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Even Smallholders Can Benefit from Pig AI in Uganda

06 February 2015

UGANDA - To improve the quality of their pigs, Ugandan farmers should consider artificial insemination.

Whenever John Kizito who has a piggery in Wakiso District notices that one of this three female pigs (sows) is on heat, he takes it a kilometre away to another farm, which has males, to mate.

He told Daily Monitor: “It is really cumbersome because remember they do not go on heat at the same time.”

Additionally, Mr Kizito is supposed to avail his pigs with feed to last them the number of days they will spend at the neighbouring farm. He also has to continually check on them to ensure they have mated. This is besides the risk of acquiring infections from another farm; risks as fatal as African swine fever.

To avoid this hassle of looking for boars in the neighbourhood to mate with their females, some farmers keep their own boars for breeding. But this too is expensive if you are keeping them solely for mating, the reason most opt to use boars in the neighbourhood.

These and more are some of the reasons why Dr Leonard Kawule of Vetline Services, a consultancy firm that deals specifically in commercial pig farming, advocates for artificial insemination for any serious pig farmer.

Way cheaper than keeping a boar for service on the farm. Dr Kawule explained that maintaining a mature boar on the farm requires three kilos of feed per day. Since a kilo goes for UGS800, this comes to UGS2,400 a day and UGS72,000 in a month. After serving a female, this boar takes another six months to serve and this costs UGS432,000 in feed.

He said: “If you do not have up to 10 females for this boar to serve, this is a huge cost on the farmer because if this female gives birth to 10 piglets, and each is sold at UGS100,000, then this boar has eaten feeds worth about five piglets. And the breeding female will also have eaten the same amount of feeds in the six months.”

This actually means that the farm is just making losses if it has these two pigs. However, this cost does not include the cost at which you bought the boar as a piglet, usually about UGS100,000 and the cost incurred from feeding that boar to its required maturity of eight months when it will be old enough to appropriately service a female.

If you add the cost of water and vet care this pig needs from the time it is acquired through the months it waits to serve a female, then a piggery is simply making losses by keeping a boar for the sole purpose of mating.

The Daily Monitor report says that a dose of artificial insemination from Vetline Services however goes for about UGS50,000, which is far more cost effective than keeping a boar.

Top image from Daily Monitor.

ThePigSite News Desk



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