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Copyright 2017 - @ College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Makerere University. All Rights Reserved!

Makerere trains the 4th Cohort of Pig Artificial Insemination (AI) technicians


Project PI Assoc. Prof. Donald  R. Kugonza, Prof. David Owinyi handing over certificates of Attendance to participants after the training at th Continuing Agricultural Education Centre (CAEC) at MUARIK

  • 29 Technicians from 16 districts trained
  • Training officially closed by the Deputy Director, Directorate of Graduate Research and Training, Prof. David Owiny
  • Trainees advised to form Pig Artificial Insemination and Breeders Associations.

29 Technicians from 16  districts of Uganda have completed a one week’s training  in different  aspects of  Pig Artificial Insemination (AI) at Makerere University  Agricultural Research Institute under  the project titled, “ Improvement of Pig Productivity, Diversification of Piglet Nutrition Options and Upscaling of Pig Artificial Insemination in Uganda (DIVERSE PIG project ).

This is the fourth group  of  technicians to be trained by Makerere University since 2014 under the DIVERSE PIG project.

The Project is led by Assoc. Prof. Donald Rugira Kugonza as the Principal Investigator and funded by NARO Competitive Grants Scheme (CGS).

Participants were selected from the districts of Alebtong,  Buikwe, Gulu, Hoima Jinja, Kamuli, Lira, Luwero, Lwengo , Masaka, Masindi, Mityana,  Mpigi,  Soroti, Wakiso and Mukono.


Top: A section of participants during the theoritical lessons at CAEC


Participants posing for  a group photograph after the training

The one week training was opened on 10th- 15th September, 2017 at the Continuing Agricultural Education Centre (CAEC) at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK).

The participants were trained in different aspects  of Pig AI including Pig Genetics and Breed types,  Anatomy of Male and Female reproductive  tracts; Reproductive behavior in guilt/sow, Heat and pregnancy  detection; Pig  nutrition management; Boer semen (Liquid and frozen ) production; Record keeping in Pig AI;  AI facilities, Estrous synchronization; Operating and managing  a private  boor stud; Semen collection; AI techniques and Post AI process ; Laws and bio security  ethics.

Practical laboratory sessions were carried at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio security (CoVAB)  laboratory .  Other practical sessions were carried out in the School of Agricultural Sciences laboratories.


Participants  undergoing the practical sessions on Pig AI in the laboratory at the CoVAB

While closing the training, the Deputy Director, Directorate of Graduate Research and Training Prof. David Owiny observed that out of 29 participants, only seven were females.

 He said pigs are mostly reared by women in homes for income. He encouraged more women to come on board and practice AI on their own since they are the majority practicicing pig rearing for home income.

“AI in pigs is very simple compared to cows. So I encourage you to go and put what you have learnt in practice and also start your own pig farm and sell piglets,” Prof. Owinyi said.

Prof. Owinyi implored trainees to lure as many people to embrace pig rearing in the country in order to  increase the current production .

Statistics indicate that Uganda is producing 4 million pigs of which, half  are consumed annually. Uganda is  also ranked No. I in Africa in pork consumption only second to China.

Research also shows that pig  consumption in Uganda is on the rise almost surpassing production

with an average Ugandan consuming 3.5 kg of pork per year.

“ Do  your work very well so that pig industry is improved to realize your presence in the community”, Prof. Owiny advised.


Dr. Donald Kugonza and Prof. David Owinyi during the closing ceremony

Prof. Owiny advised trainees to form Pig AI and Breeders Associations to help themselves compare notes whenever they need each other saying, this will help them have a collective voice to solve problems facing the industry  and also make money.

He noted that currently, Uganda has no pig association and with AI as a new phenomenon, they can make businesses by establishing Boer studs to supply semen of hybrid pigs or raise piglets and breedlines  for sale as a business.

The Principal Investigator DIVERSE PIG project Makerere University Assoc. Prof. Donald Rugira Kugonza  from the Department of Agricultural Production said, the project was conceived in 2014 supported by NARO with the objective of increasing livestock productivity  especially in pigs.

Dr. Kugonza expressed the need to increase locally produced semen if pig production is to increase.

“Be practical because we have trained you. If  a farmer needs something, don’t hesitate to respond immediately. Help them to start small and help them to grow.

You must have the Zeal. Putting speed in whatever you are doing and responding in time helps,” Kugonza advised.


The participants while on the visit to one of the pig farmers in Wakiso district. Wakiso is one of the district doing well in

The District Veterinary Officer Wakiso district Dr.Gerald Kirembe who was also facilitator  described trainees  as ambassadors who should train others since their team was strong enough and building on prior efforts.

Bamundaga applauded NARO for the support towards the training geared at improving pig production. The Veterinary Officer also commended Makerere University for partnering with NARO and Private organisations expressing hope that more Ugandans stand to benefit if universities and other institutions explored this kind of partnership.



Wakiso Districk Veterinary Officer  offered a lesson on Laws, Guidelines and ethics of pig AI

Makerere Pig AI technician Robert  Natumanya said, this was the 4th training in Pig AI conducted at Makerere University since 2014.

“ Although the previous trainings female turn up was very small, this time there was special consideration for gender of which 7 female participants enrolled,” Natumanya said.

Natumanya said, so far a total number of Pig AI technicians trained by the university with support from NARO is about 80 technicians.


PI Dr. Donald Kugonza and MAK Pig AI expert Robert Natumanya during one of the sessions

The Managing  Director,Vetline Services Dr. Ronald Kuwule also facilitator  said for the technology to register success, there is need to work together with Government for support , Private sector for  giving direction.

“  Pig AI is a full time job and if it is treasured and embraced well, it does more good to the society and country at large,” Dr. Kawule said.


Dr. Ronald Kawule (R in red  standing) from Vetlines Services, a private company also lectured the partcipants

The  former  Makerere alumnus  of Pig  AI  Semwezi Eric warned trainees against greed, overcharging farmers, making empty promises to farmers and  poor animal handling among others.

He advised participants to act as teachers to help farmers improve farm hygiene, learn how to use protective gear and always be presentable and smart while on duty.


MAK pig AI Alumnus Semwezi Eric (in the brown Jacket)  in the field with  participants in Wakiso districts

“ When working on a pig, you have to behave like a pig to build the farmers confidence in you and you should learn how to transport semen to increase its viability.

If you pretended to be a moslem give jobs to other people and avoid over burdening yourself with lots of work,” the former student said.


Report compiled by:

Jane Anyango & Nankebe Agnes Nantambi

Communication Office, CAES

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