In Summary

Even when the weight gain and growth of pigs in Uganda is still a major challenge, the demand for pork is massive and increasing. Seeds of Gold’s Denis Bbosa takes a look at the new pork trends in the country and why its dish is still one of the most sought after - the high kilo price notwithstanding.

Even when the weight gain and growth of pigs in Uganda is still a major challenge, the demand for pork is massive and increasing. Seeds of Gold’s Denis Bbosa takes a look at the new pork trends in the country and why its dish is still one of the most sought after - the high kilo price notwithstanding.

Three years since Uganda was declared the highest pork consuming country in Africa, the craving for pork is yet to tone down.
Prepared in all forms; roasted or boiled, consumers take them in equal measure.

According to renowned city chef, Kadu-Mukasa Kironde II, there are several reasons why pork is seemingly most preferred meat by Ugandans.
“Inter alia, pigs are easy to rear and in many village homesteads informal pig rearing is common and practical which means that are abundant. Pigs are prolific breeders and pregnancy lasts four months and a sow will give birth (farrow) 5-25 piglets in a litre while averaging 10 to 1,” Kadu-Mukasa explains.

According to Dr Ben Lukuyu, an animal nutritionist, the per capita consumption of pork in the country is 3.5 kilogramme making Uganda the largest consumer of pork in Africa and perhaps second to China globally.
“In my view, what makes pork special and different is that every part of the animal is consumed from the snout, ears, pig totters, chitterlings and even the tail,” he added.

Delicacy sold ‘secretly’
Kadu-Mukasa says major eating establishments (hotels) offer pork on the menu and the cost for a meal is comparable to that of chicken or beef.
However, a kilogramme of fresh pork would retail for around Shs11,000 in an artisan butcher while the so called special which is minus fat costs more – at times double the aforesaid price.
“Ugandans tend to like meat with bones whereas in the West stews are made with boneless meat,” says Kadu-Mukasa.

Many pork addicts tend to debate the most delicious part with many unanimously settling for roasted ribs – usually accompanied with beer.
Yet there exists a genuine concern amongst the Muslims regarding the difficulties encountered while separating a beef and pork sausage.
“Pork sausages are widely available on the market but seldom sold in fast food eating joints which prefer to play it safe and serve beef. The reason for this trend is in order not to offend the Muslims,” Kadu-Mukasa clarifies. Available statistics indicate 1.1 million households keep pigs and 3.5 million smallholder farmers directly depend on rearing pigs, while millions others are employed in the value chain.
According to Dr Lukuyu, while the pigs sub-sector is growing by leaps and bounds, it is facing a number of challenges such as high cost of feeds, poor quality and quantity of feeds.

Varying trends
Few pork eaters have not visited Kyadondo Rugby Grounds and tasted the delicacy prepared by Mike Oryema. Mike says on average he sells five pigs a day to his clientele – mostly corporates. Each skewer at Mike’s goes for Shs5,000 while the ribs are bought at Shs4,000 each. He buys pigs from several farmers in Wakiso with each pig costing about Shs350,000.

Edith Namukadde, who runs Namukadde pork joint in Bweyogerere says she sells on average six pigs every day. A kilogramme at Namukadde’s who buys from Wakiso, Mukono and Lugazi, goes for Shs10,000. Soyabean Kabarasi, the in-charge of Vai King Bar in Bunga, sells a fried kilogramme at Shs13,000 with cassava and avocado as ‘escorts’. Yet the roasted pork is relatively cheaper, at Shs2,000, and you can get a skewer with three meat pieces. In Mityana, and large parts of Mubende, a trader can buy a pig starting with a low fee of Shs10,000 up to Shs300,000.
Ronald Kaweeri, a chief pork supplier in Wabigalo town, says it may be hard for one to be served with pork sauce at top hotels but one can make an order at mid-level eateries in advance.