Inclusive and sustainable value chain development in the pig and poultry sector

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Rwanda: Livestock Farmer Field School, path to business-oriented farming

  • Livestock Farmer Field School, path to business-oriented farming
    • Livestock Farmer Field School, path to business-oriented farming

PRISM-Enabel livestock programme aims at empowering poultry and pig farmers to transition from traditional to commercial-oriented livestock farming by improving animal husbandry practices and business management skills to increase productivity, profitability, and job creation.  

Through the Livestock Farmer Field School (LFFS) approach, smallholder farmers were trained on practical poultry and pig husbandry practices as well as farm business skills. Such husbandry and entrepreneurial related competencies contributed to catalyze a market-driven poultry and pig farming systems. In addition, gained knowledge increased their resilience to environmental and economic challenges.  

From traditional to modern and market-oriented pig breeder
Mrs Anastasie Uwimabera is running a pig farm in Nyamabuye sector, Muhanga district.  The LFFS enhanced her farming capacity and improved her entrepreneurship and management skills to run her farm as an enterprise.
"I used to feed my pigs with poor quality feeds like food leftovers from restaurants and shed cleanliness was not satisfactory, this caused warms and other bacterial infections leading to poor growth and sometimes deaths. The training I got from Enabel gave me skills on how to feed animals on a balanced diet, provide clean water and keep the animals in a clean shelter; all this brought a big improvement as the pigs are healthier and grow faster leading to good prices. Anastasie Uwimabera  

Anastasie’s pig farm started in 2019 with eight female pigs and one male of low-quality indigenous breed. Due to poor management practices, the returns were often low. The situation changed for the better when she acquired new skills through Livestock Farmer Field School in 2021, provided by Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) and PRISM-Enabel, on how to choose the best animals for breeding, feeding, health practices and business management, which helped to increase her benefits.  
“I supply both piglets and mature animals respectively for rearing and slaughter. I sell my hybrid piglets at FRW 30,000 each. The price for slaughter animals depends on the weight. A kilo of pork is between FRW 1,800-2,500. Recently, I sold a pig that weighed more than 120kgs for FRW250, 000 thanks to the improved husbandry practices received from the project. Since the last three months, I have sold about 2 tons of pork and I have earned a gross income of Rwf 4,000,000, which is much higher than before I got the training, I was selling less than 500kg” she said.  

Equipped with the modern skills, Anastasie plans to expand her business to supply the growing market for animals for both breeding and slaughter. She aims at increasing  her farm from 150 to 1,000 pigs in the next two years.  

Job creation

Pig farming is an entry point for job creation for youth. Anastasie Uwimabera currently employs ten occasional labors and two permanent employees who ensure the reparation and maintenance of farm, off-loading of feeds, loading of animals to market, cleaning of farm and washing of animals.  

In partnership with RAB, PRISM-Enabel trained 300 lead farmers, including 205 in poultry and 95 in pig farming, in Improved Livestock and Business Management. The same group also got training sessions through Farmer Business Schools (FBS) to help them improve entrepreneurship and management skills.
In turn, these lead farmers formed and trained 600 farmer groups (410 in poultry and 190 pig farming) of 25-30 producers each, totaling around 18,000 pig and poultry farmers across the ten districts of project intervention, namely Rwamagana and Bugesera in Eastern Province, Muhanga, Gisagara and Nyamagabe in Southern Province, Gicumbi, Rulindo and Musanze in Northern province, Rubavu and Rusizi in Western province.  

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