Demand for Ugandan pigs increases in China farmers tipped on bulk production: The Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Vicent Bamulangaki Ssempijja has asked Ugandans to engage in large scale piggery production whose products are on high demand in Asian Countries.
Ssempijja told East African Business Week that he has secured markets for Ugandan piggery farmers, what they need is to ensure that they meet the quantity which is being demanded by the Chinese on a monthly basis.
“The market is there in China, what is required is the massive production of the pigs by our local farmers. On a monthly basis, the Chinese are looking for about 5 million supplies from Uganda. What farmers need to do is to form associations such that they can produce in bulky than as individual” He explained.
He said; as the Minister responsible for the sector, they are ready to assist farmers in signing supply contracts with the Chinese provided they can meet the quantity demanded on the market.
Although the demand for pigs locally, regionally and internationally has gone up, the production of pigs in most sub-sahara countries such as Uganda is still limited due to many challenges that farmers engaging in piggery farming are facing.
According to Grace Musiimane the National Publicity Secretary for Uganda National Farmers Federation, China has offered the market for Ugandan pigs which means government should first support farmers to overcome production challenges on most occasion and theses are associated with the out brake of diseases and expensive feeds.
This is because the diseases especial Swine Fever have no vaccine or cure and can wipe out a farm. It is an acute contagious viral disease which affects both domestic and wild pigs.
“Piggery farmers have not been sensitized on the breeds which are on high demand on the International market, government also needs to organize these farmers into groups which is still a big challenge most of the pig farmers in the country are producing on individual basis which increases the cost of production to the farmers” He explained.
Ssempijja said: “Farming in groups gives farmers strong bargaining power. For instance, 30 farmers with two pigs each to sell; will have a total of 60 pigs; which increases their bargaining power than one selling two pigs to a buyer that wants 60 pigs.”
He added that pig production currently in the country cannot sustain the demand for pork which has gone up especially in most urban towns and this has forced the price for pork to go up.
According to the latest Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, at 3.43kg, Uganda’s pork per capita consumption is the highest in sub- Saharan Africa, beating South Africa, though the latter produces more than we produce.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO