Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Workshop for Pig-keepers

Muri Environment Care and the Ministry of Agriculture organized a workshop on 16 August for people in Muri who keep pigs. The workshop was to demonstrate ways to improve management of piggery waste. The National Environment Service was asked to present relevant sections of the Environment Act. Te Ipukarea Society was invited to talk about different methods for managing piggery waste.

“The cheapest option is to convert to dry litter farming but this requires extra work, shoveling spoiled litter and replacing it with new litter every six weeks,” says Jacqui Evans of TIS.

“There also needs to be a regular supply of dry litter. Overseas they use sawdust and straw. It’s been suggested that we trial dried green waste,” says Evans.

Dry litter farming, if done properly, also produces much less odour than conventional sheds. Less water is also used because it is not required for cleaning and only required as a drink for the pigs.

Evans also presented the Public Health Piggery Waste Policy and Public Health Piggery Odour policy which she drafted whilst in the Ministry of Health.

Tupe Short demonstrated his mulcher and offered mulch to anyone interested in dry litter farming.

The next steps are for at least one pig-keeper in Muri to trial the dry litter method and monitor its progress.

Piggery waste has caused problems in parts of Rarotonga where wash-water from piggeries is hosed into streams affecting freshwater and marine biodiversity.

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