Training farmers with Big Dutchman pig equipment

South Africa: Training hub for modern pig production

A state-of-the art training facility for developing pig farmers was recently opened 80 km North of Durban just outside Pietermaritzburg. The Baynesfield Training Academy (BTA) is a joint venture between the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) and Baynesfield Estates – a Big Dutchman customer with a 2,000 sow unit. The BTA was an old 100 sow unit facility owned by Baynesfield, and recently converted into a modern facility with Big Dutchman equipment.

Pig production knowledge, management skills

The academy’s goal is twofold: farmers who want to become commercial pig producers receive intensive training, whereas local farmers already settled in pig production receive focused attention. This is done under real-world conditions as the 100 sow operation with 2,000 piglets per year is being run as a commercial unit according to best practices. These will be passed on to the students. Pig production knowledge as well as management skills are taught in one week short courses with a maximum of 10 to 12 learners per course. This means that at the end of a year 400 to 500 people will have successfully completed the training.

Big Dutchman South Africa and Germany will be instrumental in contributing towards the equipment requirements, creating good exposure to existing and upcoming pig producers in the South African pig market. The project involved feeding and housing systems from farrow to finish. Natural ventilation systems were supplied due to South Africa’s fantastic moderate climate!

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In order to grow, the pig production industry needs to produce top quality. The Baynesfield Training Academy is expected to train students to achieve this outcome.

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Pig production with Big Dutchman equipment: the service area

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The farrowing crates provide ideal conditions both for the sow and for the piglets during the maternity period.

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Piglet rearing: modern pig equipment in pig production

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Sponsors from the industry donated pig equipment, feed and pigs. Scott Wiggill (on the far left, sales manager Big Dutchman South Africa) and Thomas Veith (far right, sales manager Big Dutchman Pig Equipment GmbH, Germany) from Big Dutchman attended the opening ceremony.