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New Pig Farm Creates Job Opportunities

by 5m Editor
3 February 2009, at 9:47am

NEW ZEALAND - Kereone pig farmer Ken McIntyre is about a month out from pinning down a new site for a larger piggery that will expand his business five-fold and create up to 30 new jobs.

Mr McIntyre said he is tabling an offer on a site for a new piggery that will house 50,000 pigs and a bio-gas plant. According to Waikato Times, it will be used to turn the pigs' effluent into electricity, but he declined to name the location because of commercial sensitivity.

According to Mr McIntyre, the bio-gas plant will turn the pigs' effluent plus an extra 300 tonnes a day of organic material from landfill into enough electricity to power the equivalent of all the homes in Morrinsville.

The effluent can also be used as fertiliser and the new piggery will have the ability to supply enough fertiliser to cover 2500 hectares for a year.

"The money is actually in the s***," he said. "We save ourselves between $25,000 and $30,000 because we don't have to buy fertiliser to put on our farm."

Mr McIntyre said that while he accepts the piggery needs to be on a remote location because of fears the smell from the effluent will affect neighbours, the revenue will help stimulate the Waikato economy.

"For every kilogram of pork, $1.98 goes back into the community," he said.

"Also we will have to build the new piggery which means that I will need contractors, builders and all those sorts of people and they will all need to be paid."

Mr McIntyre estimated the building job would cost around $32 million and once up and running the piggery would stimulate around $32 million in income each year.

Mr McIntyre farms around 1100 pigs. He kills about 60 pigs a week to process about 4000 kg of pork. Last year his plans to expand the piggery were scuppered after objections from neighbours over the potential for offensive smells that could come from the farm.

Environment Waikato and the Matamata-Piako District Council declined Mr McIntyre's application because of the objectionable smell, the impact it would have on the rural character of the surrounding area and the sensitive community around the proposed site, particularly Kereone School.

Last year Mr McIntyre was fined $35,000 in the Hamilton District Council for failing to stop an offensive smell. It was the second time he had been prosecuted for this sort of offence.

The resource application process cost around $1.2 million but rather than seeing the rejection as a negative, he is using it as a tool to make sure he gets the application for the new site just right.

Mr McIntyre said he tried to negate the smell coming from the current piggery by building an effluent pond but now the effluent is trucked to another farm, where it is used as fertiliser.