A facilitator prepares disinfectant for use in a footbath to control African swine fever (photo credit: ILRI/Michel Dione).
During the rapid value chain assessment of the smallholder pig value chain in Uganda, African swine fever (ASF) was identified as one of the major constraints to pig production. ASF is endemic in Uganda with outbreaks occurring annually. Farmers who are affected by these outbreaks usually face big economic losses as their pigs die en masse. There is neither a vaccine nor a cure for the disease at the moment. The project has identified proper application of biosecurity measures by farmers and other value chain actors as one of the best ways of controlling the disease. But there is inadequate knowledge farmers and other value chain actors on transmission of the disease and its appropriate control measures.
To fill this gap, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partners developed a trainers manual for smallholder farmers in order to increase their knowledge of biosecurity practices. To further test the effectiveness of this training package on change in smallholder farmers’ knowledge and practices, a Randomized Control Trial study was implemented in Masaka and Lira districts. It is against this background that pig farmers in the treatment groups participating in the study were trained. During the training, participatory tools were used including group discussions, case studies and demonstration, brainstorming, session stories and practical/observations. Eight hundred farmers in Masaka and 356 farmers in Lira were enrolled in the activity. Refresher training is planned for January 2016 with the same farmers.
A training session on control of spread of African swine fever in Lira, Uganda (photo credit: ILRI/Michel Dione).
Prior to the training of farmers, ILRI organized a two-day training of extension staff to equip them with knowledge of the training package and delivery methods that will be used to train the pig farmers. In addition, technicians from other institutions including CHAIN Uganda, Voluntary Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO), Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MUZARDI) and ADINA Farm that work with ILRI and pig farmer in implementing project activities, participated in the training.
Five male and five female extension officers were trained in both districts to carry out the training. The technicians from CHAIN, VEDCO and MUZARDI will train farmers as part of the RTB-Endure sub project on the use of sweetpotato silage as a pig feed. This initiative is a collaboration between the International Potato Centre (CIP), ILRI and ADINA farm and targets farmers who are involved in their projects in Lira District.