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Pig farmers cry foul over high prices of maize bran

Pigs in Masaka at risk

Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Several piggery farmers in Luwero district have stopped using maize as a key component of pig feeds citing high prices. Families in at least 47 out of 101 parishes in Luwero district are involved in piggery. But the households are crying foul over the high costs of maize. Pigs like chickens feed on broken and maize bran mixed with other feeds.

Currently, a kilogram of broken maize costs 1800-2000 whereas maize bran costs Shillings 1200 from Shillings 400. The prices increased due to drought that affected maize harvest. Paul Kiganda, a piggery farmer in Kikubajinja village in Luwero town, says that he used to spend Shillings 45,000 weekly on feeds for his 10 pigs but the costs doubled to Shillings 90,000 resulting from the shortage of maize.

Kiganda adds that he also tried to feed the pigs on beer residue from breweries to cut costs but the prices also increased from Shillings 130,000 to 180,000 per ton making it costly for him. He says that he has resolved to scale down on broken maize and instead feed the pigs on milk and water, which are cheaper compared to other feeds.

According to Kiganda, each pig is expected to eat at least two kilograms of feed per day. Samuel Kasozi, another piggery farmer in Kiwumpa village has also resolved to abandon maize and instead feed the pigs on sweet potato leaves as well as cassava. He however admits that such feeding rations cannot enable the pigs to mature at six months and gain enough weight to attract better profits.

Clement Kisinde, another piggery farmer in Kibanvu village in Luwero sub county has since sold over 90 pigs leaving only seven at his farm citing the high costs of feeds and disease outbreaks. Kisinde hopes to resume piggery farming when the costs of feeds go down.

Wilberforce Ssemigga, the Senior Luwero District Agriculture Officer says that several farmers have quit the piggery business while others have scaled down their activities because of the high costs of feeds. Ssemigga advises farmers to use local brewer’s waste to feed the pigs because they are relatively cheaper.

Currently, Luwero is experiencing heavy rains and farmers are clearing gardens ahead of the new planting season.

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