Wednesday July 2 2014

Farmers to get skills in pig production

A farmer feeds his pigs. Keeping pigs is a

A farmer feeds his pigs. Keeping pigs is a major farming activity in Uganda. FILE PHOTO 

By Stephen Kafeero

More than 150 small-, medium- and large-scale pig farmers will be equipped with practical skills in pig rearing during a two -day training in Buyuki, Nama Sub-county in Mukono District.
It is organised by Pig Production and Marketing (PPM) Uganda Ltd, which works with pig farmers to increase productivity and secure a reliable market for their produce.
“The main objective for these trainings is to enable skills that will help pig farmers transform from subsistence to profitable commercial pig farming systems, enable interaction between farmers and other pig value chain actors including traders, researchers and drug and feed stockiest and others,” explains Christopher Mulindwa, production manager, PPM Uganda Ltd.

Farm and market
The training is expected to help farmers develop solutions for constraints at both farm and market levels. “At farm level, they will be taught about feeds and feeding, swine health with emphasis on African Swine Fever, breeds and breeding, husbandry and management and the integration of pig farming with crop production,” Mulindwa adds.
“At the other level, there will be business planning, marketing, record keeping, finance and management. Also to be discussed is the pig farmers’ cooperative agreed to be formed in the previous training.”
There will be interactions between farmers and other actors to enable information and input flow along the value chain.
Pig farming has grown over the past three decades. According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the number has increased from 0.19 million to 3.5 million pigs.
In 2011, Uganda had the highest per capita consumption of pork in Sub-Saharan Africa (3.4kg per person per year), as indicated by figures from Food and Agriculture Organisation. And the 2008 national animal census shows that there are more than 1.1 million families raising pigs, though mostly as a backyard activity in smallholder households in semi-urban and rural areas.
The International Livestock Research Institute has been conducting research on the value chain and the results will be unveiled during the July 11-12 training, which will be the second after the one held in February.