On eight acres of land near Nakifuma town, there are mothers and fathers of pigs. There are brothers and sisters of pigs. You can get every pig here.
Nakifuma Farming Company sits on a total of 30 acres, but at the moment, at least eight large structures occupy eight acres. By comparison, this is one of the best piggery farms in Uganda.
“There are 400 sows [female pigs] here,” explains John Magnay, the director of the farm.
These sows deliver at least 80 piglets every after two weeks. Plus, everything is automated for best results too.
Why keep pigs
According to Joseph Kasangaki, a vet at the farm, many Ugandan pig farmers keep pigs for the sake of it.
“Just know that you are keeping pigs for a profit. To get a profit, you must make sure that you do several basic but important things, including getting the best breed and adopting better management systems,” he says.
Kasangaki says farmers should be aware of the market, hence adopt a system that suits the targeted market. For example, if one is keeping pigs for pork, then the males have to be castrated and fattened so that they weigh at least 45kg after four months.
If one is breeding piglets for sale, then it is better they are sold after two months – because any additional months may not necessarily make a similar increase in profits. But under any system, a farmer must have a good mother stock.
Stock the best quality breed
It is common for pig keepers to keep any pigs. Many of them are not even sure of which breed they are keeping.
However, Kasangaki says a good farmer must know the breed of pigs they are keeping in order to appreciate the specific requirements for their growth.
Feed them for the money
“Poor quality or bad feeds are always too expensive in both the short and long run. Good quality feeds may look expensive, but they are cheap,” he says.
One of the biggest challenges for pig keepers is feeding. In fact, it is common to hear people say that they will not keep pigs because of the pigs’ feeding habits.
“You cannot find feeds that are specifically prepared for pigs in Uganda. We just improvise with chicken feeds, which are also not of the best quality,” says Clara Anzoa, farmer from Moyo.
Sam Agoro, another best farmer engaged in piggery, weighs in: “Because feeds are poor, the growth rate is difficult to determine.”
“Do not just feed for the sake of it. Feed them for a goal.”
Weaning piglets feed differently from gestating sows. “But it all starts with the quality of the feeds. Make sure that you have clean raw materials for your feeds,” says Magnay.
Pigs require energy and this can be derived through consuming fats, carbohydrates, starch, fibre and sugar. These are contained in maize, barley, corn, cassava, etc.
Pigs also need proteins, which can be got from fish, soya, cotton cakes, etc. They also need vitamins from leafy crops and minerals from salts.