The Minister for Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja has asked Uganda, to engage in large scale piggery production whose products he said are on high demand in Asian countries.
Ssempijja told Chimpreports that he has secured markets for Ugandan piggery farmers and all they need to do is ensure that they meet the standards set by the Chinese on monthly basis.
“The market is there in china, what is required is the massive production of the pigs by our local farmers. On monthly basis the Chinese are looking for about 5 million supplies from Uganda. What farmers need to do is to form Association such that they can produce in bulk other than at individual basis,” he explained.
He noted that he is ready to assist farmers in signing supply contracts with the Chinese provided they can meet the quantity being 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 piggery farmers are facing.
According to Grace Musiimame the National Publicity Secretary for Uganda National Farmers Federation, China offered the market for Ugandan pigs; the government should support farmers to overcome production challenges such as disease outbreak and expensive feeds on the market.
“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 farmers in the country are producing on individual basis which increases the cost of production to the farmers,” he explained.
“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 Uganda.