About 1 billion pigs populate our planet and nearly 50% are in China. Pigs most likely descended from the wild boar of Eurasia. First domestication may have happened around 13,000 BC. Pigs were domesticated for their meat and bristles and seem to suggest a more sedentary lifestyle of its keepers than other livestock (around the world cattle are often kept by nomadic herders). The consumption of pig meat is restricted or forbidden by some religions, including Judaism, Islam and Ethiopian Orthodox. Pig meat is the most abundantly produced meat worldwide (10.4 million ton). Most of it comes from Asia (55%), Europe (25%) and the Americas (18%). Only 1% of pig meat comes from Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, pig stocks are much smaller than goats, cattle and sheep, and only account for 3% of all livestock heads (excluding poultry). Nigeria has the largest stock, but ranks only 22nd worldwide. South Africa produces 26% of sub-Saharan Africa’s pig meat, Nigeria 19% and Uganda 12%. Pig stocks follow a similar pattern. In Nigeria and Uganda production has steadily increased since the 1980s. In Mozambique is has decreased slightly since the 1990s. South Africa saw moderate increases between the 1960s and 2000 and a sharper increase since 2000.

Reference to numbers/statistics are from FAOSTAT 2010 for the year 2008

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