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IMO – Organic Piggery Technology for improved yields at minimum costs: No smell, no noise, no treatment

Prospective farmers both in urban and rural areas will have no excuse of not harvesting money from piggery under the pretext of noise, bad odour and cost of feeding. Organic piggery, a cost effective arming system using Indigenous Micro Organisms(IMO) is the way to go.

The innovation was introduced by South Korean Professor Hong Yo Lee in 2011 at Makerere University Research Institute Kabanyolo under the theme “Mindset Change in Uganda”. Prof.  Hong Yo Lee gave students the project of Organic piggery which they have tested and proved efficient.


 The innovation involves use of Indigenous Micro Organisms (IMO). These organisms help to achieve very many things in livestock and crop production instead of using chemicals.

“The IMO can be applied to any livestock system or crops to act as a fertilizer and pathogen killing organisms and the greatest results are recorded in tomatoes where we have a problem of Diathone pesticide control that is harmful to human health hence producing tomatoes organically, free of risks.” James Muhangi, a third year Agriculture  student said.

The IMO technology also reduces noise as the animal is kept busy and comfortable in the place. What happens is that the animal is not disturbed, it feeds all the time in a convenient sty. As such a farmer can keep pigs without the notice of the immediate neighbor because they don’t make noise.

Under this technology, a farmer is capable of keeping many animals in a small piece land or unit. A construction of 3.8 meters can accommodate 25 pigs of up 8 months hence saving land and space. Compared to other methods, it is easier for farmers to make the micro organism themselves.

Farmers can obtain lessons from Makerere Agriculture students free of charge and even make the first IMO as an appreciation for adopting a cheaper and eco-friendly method.

The technology reduces feeding costs in piggery by 30%, eliminates smell and flies in the piggery unit, and generates manure for fertilizing crops.  Labour costs are also greatly reduced as one needs to come once, to turn the saw dust, sprinkle the IMO or add feed staff.

“We also have an advantage from this kind of technology of not treating the animals. Micro Organisms are used to feed the animals to de- worm the animal and boost the immune system for faster growth making it a superior method of animal rearing in Uganda”, said James Muhangi

The organic piggery system further reduces on the construction cost of the animal unit as it does not require concrete or expensive material. The technology involves digging a few centimeters down the ground filled with saw dust of 0.5 centimeters and put the animals. The urine and any litter sinks down the ground and kept dump, the reason why concrete flow is not recommended while the roof must be leak proof. The saw dust can last for a production cycle of 6 to 8 months and later used as manure for fertilizing crops.

IMO are simple micro organisms which occur naturally in the environment made by culturing. They can be a virus, bacteria, fungi or any other organism. It is a composition that can be made and cultured in the laboratory depending on the type. If say it is a bacterium, what type of bacteria is this man using.

The IMO is sprinkled over the animal feacal matter and saw dust. The saw dust is  source of carbohydrates,  locked in sawdust called cellulose and no enzyme in monogastric animals  can break it down. The micro organisms break down the cellulose locked up in the sawdust and avail nutrients to the animals so the animal will feed on the saw dust.

The feacal matter of the animals is a rich source of protein not digested by the animal. So the micro organisms go ahead and break down the protein locked in the feacal matter and the animals goes back to feed on it. This cycled feeding caters for 30%.So a farmer provides 70% of the feeds.

During the fermentation or breakdown of the saw dust into nutrients and feaces, a lot of heat is produced raising the temperature of the litter to about 60 degrees Celicius. This temperature is good enough to kill disease causing organisms and during this fermentation the smell is minimized or eliminated and therefore no flies will be attracted to the place.

The college looks forward to government especially NAADS to include IMO technology as a package for low income farmers.

Contact us

Office of the Principal

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Makerere University

P.O.Box, 7062, Kampala, Uganda

Tel: +256-414-542277

Email: principal@caes.mak.ac.ug