Sweet Potato Silage

Matovu Joseph Projects 17 Mar 2016

Pig production is an important economic activity in Uganda. It is estimated that there are over 3.5 million pigs in the country and reared by about 1.1 million households (Lule et al, 2014). Masaka district is one of the leading producers of pigs and pig products in the country (MAAIF, 2009). Therefore the livelihoods of most families in this region depend heavily on a successful pig industry.

Although pig production is an important economic activity in Masaka region, the sector is severely constrained by consistent quality feed supply. Actually, feeding is one of the major constraints in pig production constituting about 70% of the variable costs. Commercial concentrates are very expensive feeds hence r unaffordable to small holder farmers.

In light of this feeding constraint, sweetpotatoes (SP) are proving a suitable feed alternative to cereal based ones. SP vines are the commonly used fodder by most farmers, but some feed their pigs on non marketable fresh roots. Furthermore, small holder farmers make extensive use of other crop residues, grasses, weeds, kitchen leftovers and agricultural by-products. However, a lot of residues with no market are wasted during the times of plenty and farmers need advice for better use.

Fortunately, technologies such as ensiling would convert the residues into stable animal feeds supply in form of processed silage. Therefore this sub-project seeks to promote production of silage from sweet potato residues (non-marketable roots, vines and peels) to feed pigs. This will help overcome the feeding constraints.

The specific objectives of this subproject include:

  1. generating knowledge on pig feed resources us e in terms of quantity, quality and seasonality in Masaka district in Uganda.
  2. identify dual purposes SP and their suitability for silage management.
  3. Popularize utilization of sweet potato silage as pig feed in Masaka region.

  4. chain Uganda was subcontracted by international potato centre (CIP) to operationalize in Masaka district the project is expading utilization RTB and reducing their post harvesting losses.
    Major areas of operation are Nyendo Ssenyange, Buwunga and Mukungwe subcounties in Masaka district.