NAKASONGOLA, UGANDA: The increasing consumption of pork has boosted pig farming and sales in Nakasongola, according to the recently released district livestock report.
According to the report, there are now 118,042 pigs up from 35,283 reared in 2008 in the district. The report indicates that 30,809 pigs (26.1%) of the 118,042, are sold annually in the district.
On average, pigs are the most sold livestock in the district compared to cattle where only 42,686 (16%) of 266,791 are sold annually. About 10.6% (13,512) of the 125,078 goats and 1,140 (9%) of the 12,640 sheep are sold annually in the district.
Due to the high demand for pork, the price of a kilogram is now at 13,000 from 10,000 shillings recently.
The Nakasongola District Veterinary Officer Sam Eswaggu, says that the mushrooming pork stalls in each trading center and people who demand pork have created a boom in pig farming.
Eswaggu says that unlike cattle which is largely sold in Kampala, most pigs are slaughtered locally and its pork is sold within the communities. “In fact we have seen that people demand pork more than beef though they are all sold at the same price,” he said.
Gerald Kitaka Sserubombwe, a prominent pig trader in Nakasongola town says that residents have embraced rearing pigs because it’s easy to sell them and get money to respond to an emergency unlike other animals.
Kitaka adds that a pig can give birth to many piglets thrice a year, and each is sold between 80,000-100,000 shillings, making it a lucrative livestock business.
Kitaka says that a cow and goat each give birth to not more than two young ones which makes them not lucrative for farmers.
John Mugonza, a resident of Wakaki village says that pigs are easy to rear because they always feed them on maize, sweet potatoes and silverfish among other nutrients which can be sourced locally.
Samuel Kigula, the LC 5 chairman of Nakasongola district says that residents have found it easy to rear the pigs because they don’t need so much land compared to cattle where owners are struggling for pasture on large acres of land.
He says the district has registered a number of women who have embraced pig farming and this has enhanced household income.
Kigula says that since there is a ready market for pork, they want to ask National Agriculture Advisory Services through Operation Wealth Creation to donate piglets to residents to increase the number of livestock.
According to a survey by International Livestock Research Institute, the per capita consumption of pork in Uganda is 3.5 kilogrammes, making it the biggest consumer of pork in Africa and second to China globally.