Pork, in all forms, is widely consumed in the world and in Uganda; piggery is one of the forms of farming that is trending because of the quick returns on investment. Christopher Mulindwa, the production manager, Pig Production and Marketing Uganda Limited, shared his views.
Why should one engage in piggery?
Uganda pig farmers are largely smallholders practicing traditional methods of pig farming that mainly involve using unimproved inputs for both breeding and pork production, tethering and free range methods, no record keeping, and poor health and nutrition management.
All these lead to both limited supply of pigs and quality pork on the market. On the other hand, there is increasing popularity of pork consumption amongst Ugandans and neighbouring countries, attracting a demand that current supply cannot effectively handle.
What are the benefits?
Besides piggery being an employment opportunity for the farmer, it is also a source of manure for crop production, gas to light your home and farm and meat for consumption.
A well-trained farmer can exploit all opportunities resulting from the poor practices carried out today.
How long does one have to wait before they can get returns?
The period depends on the type of production the farmer chooses to adopt. Farmers aiming at farrowing to wean will have their female pigs reach puberty at six months. It is better to jump at least two heat periods to give time to the gilt (young female pig) to grow stronger to be able to carry pregnancy well.
The gestation period of a pig is 114 days. On average, piglets suckle for a month. Therefore, such farmers make their first sale after 11 months if they start with two month-old piglets.
Farmers who aim at fattening their piglets, will need to keep them for 180 days before they can sell them. In case of delay, pigs should not exceed 210 days of age.
This is because; the Lean Growth Potential (ability of the pig to build muscles) is attained at six months. Beyond this mark, pigs will be depositing fat. A pig will need almost twice the amount of feeds used to build 2kg of lean meat to build 1kg of fat. Therefore, farmers starting fattening piglets at two months will spend only four months before making their first sale.
On the other hand, farmers targeting to sell insemination services will need to keep their boars for at least 10 months before semen collection starts.
What breeds of pigs grow faster and are more profitable?
For better results, it is advisable for farmers to keep cross–breeds. These share good characteristics from various lines. However, the common breeds of pigs available in Uganda are Landrace, Large White, Combrough, Duroc (almost extinct), Hampshire and Large Black.
How much can one get from selling a pig?
The average carcass weight for a well-managed fattener is 60kgs and the average price for quality pork in Uganda at wholesale is Shs6,500 per kilo. Therefore, on average, a farmer makes about Shs400,000 per pig raised for pork. Prices for poor quality pig carcasses can be as low as Shs4,000 per kilogramme.
How much do piglets go for?
Piglets cost between Shs100,000 and Shs250,000. Participants of the farm clinic will buy piglets at Shs100,000.
Where can one sell their pork products?
Pork products include pork sausages, primal cuts, ham, bacon and others. Uganda imports much of its processed pork products from Farmers Choice in Kenya. There are many recommendable markets for pork in Uganda whose demand has not been met. These include, Pig Production and Marketing Ltd, Fresh Cuts, Sausage King, Wambizzi Cooperative Abattoir and others.
This and other business opportunities are some of the many things that will be covered at the Seeds of Gold farm clinic on May 30.