Self-Sustainability Project: Pig Farm

Brief Description

Expand the capacity and production level of ZOE’s in-house food production to provide a ready, sufficient, and self-sustaining source of meat protein for ZOE Children’s Home in Doi Saket, Thailand.

Amount Sought:
Project Status:
Project Completed

Project Focus

Rehabilitation / Shelter

Recipient Country


Project Objective

Currently, ZOE Children’s Homes (ZCH) has a capacity of 250 children. When our new Boy’s Dormitory is completed in 2012-2013, that capacity will increase by 60. ZCH currently has 65 children. A limiting factor on bringing new children to ZCH is the ability to feed them. ZOE has both a short-term and a long-term plan to become self-sustainable in the area of food needs. As ZOE becomes more and more self-sustaining in this area, we will be able to bring in more children through both our prevention and intervention activities. In addition, to the extent we are able to produce more than we consume, we will be able to either sell the excess on the market and further fund ZCH operations and/or provide food assistance to other children’s homes or needy persons.

Who are the intended beneficiaries?

Children currently at ZOE Children’s Homes as well as those children who will be brought to ZCH as our ability to care for more children increases. In addition, ZOE childcare staff and ZOE leadership training students will also benefit.

Project Description

Over the years, ZOE has come up with several initiatives to save money in the area of meat. Raising and butchering our own pigs has proven to be the most economical way to put meat on our table. We butcher our pigs when they reach 100 kilos in weight and this provides 88 kilos of consumable meat. We eat the entire pig except the offal. The skin, fat, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, intestines are all consumed. This increases our yield per pig. On average, we butcher one pig per week. There are approximately 60 adult Thai staff, 65 children, and 40 leadership training students (young adults) at ZOE.

On average, each individual currently consumes a little over half a kilo of pork per week (.53 kilos). (This proposal will increase the per capita pork consumption to .6 kilos per week.) It must be noted that the ZOE children eat lunch at school five days per week. In addition to pork, ZOE meals may include fish, chicken, eggs, and other sources of protein. If we purchase pork directly from the retail market already dressed, it costs 130 Thai baht (?) per kilo ($4.48 AUS at an exchange rate of ?29 = $1 AUS) or $394.24 per week for 88 kilos. With 54 piglets reaching maturity at our in-house facility, ZOE’s cost per kilo of pork is $3.25 or $286 per week for 88 kilos. This represents a savings of 27% over the market cost of pork.

In addition, the pig manure is also utilized. We can either sell it at 65 cents per 5-kilo bag or use it in our vegetable gardens. This project will allow us to increase our capacity to 40 animals. Our breeding sows give birth once every eight months with an average litter of nine. After birth, a pig is ready for consumption in six to seven months. In addition, as part of this project, we will acquire a stun gun to incapacitate our pigs before butchering them to ensure the process is humane.

Project Developmental Focus Details

This project meets the established parameters of “development” inasmuch as it involves meaningful participation from the local community; aims to produce benefits that are sustainable and fairly distributed; and ensures the benefits will endure after the development assistance has ceased.  In terms of meaningful participation of the local community and enduring benefits, ZOE Children’s Homes’ philosophy and mode of operation is to employ local Thai staff and train them in best practice management of a children’s home.  This will ensure that should circumstances require the departure of foreign field workers, the local staff will be equipped to operate ZCH without the assistance of staff.  With regard to sustainability, the pig farm expansion addresses the issue of food sustainability and is an important element of running the ZOE Children’s Homes.

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