Agri technology company Devenish has trained over 300 local farmers in Uganda, Africa since establishing a model pig farm in Hoima in 2015.
The Northern Ireland headquartered company has invested over £1million developing its business in the region. The project, which was supported by the Africa Agri-Development Fund and the Department of Agriculture, Foreign Affairs and Trade, aims to improve the livelihoods of local farmers by helping them to transition from subsistence farming to sustainable commercial level farming.
The company has set up a model pig farm and specialized feed mill in Hoima. Devenish now employs 25 people in the region and has trained over 300 local farmers in the basics of animal nutrition and livestock management.
Devenish’s Ugandan Country Manager, Adam Sweetman explained, “This is a unique project for Devenish as not only does it make commercial sense for us, but it also allows us to help to make a difference in the local community.
“Our main aims are to help farmers produce pigs of improved genetics and to introduce specialised animal feeding which is tailored to the animal’s life cycle. We’ve already supplied new breeding stock to over 60 local farmers to enhance the genetics pool.
“By doing so, we help to improve the performance of the animals, which in turn improves the livelihoods of the local community who benefit from healthier animals, better nutrition and better sale prices.”
Yolamu Nsamba is one of the local farmers who has been working with Devenish.
He explained, “Working with Devenish has really helped us to increase profitability on our farm. The pigs grow to double the weight of the pigs we used to have – it’s down to the breed, the better-quality feed and the management.”
The model pig farm in Hoima has also had a positive impact on the wider community, helping to connect 15 homes in Hoima to electricity.
Apart from the pre-mix, all of the raw materials used in the animal feed are sourced from local suppliers, which is helping to create a market for their products and improve their livelihoods.
Local maize supplier, Emmanuel Kyalimpa, said, “Through working with Devenish I’ve been able to grow my business and earn more money. As a result, I’ve been able to support my wife, children, and even my nieces’ education which I couldn’t afford before. They are attending secondary school and some are going on to university.”
Devenish Chief Executive, Richard Kennedy, added, “We’re immensely proud of the impact that we’ve had in Uganda in a relatively short period of time. At Devenish, our overarching purpose is ‘making your world a better place’ and nowhere is this more evident than our work in Hoima. Not only are we helping farmers to improve their outputs in a sustainable way, but we are also having a positive impact on the wider community.”