By Agnes Nantambi
Makerere University Don Prof. Samuel Majalija has embarked on the campaign to promot clean piggery farming through the use of the Indigenous Micro Organisms (IMO).
From the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity Prof.Majalija reveal that so far about 50 famers in Masindi have embraced smart piggery technology through use of the IMO.
IMO is a homemade microbe mixture that fosters rapid anaerobic digestion of waste. It is produced by fermenting plant materials like sweet potatoes or rice with sugar. Piggery is a profitable enterprise but there is a belief that pigs are dirty animals.
Prof. Majalija said is currently promoting piggery farming in the rural areas of Masindi hoping to extend it to other districts
“Makerere University has got interested in what I am doing and they have given me extra funds to extend the same technology to farmers in other districts like Masaka.
Starting in the month of May, I will be working both in Masaka and in Masindi district to expand this IMO project to ensure that farmers enjoy the piggery.
“We have put science in IMO and we have been able to identify those very beautiful effective Microorganisms from the environment of the pigs, tested them and proved very effective to be used for spraying in the piggery unit, “he explained.
Farmers he said are now spraying them once in three weeks and there is no smell in their units.
“Why we are doing this, is because, IMO much as it comes as a foreign thing, but it is a simple basic knowledge and technology of just using simple ordinary grass.
In fact, we advise farmers to use any dry grass, leaves, since any dry material can be used as a bedding and once sprayed by the technology, it will be very effective,” he said.
He told new vision that the technology is very helpful to farmers who don’t have money to construct piggery units saying they are teaching them how to use a small pit just one fit deep and put in grass and construct a small simple unit which he said has helped many farmers.
According to Majalija, IMO is very cheap in terms of constructing the Unit, it removes all the smell and reduces labor to clean the unit because one doesn’t have to use water in the unit neither sweeping,while at the same time provide warmth’s to piglet which minimizes the chances of dyeing due to coldness.
The Prof. said beddings from the piggery unit can be used for one full year as fertilizers saying it has been tested that by the time they are removed, they are already broken down ready to be used as organic manure in the field, meaning every year one has ready organic manure to fertilize their gardens.
“Combining this, it’s evident that we minimize diseases with no case of diarrhea ever been identified in piglets and pigs among the IMO units.
I am moving towards expanding the clean pig farming technology on large scale and hope that by the end of next year, every farmer will have adopted the technology, “he said.
He said one doesn’t have to put rice and meat to make the IMO but very simple products which are cost effective.
We are still improving it such that we package it better in a very simple way to make it affordable and marketable,” he said.
He implored the pig farmers to avoid dyeing with a big smell near homes saying even if in cemented units, the technology can still work.
“Because we want farmers to adopt this technology, we are now working towards setting up IMO Centers in every village where farmers come together with the materials for mixing and drums, such that they can easily pick the technology which is being promoted in every village.
According to him, Famers can now work together to enhance sustainability in the communities. “Beyond that, the Centre can also act as a Centre for information sharing and marketing of pigs such that we know who has how many pigs in which village.