June 23, 2020


Nigeria's farmers cull thousands of pigs



Farmers in Nigeria have killed thousands of pigs due to ASF infections that affected the region's largest market for the animal, BNN Bloomberg reported.


"At least 200,000 pigs were culled from farmers as a result of African Swine Fever (ASF) infections in Lagos and Ogun states," Femi Malomo, national secretary of the Pig Farmers Association of Nigeria (PIFAN) said by phone from Nigeria's commercial hub of Lagos.


That's at a time farmers have not been able to export, because government in Africa's most populous country—that initially closed its borders in August last year to curb smuggling of rice and other products—had to extend it to halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.


Transportation of products to neighbouring countries, including the French-speaking West African nation of Benin, the nation's biggest buyer of pork, has been halted due to border closings and a ban on inter-state travels.


The West Africa nation is grappling to control the coronavirus pandemic that has infected nearly 20,000 people since the first case was reported on February 27, according to figures released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.


"We have 10 million pigs at the moment without market for it as a result of the border closures and travel restrictions across the country. We have lost more than NGN10 billion (US$25.8 million)," Malomo said.


The African continent has reported at least 60 outbreaks of ASF, which is also present in the European and Asian continents within the three-year period from 2016 to 2019, according to the World Organization for Animal Health.


"I have lost about 200 pigs so far. In the first week of the lockdown, I lost 70-80 animals," Adebimpe Adesina, who has been in the pig farming business for four years, said by phone from Lagos.


"Our major buyers are from Republic of Benin and Warri. Due to the lockdown, we are unable to sell to them and that was the reason we lost more than was expected," Adesina said.