The truth is that if you have opened this link to read this story, chances are that you are a pork eater. See, I got you. Pork in Uganda is a delicacy for many especially the corporate and private business people. Kikalayi; as it is commonly known is on people’s programmes every day, be it a work day or not someone somewhere is eating pork and loving it. Research shows that Uganda is the number one pork consumer in Africa and second to only China in the whole world.
This is according to to Dr Ben Lukuyu, the Uganda country representative of the International Livestock Research Institute.
Dr. Lukuyu was presenting research findings on sweet potato and production of silage from vines for growing pigs at the Roots, Tubers and Bananas end of project meeting in Entebbe.
The research, conducted in Masaka and Kamuli districts, explored linkages between sweet potato production and rearing of pigs for consumption and commerce.
Dr Lukuyu, an animal nutritionist, said the per capita consumption of pork in Uganda is 3.5 kilogrammes, making Uganda the biggest consumer of pork in Africa and second to China globally.
He added that 1.1 million households keep pigs and 3.5 smallholder farmers directly depend on growing pigs, while millions others are employed in the value chain.
Dr Lukuyu said that while the pigs sub-sector is growing by leaps and bounds, it is facing a number of challenges like high cost of feeds, poor quality and quantity of feeds; hence the need to explore usage of potato vines.
He said although the growing of pigs and demand for pork is huge and growing, performance of Ugandan pigs in terms of weight gain and growth is relatively poor yet the potential of feeds is high.
Dr Lukuyu said there is an opportunity to exploit the wide availability of sweet potato vines, as well as other variety of feeds to boost piggery, adding that sweet potato vines offer better digestibility in pigs.
Dr Lukuyu added that the pig production industry is showing no sign of slowing down, hence the need to promote it.