Piggery Waste Management
Faapaia Maiava wants to develop a system that will allow him to recycle the effluent from his piggery by applying it on his vegetables.
Applying pig manure to crops in American Samoa has been limited by lack of information on proper use and application methods. Meanwhile, commercial fertilizers are expensive. Maiava plans to redesign his five-sow unit’s septic tanks so the liquid waste can be reused to irrigate and supply nutrients to his vegetable farm.
He is a full-time farmer who raises taro, cabbage and cucumber. He raises pigs for family consumption and traditional use, and he hopes to expand the operation through effective nutrient and byproduct management.
To date, Maiava has nearly completed construction of a solid-waste separator and a holding tank for the gray water. He is almost finished building a composting bin, and he and his technical advisor, Laura Laumatia, are working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop effective composting skills.
Local NRCS members have also developed a conservation plan for Maiava’s farm and helped him develop the plans for his waste system.
Because there are no pumps large enough for his project on the island, he has ordered off-island through a local hardware store. When the pump arrives, Maiava will implement his new system.
Laumatia has taken several soil samples and will send them to the University of Hawaii for analysis. She and Maiava will set up a regular sampling schedule so they can determine the effects of the effluent on the nutrient content of the soil.
Laumatia observes that the project is progressing effectively and should yield useful results. “I have hopes that his piggery may be a model for many other farmers in his area,” she says.
FARMER ADOPTION AND DIRECT IMPACT
When his project is fully functioning, Maiava hopes that farmers of American Samoa will develop a positive attitude toward better utilization of pig waste, at the same time reducing the application and costs of imported commercial fertilizer.
FUTURE RECOMMENDATIONS OR NEW HYPOTHESES
None have been offered to date.
DISSEMINATION OF FINDINGS
The findings will be disseminated to other farmers in American Samoa and other areas of the Pacific region once the project is completed.