News: Pig Nutrition and Management in Smallholder Systems, Lao PDR, February 2019

In mid-December 2018, the Crawford Fund supported a pig nutrition and management training course for smallholder pig production systems in Lao PDR. The course was managed by four trainers from the Livestock Research Centre (LRC) in Laos and attended by 20 extension officers. The aim was to provide knowledge on basic pig nutrition and animal health to provincial and district staff.

Pig ready for transport in Laos. Photo: ILRI, Stevie Mann

“Trainees learnt about practical issues on pig nutrition, management and husbandry as well as new research on improving smallholder pig production,” said Dr Phonepaseuth Phengsavanh (Dr Seuth), who was one of the trainers.

During the course, trainers presented three main pig raising systems in Laos. The participants were then asked to identify the main constraints in existing pig production in local areas.

“We shared solutions during the discussion such as planting forages and providing high quality feed to pigs, and vaccination as one method of preventing disease,” Dr Seuth explained

“We presented new research outcomes on local pig nutrient requirements, nutrition, and ways to improve smallholder pig production. The participants practiced feed formulation for different growth stages. These activities made them understand that different types of pigs have different nutrient requirements. They also discussed main constraints in management issues, such as feed trough and housing management. At the end of the course, pig health problems and treatments were presented and discussed. They also shared their experiences on health problems and treatments of main diseases such as classical swine fever and FMD, “Dr Seuth added.

Participants reported that they learnt most about pig diet formulation, particularly developing a diet that is practical for local farmers in their own areas, and the practical ways of how to improve feed trough, pen and water supply, and animal health issues.

One participant said, “I now have the confidence to discuss all issues presented during the course and discuss them with our farmers.”

One of the trainers and Deputy Director of LRC, Dr Phonepaseuth Phengsavanh, was involved in a similar training course in 2014, the report was titled Bringing Home the Bacon.