Piggery enterprise is a fast growing business among women farmers in Luwero district yet continues to be done on a small scale production level with little or no substantial revenue generated from the practice.
In order to enhance the capacity of women groups in entrepreneurship and business plan development, NAWOU in partnership with Community Development Officers (CDOs) of Luwero local government conducted all week piggery training sessions in Luwero district from 22nd to 27th June 2020. As the country is still under partial lockdown and still observing the Ministry of Health (MOH) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on curbing the spread of COVID19, NAWOU trained 10 representatives from 12 women groups as Training of Trainers (TOTs) who will in turn pass on the information to the rest in smaller group discussions.
The trainings are under the Women at Work project set to promote women’s economic independency through supporting bulk production, value addition and collective marketing among farmers. The process was intended to address the causes of women’s economic vulnerability by strengthening women’s groups in agribusiness and trade and how best to reap from the piggery enterprise.
During the pre-training assessment session, women shared different experiences and problems encountered in the piggery enterprise. From the onset, the problematic areas that cut across all groups identified from the open discussions were the poor feeding practices, improper housing structures and the inability to control diseases due expensive veterinary services. Case in point, one of the groups in Kamira Sub County was struggling to identify why her pig was repetitively rejecting food provided and resorting to eating dirt from the soil it dug.
“One of my pigs kept digging holes into the ground. It didn’t matter if we put rocks as basing or changing the food we gave, it would continue to dig different sections of its sty,” expressed one of the group members of Twezimbe Women’s Group. The facilitator of the training, Mivule Dan identified this as lack of a specific nutritional supplements within the diet of the pig and the group needs to diversify what they fed it and encouraged them to cement the pig sties to prevent a similar occurrence happening.
According to a participatory assessment report of animal health and husbandry practices in smallholder pig production systems in three high poverty districts in Uganda, the main constraints identified by farmers include high disease burden such as African swine fever (ASF) and parasites, poor housing and feeding practices, poor veterinary services, ineffective drugs and a general lack of knowledge on piggery management. All these being consistent with what the women were facing.
“I did not know that I can cook food for my pigs. I always used to feed them on only raw food stuffs and not really caring about what I gave them,” said one of the participants in amazement as she learnt that pigs need to have well cooked meals in order to improve their immunity and help with their growth.
The participants were also educated on the different types of breeds to rear for fast income generation, the dangers of in breeding, the importance of building proper housing facilities for the pigs, collective production and marketing through creating SACCOs and strengthening existing cooperative societies for easy access to services, to reap financially and gain economic independence.
Groups covered by the training were; Tubebumu Kalasa , Kyosiga Kyokungula,and Singo Bukwesi women’s groups in Makulubita, God Cares, Bright Future, Obumu and Twezimbe women’s groups in Kamira, Kavule Women’s group and Magezi Bugaga in Kikyusa, Luwero Women Living with Disabilities, Bazira women group and Kwewayo women in Luwero Town Council, Bweyeyo Wesige Mukama women’s group and Kukola Sibigambo in Luwero Sub County and Kawuku Women’s group, Bamunanika Women’s group and Kisakye Women’s group in Bamunanika sub county.