black pigs in piggery
The Puna piggeries can help jump start sustainable markets.

Livestock producers in lower Puna on Hawaiʻi Island have felt the stinging triple punch of hurricane, lava, and now, a pandemic. To better support and protect these businesses during trying times, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has created a structure that is effective, practical, in compliance with new Environmental Protection Agency laws—and provides cost-effective pollution prevention.

Mike DuPonte
Mike DuPonte

Mike DuPonte, an extension agent in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, believes a new deep-litter piggery would facilitate a production program supporting four sows and one boar. The newly designed structure would produce 100 market wean off at 100 pounds average per year.

The piggery measures about 16’ x 48’, which fits within the County of Hawaiʻi Agricultural Building Exemption. Its lower containment walls are composed of concrete blocks on a slab floor, with steel posts supporting a timber-framed metal roof.

“Piggeries can help these families work toward creating a Puna community where the people are self-reliant, resource-conserving, equitable and ecologically restorative, while providing a good quality of life, today and for future generations,” said DuPonte. “Hog farms start small and expand gradually, so having a pool of small farms is important to long-term sustainability.”

Technical assistance and reimbursement payments may be available for eligible producers through the USDANCRS Environmental Quality Incentives Program. For more information, contact DuPonte at mduponte@hawaii.edu.

Read the full story at CTAHR’s website.

piggery render
Render of the USDA-NCRS piggeries