Nobody knows when the vaccine or treatment for African Swine Fever will be discovered and if discovered, whether we will be able to access it easily and on time.
Therefore, for the pig and pork businesses to survive in this difficult environment of repeated African swine fever outbreaks, there is need for taking action by farmers with less or no government assistance.
There are four strategies that stakeholders need to think about and act as soon as possible as individuals or group of farmers.
Bio-security at entrances is a priority not an option Bio-security at farm level refers to the set of practical measures taken to prevent infection on the farm and control the spread of infection within that farm.
Bio-security can be looked at in two ways; guarding the farm from entry of disease-causing organisms and managing infection on farm to prevent transmission to other pigs in the farm. Effective bio-security may not come free. For example, you need a perimeter fence around the farm to prevent entry of unauthorised personnel, animals, birds etc.
You need to buy disinfectants, construct bathrooms for visitors to take a shower before accessing the pigs, buying farm attire for both workers and authorised visitors etc.
On the farm, especially for large farmers; you will need to provide different houses for different categories of pigs e.g. pregnant sows, farrowing sows, growers etc. All these will cost money. Therefore, a written bio-security plan is important and with it farm workers can easily implement bio-security measures with support of suggested structures. The size of the farm does not matter, most especially, if it is not the owner managing the pigs on daily basis.
By Mulindwa, an an investor and consultant on piggery