Over the past 30 years, the pig population has increased from 0.19 to 2.3 million and more than one million households raise pigs. But the sector is largely informal and faces challenges such as inefficient input and output markets, poor governance (lack of collectives) and low productivity. The majority of pigs are kept by women and young people in small households with limited access to information and technological services. This contributes to the vulnerability and sustainability of the pig production system in Uganda.
Pork retail price
Hellen Nantaba, a farmer from Buikwe district, says she spends about UGX 140,000 (€37) to raise a pig in 4 months. At 4 months, the pig can weigh between 60 and 65 kg. At around 7,000 UGX (€2) per kilo, she can get more than 400,000 UGX (€105) for a pig. The retail price of pork depends on location, value addition and demand. On average, a kilo sells for between 8,000 and 30,000 UGX (2 to 7 €).
Demand for pork exceeds production
However, according to Christopher Mulindwa, manager of Pig Production and Marketing Uganda Ltd., “most farmers in the industry do not follow the correct procedure and consequently produce poor quality pork which is fattier”. Mulindwa added that the supply of pigs is still far below local demand, forcing imports from neighboring countries like Kenya.
Sow and piglet mortality rates in Uganda
In research conducted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), sow mortality in Uganda over the past 12 months was reported to be 2.5%. Piglet mortality reached 10.2%.
Of the 650 random farms sampled from:
20% of farms reported sows with stillbirths
15% said they had an unhealthy economy
12.5% reported respiratory illness
10.8% reported gastrointestinal illness
19% of sows partially or completely restricted from free movement inside pens
93% of sows had continuous access to water, but only 48.8% of water supplies were clean
The CGIAR (formerly the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) headquartered in Montpellier, France, is a global partnership that brings together international organizations engaged in food security research. Their current SAPLING (Sustainable Animal Productivity for Livelihoods, Nutrition and Gender Inclusion) initiative aims to expand the pig and beef sectors in Uganda. The SAPLING workshops hope to improve the livelihoods of pork producers. In the long term, overall efficiency, improved pig productivity and increased consumption of livestock-derived feeds as part of nutritionally diverse diets are expected. The implementation of various innovation programs under SAPLING would lead to infrastructure reform stimulated by private sector investments.
Ugandan pig farmers readily embraced collective action. Regional platforms have facilitated the creation of business linkages between input suppliers, ancillary service providers and farmers. SAPLING workshop participants are likely to create a profitable and resilient pork value chain by 2032.
Sources: FAO, CGIAR, ILRI, CNN