A multipurpose organic feed supplement is assisting Ugandan pig farmers increase the weight of their pigs while guarding them against endemic diseases like African swine fever and eliminates worms.
The supplement dubbed wonder pig was conceptualized three years ago although its commercialization was done in December 2014. Kizito Joseph a veterinary graduate from Makerere University is the brain behind the pig supplement that has already become a household name among pig farmers in Uganda. Kizito having interacted with pig farmers around the country in his earlier work developed a passion to provide solutions for the smallholder pig farmers who could not rely on the pharmaceutical products that were flooding the market.
“I had already interacted widely with these chemical products and knew that they had core limitations to many smallholder farmers who make up the bulk of those involved in pig farming; they (Pharmaceutical/chemical supplements) could fail or animals develop resistance to them, they are quite expensive and some of them had side effects to humans in the long run,” noted Kizito. These limitations are what drove the young vet into the search for an alternative viable solution. “I wanted to provide a solution that tackles several problems like de-worming, flies, nutrition supplement among others. This was to ensure that after a farmer had purchased the product, he was going to solve over 90 percent of the challenges he is facing on his pig farm,” he added.
The research work took over three years. “We don’t have a laboratory but we paid money to use established labs like government analytical, and also verified the findings in Labs in Nairobi, Tanzania and Mozambique.” After successful trials, the team commercialized Wonder Pig three months ago and has instantly become a hit among pig farmers due its ability to offer multiple solutions.
The fact that the product is multipurpose has given it an edge in the market. Worms are a big challenge to many pig farmers and according to Kizito, Wonder Pig stops this menace in pigs. He explained that Wonder Pig has a bulking capability to the worms. “Worms have a thin layer covering their body known as cuticle and the Wonder Pig causes abrasion to the cuticle hence making the worm to dry out. In addition, it also removes the layers of fats and ultimately getting rid of the worms.” In order to eliminate all the worms, a farmer is advised to administer Wonder for about 60 days.
Wonder Pig is also said to provide immunity and improve skin quality of the pigs. The particles are porous and this increase enzymes surface area which ultimately increases the rate of reaction or metabolism. It also provides 14 trace elements that are vital which stimulates basic metabolism, improved skin and increased immunity. The trace elements availability increases fertility and eliminates any cases of mastitis.
Kizito also intimated that the product is ideal for those pig farmers who want to eliminate bad smell in the pig sty due to the flies and droppings. ‘Our product has ability to bind ammonia and hydrogen sulphide. In addition, droppings smell because there are nutrients left in them but Wonder Pig maximizes the retention of the nutrients and therefore when retained in the pigs’ bodies, there will be no nutrient to decompose in the final dropping s eliminated,” said Kizito. The ability to keep flies away due to the absence of bad smell helps in elimination of cases of ASF outbreaks which are in many occasions transmitted by flies. To him, the product brings the pig to full potential hence maximum returns to the farmer.
The powder is mixed with pig feeds and it has shelf life of over five years after production. One kilo of the powder is mixed into about 100 kilos of feeds. With a production facility located in Kawempe a Kampala suburb, Kizito currently produces 2-4tonnes of Wonder Pig daily depending on the demand in the market. A kilo currently retails at about Ush5000.