Wednesday July 30 2014

Pig farmers to form association

By Stephen Kafeero

Pig farmers in Uganda have decided to form a mutually-aided association for better marketing of their products and as a forum for sharing ideas. A steering committee chaired by former executive director of Uganda Investment Authority, Maggie Kigozi, was elected by farmers during a pig farmers’ training, which took place from July 11 to 12, to kick-start the eventual formation of the Uganda Pig Farmers Association (UPFA). The event was held in Nama, Mukono District.

Good prices
The first and only pig farmers’ association in the country is expected to help pig farmers to negotiate good prices for their products, get inputs at a good price and share best practice about the industry. “Recently we were in the process of getting a contract from a company, which wanted 2,000kg of quality pork a day but it was hard for us to even raise 500kg and so we opted out. If the farmers are organised, then we can think of producing such amounts,” said Christopher Mulindwa, production manager, Pig Production and Marketing Uganda Ltd (PPM), which organised the training. He said that Uganda was a long way from exporting pig products because current production cannot even satisfy the local market.

Work together
Mulindwa added that many of the pig farmers in Uganda do not look after pigs as a job so they do not keep records and do not even know at what cost they produce and they end up not knowing at how much to sell. “We want farmers to work together such that they can easily buy feeds, produce in bulk, get feeds and other inputs at a wholesale price and be able to get expert knowledge and share ideas on the challenges that affect them.”

Dr Patrick Pithua, a professor at University of Missouri, US, who is also a member of the association, noted there is a tremendous opportunity for the swine industry in Uganda especially if farmers and other service providers have a common front. “As someone who has started a pig farm in Uganda, this is very significant especially for the many young people who are involved and seem interested.”

The association is spearheaded by PPM Uganda Ltd, an organisation which works together with pig farmers to increase productivity and a reliable market for pig farm produce, Veterinary Doctors without Borders and Agri-focus Uganda. It will finally be enacted during a farmers’ meeting, which will be held in September.