Empowering Communities: The ongoing contribution of PIC®, Vetline, and AbacusBio to Uganda’s pig farming and local society.

Improving Pig Production and Welfare in a Sustainable Manner

The team formed by PIC®,Vetline and AbacusBio, continues its mission to enhance Uganda’s pig farming industry, furthering the aim of providing economic stability for pig farmers while ensuring the health and welfare of farming families. This initiative also addresses broader food production and safety issues in the supply chain, with a commitment to delivering nutritious, healthy, and safe food. This transformative effort leverages PIC® genetics, artificial insemination, veterinary services by Vetline, and the innovative database and information platform (Dtreo) by AbacusBio.

A Path to Positive Impact:

Focused on areas surrounding urban development, this venture explores sustainable modern pig production techniques and facilities. Beyond its immediate goals, this initiative has the potential to bring about a positive transformation in Ugandan society at large.

Pig Farming’s Vital Role in Uganda:

Pig farming is one of Uganda’s fastest-growing livestock activities, offering a powerful means to increase food production, income, and employment opportunities. Uganda stands as one of the largest per capita consumers of pork in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the challenge lies in low productivity as demand consistently outpaces supply.

Project Progress Update:

The first inseminations were carried during July 2023, and the project is progressing well as farmers are obtaining the first results on finishing performance. This is a summary of the key milestones achieved:

  • Inseminations: A total of 674 inseminations have been carried out using semen from PIC boars, covering 40 districts and reaching 350 villages. This initiative has engaged 130 inseminators, benefitting 527 smallholder farms.
  • Expectations: Currently, smallholder farmers obtained 151 litters resulting from the PIC semen. They observe larger litter sizes and weight at weaning than with the local genetics and express their enthusiasm with the potential of genetics. The project foresees a surge in demand for PIC semen once these deliveries start.
  • Research and Monitoring: The project has recruited a master’s student to collaborate closely with field inseminators, responsible for tagging piglets and monitoring their health and growth. Efforts to record piglet weights in the field are being diligently increased, crucial for monitoring their development. Encouragement arises from the performance qualities and growth vigor observed in the piglets born.
  • Equipped for Research: The project has established laboratory facilities and trained technicians for testing and analyzing field samples, bolstering research and diagnostic capabilities. Additionally, a research concept document is being implemented with success, providing the first insight into how the use of high value genes contributes to better family income and more efficient resource usage. Initial findings suggest that using PIC genes enables the production of more kilograms of nutritious pork for less resources.

Looking Ahead:

The collaborative effort between PIC, Vetline, and AbacusBio builds upon the success of the PigBoost project, initiated in 2020 through a partnership involving international and local organizations. Led by genetics specialists AbacusBio and the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, in conjunction with Ugandan-based organizations Vetline Services and Makerere University, this project received support from the Kampala City Council (animal production division), Ministry of Agriculture, and the National Animal Genetic Resource.

For additional information about this groundbreaking project, please contact:

AbacusBio | Tim Byrne | Email: tbyrne@abacusbio.co.uk

About AbacusBio:

AbacusBio is a highly respected agribusiness consulting firm, delivering world-class solutions for clients and empowering them with science and business intelligence to grow resources and food for a more sustainable world. With offices in New Zealand and the UK, and a newly opened office in Canada, AbacusBio consultants are deeply engaged with agribusiness communities, leading a diverse range of projects worldwide that highlight the breadth of AbacusBio’s capabilities and services. For more information, visit www.abacusbio.com.

About Vetline:

Vetline Services stands as the premier provider of artificial insemination and pig veterinary services in Uganda. For more information, visit www.vetlineservicesug.com.

About PIC:

PIC (Pig Improvement Company) is the global leader in swine genetics, offering genetically superior breeding stock to pig producers and supporting them with technical services to unlock genetic potential. PIC is a subsidiary of Genus, a UK-based company committed to pioneering animal genetic improvement to nourish the world.