A pig farm could have a higher income if the swine are in a good mood was the idea of a young man living in Speia, a town on the Nistru river due east of Moldova's capital, Chisinau. A loan provided by EU4Business initiative through the “Confidence Building Measures” Programme, which is being implemented by UNDP Moldova, helped Vitali Radulov put his idea into practice. With a grant of €10,000, the young farmer bought a special reed of low-fat pigs from Holland. When he started his business, he had 120 pigs; today, he owns a farm with 1,500 hogs.
Vitali emphasizes that he uses only natural feeding products: the cereals are cultivated in nearby fields by local farmers and the soy is imported from Ukraine. The ecological quality of the pork was also confirmed by farm employees.
The wrong temperature, not enough food and water, or even the wrong fodder mix are all factors that stress pigs out. As this farm owner points out, “unhappy” pigs eat, but they don't grow as they should. In average, their weight falls short about 20 grams per day. Considering the size of the herd, 1,500, and number of days they need to get to an ideal weight to be sold, 100, this adds up to a shortfall of about 3,000 kilograms and that's worth nearly €4,000.
To make sure this doesn't happen, the farmer does his best to ensure that the animals are calm. He provides them with continuous access to food and water, maintains a constant temperature, and sluices down the floors regularly.
Periodically, Vitali even puts on music for the pigs and organizes games. He has invented a kind of football game for the hyperactive individuals. To make sure the pigs don't hurt each other, he throws them plastic bottles filled with stones. All this effort is for pigs to stay in a good mood and grow faster.
Vitali's wife sells pork at the market. Most of the pigs are delivered directly from the farm and demand is high enough for the Radulovs not to work with sausage factories for now. However, he hopes to expand sales to the right bank of the Dniester and double the size of his herd, as demand for pork is on the rise.
Vitali continues to learn from the experience of his colleagues on the right bank of the river and in Ukraine. He now hopes to visit the Dutch farm from which he has been buying his pigs.
The EU4Business initiative, through the “Confidence Building Measures” Programme being implemented by UNDP, has assisted over 70 young people from both sides of the Dniester to start up a business and to generate about 350 new jobs.