Friday 17th January 2020, 3:00pm
A new initiative aims to increase the productivity and profitability of pig smallholders in Uganda to enable sustainable data-driven decisions to improve Uganda’s pig production, health, and welfare.
The PigBoost tool will help improve decision making of farmers and thus performance and efficacy in managing their herds both for improved genetic merit and reduced disease impacts.
Breeding records and delivery of artificial insemination services by Ugandan company Vetline will be digitized allowing accurate recording of breeding, production and disease data.
Data will then be used to benchmark individual farm performance and provide feedback to farmers.
The PigBoost collaboration will connect stakeholders and seek to ensure the pig industry returns value to farmers and appeals to future investors.
In the first phase, The Roslin Institute and AbacusBio in the United Kingdom are partnering with Ugandan-based organisations Vetline Services and Makerere University, funded by a £500,000 grant from the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.
To ensure that the pig industry can use the tool to improve productivity, scientists will use existing networks of Vetline Services, who currently support artificial insemination activities in Uganda.
This will be done with support from Kampala City Council, the Ugandan Ministry of Agriculture, the National Animal Genetic Resource Centre and the National Agricultural Advisory.
"We hope to digitally transform Uganda’s pig industry by providing a data-driven decision-making tool designed to improve pig breeding. By focusing on peri-urban areas and exploring sustainable intensification of pig production, PigBoost has the potential to have a positive social impact on the wider Ugandan society."Professor Mark Bronsvoort, Veterinary Epidemiologist, The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh
Pig farming is one of the fastest growing livestock activities in Uganda and has become a very attractive means of increasing food, income and employment.
Despite poor levels of productivity and product quality, there has been a rise in pork consumption driven by population growth, urbanisation and increasing incomes.
The industry is striving towards a step change in the productivity of agricultural production systems to meet this demand in a sustainable way.
Source: The Roslin Institute