Pigs Have the Fastest Returns

UGANDA - A Guide to Pig Production at Farm Level is a useful farm tool every commercial pig-keeper must have. It was published by Fountain Publishers in conjunction with I@mak project.
calendar icon 16 July 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Commercial pig-keeping is a potentially high income earner for Ugandans. However, this potential has not been exploited largely because few Ugandans are taking it up.

There is high demand for pork and pork products in Uganda, reports The New Vision. Also, the number of pigs kept by Ugandans has been rising drastically in the last few years. According to the agriculture ministry, there are about 2.1 million pigs in the country, eight million goats and 11 million cows.

Traditionally, pigs are mainly kept in the central region, the east and the north. But few people keep more than five pigs. In a parish, the average farmer has more than five pigs, while a few others have an average of one or two pigs.

The author says no other animal pays as quickly as pigs. A sow starts delivering at only six months.

It can deliver at least three times a year because the gestation period is three months. If well-looked after, hybrids like the Large White deliver an average 14 piglets during every delivery. If 10 piglets from each delivery grow up, a farmer can have 30 new pigs at the end of the year.

The book says a pig-keeper should aim at increasing the number of healthy piglets weaned per sow. If a farmer is breeding pigs, he/she can sell each of the piglets (about 10) at sh40,000 to 70,000 in two months. This earns him sh1.2m-sh1.5m. If the piglets are for pork, they will have gained at least 40kgs at five months and can be sold at between sh120,000 and 150,000.

Pigs are the only animals that can eat anything like crop leaves and cooked left-over food. Food peelings are the leading source of foods among commercial pig-keepers in Uganda. The book gives farmers tips for effectively and cheaply feeding the animals.

Overall, the book deals with starting pig production as a business, pig housing and the necessary equipment, management of pigs, feeding management, health and diseases control, waste management and record keeping. Each of these issues is illustrated with diagrams.

David Mutetikka, the author, is a lecturer at the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Makerere University.

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