Uganda pig farming booms as pork consumption leads in Africa

Pig farming in Uganda has recently emerged as a lucrative enterprise thanks to a growing demand for pork in a country that leads in pork consumption in Sub Saharan Africa with statistics from FAO and ILRI indicating a 3.43kg per capita consumption.

The demand for pork in Uganda is driven by the social lifestyle of the locals. Many pork consumers prefer it to other types of meat especially in social gathering areas like bars and restaurants. According to a 2013 survey done by US broadcaster Cable News Network (CNN), Ugandans consume more alcohol than any of their counterparts. Uganda is ranked 8th globally ahead of Germany and Australia at positions 9 and 10, respectively and some experts argue that the unending love for liquor is directly responsible for the growing demand for pork as the two go hand in hand.

Uganda’s pig production has increased over the last three decades as highlighted through statistics from ILRI, which works to improve food security and reduce poverty in developing countries, indicates that the local pig population has climbed from 190, 000 to over 2.3 million in the past three decades. The local market according to players in the industry is still under served and a fact that has fuelled the sharp price increase of pork products. Christopher Mulindwa the head of Pig Production and Marketing Uganda Ltd noted in an interview that the supply of pigs is still way below the local demand a fact that has forced some players to import from the neighbouring countries like Kenya.

“Most farmers in the sector don’t follow the right procedure and as a result produce low quality pork that are more fatty. In fact we recently missed out on a lucrative deal of daily supply of about 30,000 kilos due to unpredictable production market. Farmer’s Choice even imports its pork products for the Ugandan market from neighbouring Kenya,” explained Mulindwa.

The animal’s cost of management is affordable boosted by its’ quick maturity ability. According to Hellen Nantaba a farmer in Buikwe district, she spends about UGX140, 000 to raise a porker in four months. At four months, the porker can weigh between 60-65kilos. Retailing at about UGX7000 per kilo I get over UGX400,000 from one porker in a spun of 4months a fact that renders my venture very lucrative. In the market, pork retails depending on the location, value addition, and demand. On average a kilo retails between UGX 8000 to 30000.