Retired police officer earns cash from rearing pigs
By Claudius T. Green Jr.
In 1984, Thomas R. Wiggin Sr. retired from the Liberia National Police (LNP) and later moved on to kick start his journey as a farmer. But that did not materialize until 1995.
“Operations were halted by the outbreak of the civil war. It was an unfortunate situation because I was so close to starting,” he recalls.
In 1995, he seized an opportunity to raise pigs after he heard of a piggery out-grower scheme in the Mamba Point area in Central Monrovia. Although he had limited knowledge about rearing pigs, Wiggin Sr. went on to volunteer his time to other pig farmers that were thriving under the program. The strategy he says provided him the chance to learn the basics in piggery management.
“I was learning and at the same time managing my two pigs. I had to give my all to the teaching while managing my pigs because I was not guaranteed that I could get other pigs if they die,” he says.
Over three months, Wiggin Sr. says he learned the basics in pig production and he became the master of his destiny subsequently. His production increased from two pigs to 100 pigs between 1995 and 2003 when another civil war disrupted his farming operations. But the stalwart farmer bounced back to business in 2008, four years after the civil war ended.
He started with four pigs and has since been growing and selling pigs, establishing himself as one of the in-demand pig producers in his community during this Coronavirus pandemic.
“Before COVID-19, I was supplying restaurants and homes. But since the outbreak of the virus in the country, I shifted my market focus to my surrounding. I went on to supply homes in the neighborhood; here I am, selling three hundred pounds of pig meat every Saturday. Before I was selling a hundred and fifty pounds,” he says
With the increase of recovery cases and the low number of COVID-19 death cases in the country, things are slowly returning to normal, as strict restrictions including a nationwide curfew, closure of schools, worship centers, and airports have been relaxed. Also, the reopening of hotels, restaurants, and other Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the country, Wiggins Sr., believes that venturing into any livestock operations would pay off as things slowly return normal.
“It is the right time to invest in agriculture, especially livestock productions, and with the time you can get your money back,” he says.