Frank Kirwan, Head of Cooperation at the Irish Embassy in Uganda hands over a copy of the business plan for the proposed central pig abattoir to Sam Ssekyondwa, chairman of the Greater Masaka pig farmers Union. (Photo credit: ILRI/Brian Kawuma)
On 26 April 2o16, the Uganda smallholder pig value chains project hosted a delegation from the Irish Embassy in Uganda. Led by Frank Kirwan, the embassy’s Head of Cooperation and Daniel Muwolobi, Senior Governance Advisor, the delegation sought to assess the outcomes of the interventions of the MorePORK project, funded by Irish Aid under its Economic Opportunities cluster.
Speaking at a meeting of project partners including officials of the Masaka district local government, pig farmers and local development partners, Kirwan appreciated ILRI for its development-oriented research in the pig value chains and for the robust partnerships that have been created at grass root and policy levels. He lauded the Masaka district local government for being a supportive partner in development.
“Today’s visit was a great opportunity for Irish Aid to get a firsthand experience of the benefits accruing from ILRI’s work with the various partners in the pig value chain,” Kirwan said
While visiting some of the project sites in Masaka district, the team met Mrs Fausta Kawere, a smallholder pig farmer who has adopted ILRI’s research recommendations on the use of biosecurity to prevent the spread of African swine fever (ASF), an incurable and highly fatal swine disease. Fausta, a beneficiary of several training courses on disease control, erected a fence to restrict entry of people and animals into her farm and uses a footbath with disinfectant to control transmission of the disease-causing virus by visitors to the farm.
“Despite the numerous swine fever outbreaks in the community, I have not lost a single pig to the disease, thanks to the knowledge shared by ILRI,” Fausta says
The delegation also visited Mrs Annet Zzawula, one of the farmers participating in the on-farm trials to improve the utilization of sweet potato tubers and vines to produce sweet potato silage for pigs to eat (funded by ENDURE, an IFAD-EC project associated to the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas). This is one of the interventions that seek to address dry season feed scarcity constraints faced by pig farmers through feed conservation methods.
The MorePORK project seeks to improve food and nutritional security for resource-constrained households, improve the livelihoods of smallholder pig value chain actors and the performance of small holder value chain systems through interventions like affordable and good quality pig feeding strategies, animal healthcare and institutional strengthening. It commenced in 2015 and will end in May 2016.