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Assessing the impacts of African swine fever in smallholder pig systems and the feasability of potential interventions

Published 2017-04-04

Participatory rural appraisalIn this project researchers from SLU and SVA will undertake an analysis of the pig production in selected environments in Uganda, to assess the economic impact of African swine fever, its prevention and control. Karl Ståhl from SLU and SVA is the project leader. A participatory approach will be used to assess the feasibility of available intervention strategies in the different production settings, and to understand drivers of compliance versus non-compliance. 

Goals

  • To develop a typology of pig keeping systems based in part on African swine fever (ASF) risk factors
  • To assess disease burden at regional level, including its distribution across production systems and under different agro-ecological conditions
  • To characterize economic and livelihood impacts of ASF and its risk at production system level
  • To make an inventory of existing practices that influence the risk of ASF at production system level and identify candidate interventions to improve farm-level biosecurity
  • To assess technical and economic feasibility of candidate ASF control strategies and their uptake at farm level

Uganda has the second largest and most rapidly growing pig production in Africa. Most of these pigs are found in smallholder family farms in the rural areas, and are mostly kept by women. Smallholder pig keeping is a good opportunity for the predominantly rural population to raise money quickly, and potentially represents an important pathway out of poverty. However, smallholder pig-keeping faces several constraints, including animal diseases. African swine fever (ASF) is the most important epidemic pig disease in many African countries. When virulent strains are introduced virtually all the pigs in the infected herd become ill and the majority die. As such ASF has been described as one of the factors that can drive rural smallholders into chronic poverty. In Uganda, the disease transmission is maintained within the domestic pig population, and spread through animal movements and trade of infected meat and meat products.

ASF has severe socio-economic impact. The greatest losses are usually considered to be inflicted on the poorer pig producers.

Quantitative and qualitative methods will be applied in the project. Innovative, cost efficient technologies such as an already set up network of community health workers with a smart-phone based surveillance tool will be used for collecting data.