Monday, 28 November 2022

In Business

Global Pork Demand and the Tswana Swine

The Pig is known for producing the pork Ribs, Whole Carcass, Bacon, Polony, Sausages, Chops, Belly, Fillet, Ham, Smoked products, Leg, Neck, Salami, Shoulder, Gammon, Knuckles, Rhime, trotters, and the Frank just to name a few popular cuts that has shaped a global market that consumed over 108,000 metric tonnes (2016), at a value of US$500 billion.

There is untapped potential in the Pork industry in Botswana to not only meet local demand, but also export to Europe and Asia. Currently China is the world's largest pork consumer, with pork consumption expected to total 53 million tons in 2012, which accounts for more than half of global pork consumption.

A success story in Botswana, that was assisted to capitalise in the pork production industry is Massy Holding’s focus is on piggery production which started in 2007. Massy Holdings (Pty) Ltd supplies whole pork carcasses and pork cuts to individuals, butcheries and hotels as and when the need arises as he has no standing contract with any consumer. Pork production is a must invest industry.

In their academic paper published by Journal of Agricultural Technology, in 2012, T. Montsho and J.C. Moreki of the Botswana College of Agriculture noted that the main challenges in commercial pig production Several challenges facing the commercial pig operations in Botswana include high feed prices, inadequate slaughtering facilities, unorganized marketing, poor breeding stock, transboundary diseases and inadequate extension service.

The Sunday Standard reported in 2017 that during the period of 2016/2017 Botswana only produced 417.2 tons against the demand of 1500 tons, production figures supplied by the ministry responsible for food security has shown.

According to Farmers Weekly, “a gap has been created for pork imports onto the Chinese market due to the African swine flu epidemic currently sweeping across the country, which had resulted in the pork output in that country declining between 20% and 30%. Pork exports to China from the EU, Canada and Brazil were estimated to increase 40% to 1,7 million tons this year, and could potentially increase to 2,1 million tons in 2020, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in China.”

According to Pig World UK there is much demand for pork and related products in China and Japan, and these are markets wherein Botswana Pork industry can direct their energy for profitability.

Pig World UK reported that “Pork exports to China have been a great success story for the sector, rising to a value of £77m in 2018. The sector remains ambitious for broader approvals in the near future for pork and offal products. Looking elsewhere in Asia, Japan – while currently a small market for UK pork specifically – is a large importer of pork. Around half of its imports are in chilled form, and therefore it is a high-value market. Although challenging, it offers further potential to increase sales of UK product.

Africa is a huge continent with untapped longer-term potential. Both population and income are growing fast, leading to increasing demand for meat. The markets will remain very price sensitive, so the opportunities for us are for low-value cuts and offal. As an industry, we are looking at both central and west Africa, which we have access to export to.

Europe is still a very important market to British producers, as the continent takes the biggest share of our exports in terms of both financial value and volume. It’s also worth noting that our exports to Germany, our main market for cull sow meat, make up around 10% of the total revenue from European exports. With Europe our biggest customer for pork exports, the outcomes of Brexit for trade still clearly provide huge uncertainty and concern for the UK pig industry.”

Vietnam is another market to be explored by pig farmers in Botswana. According to, Vietnam has over 28 million pigs, including more than 3.8 million sows, with sows accounting for around 13.6% of the national pig inventory, much higher than the 8-9% found in advanced countries. The Vietnam pig industry is the key driver of local feed industry, producing 23.5 million tonnes in 2017, making it the biggest animal feed producer in ASEAN and the 10th biggest in the world. Despite being the world’s 6th largest producer of pork and growing global demand, Vietnam exports less than 1% of its total production. Improvements in the quality and safety of Vietnamese pork are crucial if the country’s vision of becoming a major exporter of pork is to be realised.

In a 2009 study, the Local Enterprise Authority concluded that, on a general level the study concludes that the piggery sub-sector, though still at infancy compared to the beef and the poultry, is growing and has potential for further growth if it continues to receive consideration of LEA’s interventions such as the LEA cluster formation programme. LEA’s focus on the sub-sector can catapult it to provide the much-desired diversification of the agriculture sector and the economy of the country at large.

Montsho and Moreki, in their academic paper recommended that there was need for MOA, LEA, CEDA and Department of Culture and Youth to collaborate since they offer the same services to pig producers. In order to make pigs available to farmers, government should consider building a pig breeding facility in Francistown and/or expand the facility at Sebele. In addition, the private sector should be encouraged to invest in breeding operations.


Cabanga Media Group publishes of thoughtful economic and business commentary magazines and online media, in several African markets, that include South Africa, Botswana, East Africa Community, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria, and Zambia.