On 6 February, the Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development (SPVCD) and Safe Food, Fair Food (SFFF) projects in Uganda launched their planned activities in Mukono District. Both projects are led by ILRI. The SPVCD project aims to improve livelihood security, incomes and assets of rural and urban smallholder pig producers, particularly women; the SFFF project supports the intensification of livestock production by improving the quality management of livestock products.
The launch began with SPVCD project staff visiting and briefing the chief administrative officer of Mukono and other members of the city council about the work of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Uganda. A workshop was then held in the district offices, under the coordination of David Kiryabwire, the District Veterinary Officer, who has been identified as the counterpart for the project work in Mukono. Present at the workshop were the local authorities, technical staff of the district government, representatives of the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and farmers’ leaders. Francis Ejobi from Makerere University, national coordinator of the SFFF project and facilitator for the assessment of the pig value chains also attended the workshop.
Mukasa S. Mabira, the District Agricultural Officer and David Kiryabwire gave an overview of the livestock sector in the district with emphasis on the relevance of pig production activities, particularly for poor households in peri-urban and rural communities. They also emphasized the importance of having the two ILRI R4D projects working with pigs in the district, as one of the major providers of pork for Kampala City, but still with the dominance of informal production, marketing and slaughtering of pigs. The two ILRI-led projects complement the efforts of national government through NAADS and some non-governmental organizations in distributing piglets among poor households to generate and adapt best-bet interventions to improve productivity, access to markets, and eventually contribute to alleviate poverty of smallholder pig farmers in Uganda.
The rapid value chain assessment work in twelve villages of Mukono town, Goma, Kyambizi and Ntenjeru sub-counties has started. These sub-counties are the ones with greater pig population numbers and density in the district, they also have a large number of poor households with pig production as one of their most important livelihood strategies.
Focus Group Discussions with farmers and key informants will be conducted in each village this month, and the interviews with service and inputs suppliers, as well as traders, butchers, retailers, pork joint owners and other actors of the pig value chain in Mukono district will be carried out between March and April 2013.
The SPVCD project is funded by IFAD; the SFFF project by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Article by Danilo Pezo, SPVCCD project coordinator