ECHOcommunity Conversations

Pig feed options in the tropics


My name is Billy Arthur and I am the new Tropical lowlands intern here at ECHO Florida and I’m looking to see what kinds of sustainable pig feed options being used in the tropics. Here on the farm I’m looking to start a small trial of the viability of different silage options for pig feed, so if any of y’all have any experience with that I would love to hear what is working out on the field.

I’m also interested to see if anybody is using pigs in different or unique ways that we might be able to try out here on the farm.


Welcome to ECHO Billy.

In Cuba a saw them feeding the pigs with acorns and molasses which is very interesting to say the least.

However when I ate the meat, it was very tasty.

If come across anything else, I will be sure to let you know.

Be blessed,


Hi Billy. I would like to work with you as you find and share solutions. We are just getting started with our farm in the tropics ( Bataan Philippines, MountainAir.Farm) and we have a few pigs. Currently a high percentage of their feed is bought on the local market of which a high percentage is corn and soy and since they are likely loaded with glyphosate… I want to eliminate both. Buying feed also makes for expensive meat. My biggest objective is to raise healthy meat for our consumption… first with standard local hogs, then later with Berkshire hogs. Here are some things we are doing or have plans to do:

  • When we have shredded coconut meat (copra) that has been juiced to remove the milk, this… along with the coconut water, is fed to the pigs. I will see if we can also buy this cheaply at the local market.
  • We have several rice millers close by, I will inquire about buying rice bran. In the coming years, I am also planning to grow rice… so this could be a byproduct.
  • I am planning to start growing malungay (moringa) this season to be used as feed for the pigs, goats and chickens. I can’t find much about this online.
  • I am planning to start growing lab lab this season to be used as feed for the pigs, goats and chickens.

We are also planning to attend the conference next fall in Florida… so maybe will see you there.

Ronny Mauldin


For some older research I did see:


Hello Billy, the Beersheba farm has very good pig raising system. They are in Senegal. They are using a korean method for pig raising.
You can contact Noah Elhardt


Thanks for asking the question, Billy. Please help me watch for great additions to our ECHOcommunity collection to benefit other network members. I really appreciate the recommendations made through Conversations.


Hello Ronny,

Thanks for your information! I have some coconut growing in my area of the farm, maybe I can find some kind of information on incorporating copra meal for pig feed.

Do you have access to banana stalks as well? One of the resources that I am going to try to do more research on is different types of banana stalk silage. The one that we currently have been using has rice bran mixed in with it to up the protein content of the silage.


We have a few bananas on the farm that were there when we bought it… I will look more into using it for silage. I plan to have both mid-size bananas and plantain for family consumption. Just asked my wife about this and she said only certain kinds of bananas can be used for pig silage… so I will research more.

Found this article on raising pigs with Moringa (Malungay is local name)

Says you can use up to 100% moringa and that it takes 30 trees for one pig. These trees grow fast, can be closely spaced since the foliage is being cropped. Under/around the trees, I plan to grow Lab Lab.
This sounds like the fastest way to for me to grow my own pig food. This can also be fed to goats and chickens… and even Billy… ha.

My guess is that if you feed the pigs this way, you will get healthier meat… and feed goats with this and get healthier milk.

This is going to become a high priority project for me.



Hi Billy,

We’re feeding our pigs out here with our own on-farm banana stem silage, it’s definitely cheaper to make per kg of feed. We still have to mix in corn meal, rice bran, fish meal, and some other things to bump up the protein, but definitely cheaper than commercial feed. The challenge is not necessarily whether or not you can bring a pig up to market weight using the banana silage, but rather, can you do it in a timely enough manner to be profitable. I encourage you to look at the economic side, not just the weight gain alone. Let me know if you have any questions or need any help setting up a small research experiment.



Hi. I have a question about pig feed. Is plantain stems can be used as silage for pig feed? If yes, how do prepare the silage?
I am Weslet Vildort. I am a member of Planting Life Haiti Foundation. As a field operation manager, I am looking for ways to improve food production in Haiti, especially in Désarmes, which is a small area in the Artibonite province. Brian lived there. We have about 4 ha with plantains. We are working on a small pig farm project as a way to provide more organic matter to build vegetable gardens. I would love to know how we can prepare the silage with plantain stems. That way, cost of feeds would go down and and we will have access to the organic matter faster.
I would be please to hear from you all. Thank you for helping us to find ways to increase food production and eventually we can fight against food insecurity.
Weslet Vildort


HI Weslet,

It’s great to hear from you.

I found this paper in which plantains are mentioned briefly. I would think that they can be used similarly to bananas stocks. Feedipedia does have them listed, but only as fresh stock (not fermented). Does anyone else have experience using plantain for wet silage?

I have tried many different mixtures and recipes for our banana stock silage over the years. For a baseline feed, we found success with the following procedure (from Natural Farming resources provided by Rick Burnette).
1.Remove leaves and roots from banana stock and any outer leaves that are brown from drying out or rotting. (These are not good ingredients for the feed as the leaves do not break down quickly and the dead or dying material spoil the feed.)
2. Chop the banana stock up as small as possible. We use a banana chopper. Machetes work well, but take time.
3. In a clean area (for example, on a tarp), mix together 10 kg banana stock, 0.4 kg molasses (or any sugar-supply), and 0.01 kg of salt. This is the same as 4% of the weight of the banana stock in molasses and 1% of the banana stock weight in salt. The salt helps pull the water out of the banana stock to make an anaerobic environment and the molasses provides a starter food for the bacteria who help break down the banana stock so that pigs can digest it easily. You can also add a little EM or IMO at this stage to help the silage be ready faster.
4. Pack a sealed container with the mixture, making sure to press it down well as you fill the container. There should be a covering of water over the top of the mixture in the container by the end.
5. Seal it with a bag filled with water (to keep out oxygen) or a plastic bag with a rock on the top to keep all banana stock submerged.

Depending on temperature and how much sugar you put in, the silage will be ready in 5-9 days. Again, depending on temperature and how well you keep oxygen away from the silage, it can last anywhere from 1-3 weeks from my experience.

There are many different recipes out there and I would be happy to hear others. We also add rice bran to ours now (at the mixing stage) and are looking into what other ingredients to add to boost protein content.


Thank you very much for the answer. I will see how I can transform the plantain stocks into feeds. That can change the income of the pig program. Thank you again for your willingness to share your knowledge findings.


Hello Billy, Here is some of our data base information for Pigs in the tropics. Hope this helps.
Howard Story
Permaculture Institute AsiaNon conventional Feeding of Pigs.pdf (1.5 MB)


Hello Billy, Here is some of our data base information for Pigs in the tropics. Hope this helps.
Howard Story
Permaculture Institute Asia
Alternative Feeds for Pigs.pdf (7.9 KB)


Hello Billy, Here is some of our data base information for Pigs in the tropics. Hope this helps.
Howard Story
Permaculture Institute Asia
Non_Conventional_feed_resources_for_Pigs.pdf (904.4 KB)