Earlier this year, the CGIAR’s Livestock research program provided additional resources to take forward work in four priority countries – Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam. The aim is to accelerate work on the most promising technologies and innovations identified in previous years, advancing their uptake and use in development.
In July, partners in the current smallholder pigs value chain development project in Uganda met to formulate priority actions for the coming years (until the end of 2021).
Coordinated by Ben Lukuyu from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the project aims to improve the livelihoods of farmers through a market systems approach that supports stronger and more profitable market linkages between pig aggregators (buyers) and pig producers.
It will consolidate evidence and lessons from past interventions – on improved feeding options, control of African swine fever and other diseases, food safety, waste management and pig husbandry. It will focus more on the organizational components linking pig farmers to markets and apply a systematic approach to scaling of both individual technologies and integrated packages. In this, aggregators – who are either pork joint owners or traders supplying them – are key actors to engage so the project can also enhance their linkages with producers and other input service providers.
There will be a heavy focus on capacity building of value chain actors on the best-bet interventions. The project will also test candidate climate smart adaptation and mitigation options in the value chain seeking to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and increase the resilience of pig value chains to changes in climate.
Gender will be integrated across the project by: assessing women’s needs and capabilities regarding their participation in the market arrangements with the aggregators, working specifically with women’s groups for pig production interventions, providing targeting training for women’s groups as part of integrated testing of interventions at farm level and ensuring the participation of women during participatory piloting of selected interventions.
As in the other countries, the aim is to combine different technologies and innovations into ‘packages’ suited to different groups and purposes. Some of the specific interventions planned include:
- Piloting and evaluating innovative market arrangements with pig aggregators to strengthen market linkages between them and pig farmers and link the farmers to input and service providers.
- Implementing and evaluating an integrated strategy to improve pig productivity and performance through pig herd health practices, reproductive management, improved genetics, and better feeding. Linked to the enhanced market arrangements and access, these will include: 1) strengthened capacities for disease control through enhanced biosecurity, herd health services to promote good animal husbandry and digital platforms for disease surveillance and advisory services, 2) supporting uptake of improved pig genetics through stronger artificial insemination schemes as well as mechanisms to connect pig genetics suppliers and customers, 3) enhancing pig feeding through a training and certification business model to improve feed quality, testing superior and heat tolerant forages and food/feed crop cultivars, and formulating balanced, least-cost rations based on local feed resources.
- Strengthening national and regional pig multi-stakeholder platforms to facilitate learning across the technical elements, raise visibility and advocate for the sector.
- Develop, test and evaluate best-bet interventions to reduce the environmental footprint of the pig value chain, primarily through waste (manure) management and adaptation to heat stress (which will also be mapped).
The project will work with pig aggregators/pork joints located in and around Kampala city spreading into Wakiso and Masaka districts – where the program has worked for several years already. The locations of target farmers, and thus the more technical interventions, will be determined from where the aggregators source the pigs from.