to engage in other errands like visiting his sugarcane farm in the course of the day.
Paul explains that pigs mature faster when fed correctly and good breeds may give produce as many as fourteen piglets and that is perhaps what attracts him a good income annually. But he also points out, “Pigs Require huge financial investment.”
And contrary to many people’s misconceptions, Paul explains “pigs are very tidy animals! They don’t eat and sleep in the same place they drop their waste, they do that in separate rooms.”
He adds that he administers drugs to his pigs twice a month to ensure their wellbeing, but points out that there are reduced diseases associated with pigs in the area.
However, he has continuously grappled with an issue, which he states, “Most people in Awasi market have not learnt the significance of white meat and therefore not always willing to part with the money proportional to the quality of the meat, which remains a major challenge.”
That counts as to why he mostly adores the neighboring town for business but still narrates to KNA that many people have started appreciating pork.
Despite operating where finding water continuously remains a major challenge, he has constructed an underground water tank that harvests rain water to sustain his farm.
Paul sells his pork in Awasi area and Muhoroni Town and says he will never leave pig rearing since it has improved his income and he has been able to meet his basic needs.
“I encourage the youth to involve themselves in pig rearing as a source of income and should not wait for white collar jobs that are nowadays scarce,” he says, adding that 1kg of pork goes for Sh.320.
By Michael Yambo/John Ochanda