Domestic pigs help protect Serbia′s forests | Environment| All topics from climate change to conservation | DW | 10.07.2018
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Environment

Domestic pigs help protect Serbia's forests

While in many countries, pigs are brought up in confined spaces, Serbia has a long tradition of rearing the animals in the forest. Efforts are underway to ensure this ecologically friendly tradition doesn't die out.

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Uncertain future for foraging pigs in Serbia

Project aim: The use of traditional agricultural practices to prevent biodiversity loss and improve water management

Project size: 17,000 hectares of state forest to be protected from intensive land use

Project partners: German development agency, GIZ, Germany's Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Serbian Ministry for Environmental Protection, Novi Sad Nature Conservation

Project budget: €3.5 million ($4.08 million)

Time was, Serbian pig farmers kept their domestic animals in the forest, allowing them to feed on the natural bounty offered by the woodland floor. Despite the fact that this approach means they save on feed costs and are producing what could be potentially classed as lucrative organic meat, the practice is dying out, particularly among younger generations of farmers. But the German development agency GIZ is trying to breathe new life into the old tradition on the grounds that forest pig-rearing has a positive impact on biodiversity. It's part of a broader project to explore connections between old-fashioned farming techniques and environmental management.

A film by Holger Trzeczak

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