Photo K. Dhanji/ILRI

Farmer demand and willingness-to-pay for sweetpotato silage-based diet as pig feed in Uganda

Smallholder livestock farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa are racing against time to find cheaper, nutritious, and sustainable feed alternatives to the more pronounced and expensive commercial concentrates amidst the increasing global demand for livestock products. Lately, many prominent feed conservation technologies have been developed, with a notable example being the sweetpotato silage technology that turns wasted sweetpotato components into a palatable and nutritious livestock feed. However, despite the potential benefits associated with these technologies, the level of demand and acceptance among smallholder farmers remains largely unknown. Thus, this paper assesses the farmer demand and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for sweetpotato silage-based diet as pig feed by smallholder farmers in Uganda. The information for the study was collected through secondary data review and semi-structured interviews to assess farmer WTP. The 256 semi-structured interviews were randomly drawn from 16 purposive clusters formed at a radius of 3 km around 16 farmers piloting sweetpotato silage-based diets for pig feed. The results show that pig farming is mainly the responsibility of women, with farmers’ mean willingness-to-pay price amounting to 0.20 USD per kilogram of sweetpotato silage-based diet. At the mean price, the annual demand for silage was estimated at 17,679 tons, with a market potential of approximately 3.59 million USD. The study concludes that, at the mean willingness-to-pay price, there is a substantial market potential that can be exploited by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) venturing in the livestock feed industry.