Improving the Utilization of Sweetpotato and other Root and Tuber Crop Residues for Pig Feeds in Uganda (sub-project of RTB-ENDURE: Expanding Utilization through Research)
In Uganda, quality commercial concentrate pig feeds are expensive, while other locally available feeds are seasonal in nature and often of poor quality. Feed accounts for about 62% of the total production costs in pig farming and the problem is further compounded by farmers’ limited knowledge of supplementation strategies.
This project aims to: (i) investigate options for silage making and supplementation; (ii) identify gender responsive models for organizing value chain actors to produce, conserve and market sweetpotato based feeds; (iii) strengthen existing linkages between pig farmers and sweetpotato traders; and (iv) build business capacity for profitable silage making and pig raising by December 2016.
We are currently working in Kamuli and Masaka districts in Uganda. Our intention is to scale the technology up and out within East and Central Africa.
International Potato Center (CIP-UGANDA);
Ntinda II Road, Plot 47;
P.O Box 22274, Kampala, Uganda;
Tel: Off- +256 312 266250-3;
Key Project Information
Feeding is one of the main production constraints for smallholder pig farmers due to the seasonality, high cost and poor quality of feeds; coupled with limited knowledge of supplementation strategies. As a coping strategy, farmers extensively use crop residues, grasses, weeds and kitchen leftovers to feed their animals. Sweetpotato vines are the most commonly used fodder but they are highly seasonal and perishable. Simple silage making for feed conservation combined with strategic supplementation is an easy and affordable option for pig feeding during periods of feed scarcity and will contribute to reduce wastage of sweetpotato residues. Cost-effective sweetpotato silage recipes were developed and tested in Kenya during Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health (SASHA) Phase 1 project. Silage provides an opportunity to reduce waste in urban markets and at the household level can open up business opportunities for youth and women. However, the technology is not known amongst smallholder producers and has not been validated under Ugandan conditions. Research on sweetpotato silage is one of the four projects under the umbrella of RTB-ENDURE, a 3 year project (2014-2016) implemented by the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB). The expected research outcomes of this initiative are:
- Decreased postharvest losses (50% average reduction in the amount of wasted vines by pilot farmers and utilization of at least 20% of non-marketable roots for silage);
- Increased shelf-life of sweetpotato residues (shelf-life of vines extended to at least 1.5 months and pilot farmers able to feed pigs on silage for at least 3 months in a year);
- Increased profitability (5% of pilot farmers selling sweetpotato silage, 20% savings on purchased pig feed cost and 20% average increase in pigs’ weight gain);
- Initial adoption of the technology (50 additional male and female farmers around the demonstration centres feeding pigs with sweetpotato silage and one farmer/entrepreneur in each project site starting a silage making business);
- More equitable distribution of benefits between men and women in the pilot households (at least 20% of women involved in more profitable nodes of the chain and at least 30% of women perceiving greater control over income).
The long term development goal is to improve food, nutrition and incomes security of at least 250,000 pig and sweetpotato producers through integration of the two commodity chains and enterprise diversification by 2024.
Diego Naziri (CIP) Sarah Mayanja (CIP) Ben Lukuyu (ILRI) Emily Ouma (ILRI Peter Lule (ILRI) Grace Babirye (VEDCO) Apollo Tumwijukye (CHAIN Uganda) Gideon Nadiope (ISU-Uganda Program)