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Soil is new pig food

Simione Haravanua
Saturday, February 03, 2018

ASIVAROSI Senikaucava owns a piggery which is unlike any other in the country.

The difference is what he feeds his pigs with. Never in his wildest imagination did the farmer from Bureni, Waibau, Naitasiri, think his pigs could eat red soil.

The young farmer said he started his piggery with six mother pigs before he discovered the new feed that brought drastic changes.

"The red soil that is being fed to the pigs was shown to me by a Korean man who was driving past my house," he said.

"He stopped when he saw the digger trying to level the place where our house is built now. He approached me and said it hurt him to see the soil being thrown away."

The young farmer was keen to find out what the Korean man meant. He accompanied the Korean man to his small pig pen.

This was the turning point for the budding farmer. He was about to find out a new source of food for his pigs.

"He saw the pig pen and then explained to me that they buy the red soil like this back in his country and then he showed me that the red soil contained iron," said Mr Senikaucava.

"The Korean man told me to keep this soil and feed the pigs with it."

He was even shown the amount of recommended soil to feed the pigs.

"It has to be a heap, and a size of a soccer ball. The pigs tried it and finished it. This amazed me so I kept feeding them with it."

Mr Senikaucava said the iron in the soil changed the built and weight of his pigs and he saw a difference in the way the mother pigs gave birth.

"When the mother pigs give birth something amazing happens. Unlike normal pigs they would give birth and the piglets would lie around," he said.

"When they give birth the piglets start running around compared with normal birth procedure where they take a few days before they can start to walk. This soil was given from heaven right to the pigs with nothing mixed with it," he said.

"I sometimes give them leftover food from home, but most of the time they just eat this red soil because it makes their body healthier."

His cousin Inoke Tabua, who works on Mr Senikaucava's farm, said the experience was an eye-opener and he hoped to start his own piggery.

"When we found out about this and looking at Asi's business grow it has challenged me. I can do it as well," he said.

The piggery has helped Mr Senikaucava's family financially and he has extended his pig pen to accommodate 32 pigs and he has plans to sell them.

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