Pig breeding practices of smallholder farmers in Uganda
Keywords:Smallholder, pig, breeding practices, Uganda
Uganda is among the top five pork producing countries in Africa, with pig production and local pork consumption being on an increase. Smallholder pig farming systems in Uganda are not very well documented. A household level survey of 199 households conducted between July and August 2018 in Kamuli and Hoima districts evaluated the smallholder pig breeding practices. Differences between districts were assessed with a chi-squared test. Farmers mainly relied on animals born on farm, from mating of a sow with an on-farm boar as well as boar service, and animals bought in for use as breeding animals. They were knowledgeable of off-farm sources for fattening and breeding animals. Local and crossbreds of local with ‘exotic’ types like Large White, Landrace and Camborough pigs were the predominant types of animals accessed by the farmers. The farmers seemed conversant with heat detection methods in the breeding sow. Sow reproductive problems reported by about 40% of the farmers were small litter size and few litters farrowed over the sow’s lifetime. While important for farm management and breeding purposes, animal identification and record keeping were generally lacking. Main marketing pathways were sales to other farmers and traders at farm gate. Farmers would benefit from participatory strategies that enhance access to quality genetic material. The local pig is an important resource of the smallholder pig herd and additional studies on important traits (heat tolerance, disease resistance and feed utilization) would add valuable information.
Keywords: Smallholder, pig, breeding practices, Uganda
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