Dr Naluyima has had to build more sties to make room for the increasing number of pigs as she received more orders from people wanting to breed them. Photo by Rachel Mabala.
Dr Emma Naluyima shared her story last year on rearing camborough pigs. Many people were inspired by it and wrote in asking for her contact so that they too would start breeding them. Esther Oluka caught up with her to find out how this experience has changed her farm. (Dr Naluyima can be reached on 0772589613.)
The date was November 7, 2012. It was the first time Dr Emma Naluyima, a veterinary doctor, was sharing her experience in the Daily Monitor about how she makes a living from rearing camborough pigs.
In that story, Naluyima explained how she started out small with only four piglets in 2006. These were imported at Shs200,000 each. She went ahead to explain some of the advantages of looking after this breed of pigs. They included the fact that the pigs grow up fast, their high resistance to diseases and the fact that the females gave birth to an average of 14 piglets , three times, in one year. She mentioned expensive animal feeds and diseases, mostly swine fever, as the major challenges she encountered while rearing the pigs. Fencing and providing disinfected gumboots to use while at the pigsty were some of her practical solutions to the problems.
What has changed
Almost a year after her experience was published, Naluyima says: “I kept getting calls from different people who were interested in buying the pigs. That article really opened up opportunities for me,” she says. Naluyima used to get about four orders in a month. These were usually bulk orders. “One person out of the four would, for example, ask for 10 piglets and a sow,” Naluyima says.
She sold the different sizes of piglets, sows and boars according at varying prices. For instance, she sold the four-month-old piglets at Shs280,000 each while the eight-month-old sows and boars were sold at Shs800,000 each. Because of fluctuations in the price of animal feeds, Naluyima decided to increase the prices of the pigs slightly. The eight-month-old sows and boars now cost between Shs850,000 and Shs900,000 each, while the four-month-old piglets are now at Shs300,000 each. She sells more piglets than sows or boars because they are less expensive.
Besides selling pigs to interested buyers, Naluyima would occasionally slaughter a few for pork as well. She sold each kilogramme at Shs6,800 and would supply 50kg a week. However, at the beginning of this year, she stopped when the number of orders for the pigs became overwhelming.
Now, Naluyima looks after 300 piglets, 30 females and three males on a plot of land just next to her house in Kawuku, a few metres off Entebbe Road.
Two boys help her out in looking after the pigs. They have been with her ever since she opened the piggery farm. “They help out mostly in the feeding and cleaning especially while I am away at the animal clinic,” Dr Naluyima explains. The clinic is within Entebbe town.
As the number of pigs increased, the sty became smaller. To sort this out, Dr Naluyima expanded the pigsty and now has target sales. “For example, I can decide to sell 30 piglets in a month and I make sure that I meet this target,” she explains, adding that, “The advantage of coming up with such targets is that it enables me to create more space easily for the other pigs.”
Spreading her knowledge
With more people hearing about the pigs, visitors mostly pupils, secondary and university students keep coming to her farm to learn more about them. Some of them travel all the way from the western and northern part of the country to study the pigs. For that reason, Dr Naluyima came up with idea of a practical school which is still in its first stages of construction.
“The school will provide a good learning environment for such learners because it is where all the practical and theory lessons will be held,” Dr Naluyima says. On the day our interview, I noticed some people next to the fodder system taking notes. The doctor later explained that they were visitors from Kenya who had come to learn more about the fodder system.
The master’s degree holder in health sciences is positive that by the end of the year, the pigs in the sty will be many enough to go back to her pork business.
Whatever route she takes, Dr Naluyima has already proven how far farming can take you if you work hard at it.
Branching into other farming activities
Just a few metres away from the pigsty are 12 suspended ponds bearing black polythene bags which are a dirty greenish colour. Each pond has over 1000 fish containing either catfish or tilapia. She however separates them because catfish normally do have tendencies of eating tilapia.
“I wanted to see the kind of different opportunities rearing fish would bring me as well,” Naluyima explains.
The beginning was not smooth sailing for her though. Most of the fish she had acquired became stunted because she lacked the basic knowledge and skills to apply when looking after the fish.
“I just did not know what kind of food to give them and the condusive temperatures appropriate for them to breed in,” Naluyima explains.
It was only after carrying out a lot of research about fish that she later on got to learn the fundamentals of looking after them. At the moment, Naluyima is looking towards restocking more fish since five out of the 12 suspended ponds are empty. She sells each kilogramme of catfish at Shs12,000.
She does not sell much of the tilapia because she started stocking them recently.
Therefore, she feels that it is better to give them more time to breed and multiply before selling them on the market. She started fish farming in 2011.
At the moment, it is only one cow that Naluyima looks after. She is not planning on adding more any time soon since she finds the whole process of cattle keeping quite tedious.
In 2012, she also started growing matooke (bananas), green pepper, lettuce and cabbage. Some of these are taken home for consumption while others are sold on the market.
Each bunch of bananas goes for Shs30,000, the green pepper which is sold in kilogrammes ranges between Shs1,000 to Shs3,000, the lettuce ranges between Shs1,000 to Shs2,000 while cabbages are over Shs3,000. However, prices are allocated depending on the size of the vegetable.
The biggest problem she faces however is stiff competition from other farmers.
“Vegetables tend to over flood the market most of the time and this therefore affects one’s income greatly in the long run,” Naluyima explains.
One of the things that she loves about them though is that they tend to mature quite fast.
(Dr Naluyima can be reached on 0772589613.)