Scientists from Makerere University in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and two other private firms have embarked on a pilot project to monitor pigs. The first phase of this project will cover four districts in Uganda and will cost about UGX 1.9B.
According to Prof Clovice Kankya, the head of department, biosecurity, ecosystems and veterinary public health at Makerere University, the project dubbed ‘PigBoost’ is aimed at generating accurate data on the population of pigs and also guide on disease monitoring and planning.
The brains behind this initiative, say the pigs will be fitted with electronic and visual identification tags, with real-time information about each pig’s health.
“The electronic tags will store information about the breed, size, birth rate, disease syndrome, weight, among other characteristics, which will be accessible through a smartphone application,” said Prof. Kankya.
“At least 40,000 pigs will be fitted with electronic ear tags by June 2021 in the four districts of Kampala, Mukono, Mpigi and Wakiso.
According to a 2019 study by the World Animal Protection, Uganda has the highest pork consumption rate per capita in East Africa.
The study also projects that Uganda’s pig population will grow from about 3.2 million presently to 8 million by 2025, which will require innovative farming methods to sustain.
Africa Tembelea understands that with this study, the issue of pork shortage as well as in-breeding will be sorted.