Pig Breeding – Just One of My Jobs

15 August 2010 at 17:41 5 comments

Growing up in New Zealand, where sheep abound and dairy is a vital part of the economy, I am ashamed to say that I know very little about farming. All that, however, has begun to change in the past couple of weeks, as I have started my Kiva Fellowship with Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK), based in Bali Indonesia. At MUK, most Kiva loans are taken out by groups of women who breed and raise pigs, and the organization has a seasoned vet on staff to provide advice for its clients.

Raising animals here is (in my limited knowledge) a very different and smaller scale enterprise than back home. Borrowers who take out “pig breeder” loans from MUK engage in one of two activities: 1) pig breeding – where the borrower will buy a female pig for breeding or 2) pig raising – where the borrower will buy one to several piglets, feed and fatten them until they are ~12kg, and then sell them to a local buyer to be used in the mouth-watering traditional Balinese dish, “Babi Guling”.

Raising Pigs in West Bali

In my conversations with these women, I have interestingly learned that pig breeding/raising is just one of many sources of income for Balinese families, with the enterprise itself bringing in just a small fraction of their cost of living for most. A typical pig raiser earns ~150,000 rupiah a month (~USD $17), approximately 15% of her family’s cost of living. In my first couple of weeks here, it has been an eye opener to see microloans working to support these smaller side businesses, which incrementally add to a family’s income.

With family’s here drawing income from so many sources, I have been overwhelmingly inspired by the multi-enterprising men and women in West Bali…the young man who works as a housekeeper at a hotel hoping to take out a loan to jumpstart his shrimp business, the women seeking loans for pig breeding businesses who work in the rice paddy fields, and sell items for religious offerings on the side, and then the young mother of three I met last Friday who while caring for her children, raises piglets, and works on her patch of land growing coconuts, bananas, and cocoa.

As I learn more about Kiva borrowers, MUK, microfinance as well as farming, I am excited to share my thoughts with you. Any and all feedback is welcome.

Joanne Gan began her Kiva Fellowship at Mitra Usaha Kecil in Bali, Indonesia two weeks ago. She is immensely enjoying meeting borrowers and hearing their stories. Lend to Kiva borrowers!

Entry filed under: Indonesia, KF12 (Kiva Fellows 12th Class). Tags: , , , , .

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  • 1. David Oglaza  |  16 August 2010 at 14:25

    Hi, great post. I try to invest as much as possible in animal rearing business because it makes sense! I just hope they remain healthy and alive till they cash in on the investment!

  • 2. Lina Goldberg  |  15 August 2010 at 22:53

    I had some of the best pig of my life in Ubud at Ibu Oka’s. I wonder if it came from one of your farmers?

  • 3. donaldhart  |  15 August 2010 at 20:37

    Thanks Joanne — it’s great to hear firsthand accounts of borrowers stories.

  • 4. Kaajal  |  15 August 2010 at 19:01

    Wow, it’s really interesting to me that these women raise/breed pigs as just a side job to make additional income, while some of the borrowers I’ve met here in the Philippines have goals to eventually raise/breed pigs as their main source of income. Really great post – I’m excited to learn more about farming and microfinance in Bali!

  • 5. Rachael  |  15 August 2010 at 18:04

    nice blog – interesting! is it mainly women who did pig breeding / pig raising in bali?

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