By Francis Emukule and William Semanda
Pig farmers have been trained on value addition and pig breeding at the Harvest Money Expo. Speaking during the training session on piggery and value addition, Dr Esther Nakajubi, head of non-ruminants at the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Databank (NAGRC) and DB, encouraged farmers to prioritise the proper breading of pigs to ensure high-quality products. Nakajubi, however, encouraged farmers to focus more on raising high-quality boar pigs since they are the determinants of how the rest of the animals will look on the farm.
“A boar is a very important member of piggery farming because it improves the quality of genetics, so if the boar is good, the genetics of your herd will be fantastic. As a result, it is critical to improve the quality of boars or to select good ones.” She emphasised that if the quality of the boar is poor, the genetics of the farm will also be bad. She also advised farmers on the procedures to follow when mating the boar: “Don’t take the boar to the female, but rather take the female to the boar,” she said. She explained that taking the female to the boar would make the female resent the boar, and the opposite is true.
Concerning value addition, Dr Emma Naluyima, a veterinarian, farmer, piggery and fishery, also known as Mama Pig, advised farmers to avoid selling their pigs without adding value to them because doing so would result in losses. “Whenever you add value, you get more in terms of quality and money, but when you simply sell a pig, they will buy it at a price that is not equivalent to a finished product,” she said.
She explained that adding value enables the farmer to charge or bill for whatever they have added to the final product, increasing the farmer’s income. “You will be able to cost whatever you add during the value addition process, and more money will come; for example, if you prepare special pork cuts, a kilogramme will go for between $ 20,000 to $25,000, compared to selling a live pig,” emphasised. However, if farmers are unable to add value to the final product, she advised them to focus on improving the genetics or the appearance of the animal. She also stated that slaughtering and selling pigs for pork and waste management are other ways value can be added.
Farmers were also advised to prioritise building good structures for animal and pest control, production treatment, storage and transportation.
Maria Kayondo, from Kakiri, Wakiso District, who has so far attended the expo three times, says she has learned a lot from the training, especially when it came to how to take care of the boar. “I have enjoyed the training in how to handle, identify, and feed the boars,” she said.
She added that initially, she used to focus more on fattening the animal as opposed to keeping it fit, and she also allowed the animal to exercise, but most importantly, she did not take the boar from the female pig and vice versa.
Patrick Kayizi, a Kawempe resident, explained that after attending the training, he realised that his weaknesses were the housing, ventilation, poor feeding, and supervision. However, he hopes to implement the knowledge acquired from the training.