In 2016, animal nutritionist, Dr Ben Lukuyu, was quoted in the media as saying that Uganda is the biggest per capita consumer of pork in Africa, and second to China, international.
Nelson Sempa, who practices piggery farmer, attests about the booming business and has since started an additional business to feed into the lucrative piggery business.
He is the proprietor of a farm innovation dubbed ‘Nelson Pig Drinking System’ which consists of pig nipple drinkers, connected drinkers and bowl drinkers. He also makes auto feeders as part of the farm installations.
“The drinkers are automated systems used in providing clean water for pigs. The pig nipples are either already connected drums or can be installed using pipes,” he explains.
Each of the nipple drinkers is complete with a rope which you tie and hang anywhere convenient to feed the pigs. You then fill water into it manually. The nipple drinkers cost Shs20,000 each.
The connected drums are of different sizes; for the 50 litre drum, farmers pay Shs105,000, for the 80 litre drum- Shs110,000 and 120 litre drum- costs Shs120,000.
Sempa started making the drinkers and feeders one and a half years ago, to find a solution at his piggery farm in Kyengera, Kampala.
He explains; “Farmers including myself were having a problem of providing clean water to pigs and for small holder farmers like myself, we could not afford the big projects for nipple system installation which required having an overhead tank.”
“So it necessitated coming up with a system where nipples are connected to small capacity drums which are filled with water by farm workers,” he explains.
Sempa imports the nipples and buys locally available used drums or cans. He drills holes and fixes nipples onto them. “Farmers with bigger projects have the alternative of erecting overhead tanks. Such a farmer can engage plumbing services to install nipples given per unit,” he adds. He also explains that a nipple works in a semi-automated way. It has a nozzle which one can press for water to ooze out. When released, the water will stop flowing. “After installation, it will be ready to use. A pig bites it for water to flow into its mouth. When it releases or relaxes on its bite, water automatically stops slowing.”
Nelson Sempa a piggery farmer says the advantages of automated water system include pigs’ having clean water on a regular basis. The system reduces on diseases which might be transmitted via contaminated water in case of using troughs.
“The clean water provision means the pigs will benefit a lot since the nipples are close to the feeding troughs. The system maintains hygiene compared to water in troughs, plus water wastage is minimized and there is a remarkable reduction in cost of producing the nipple.”
Ssempa markets the innovation through a farm to farm approach as well as sharing knowledge and photographs on social network platforms of farmers and media personnel.