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Forskningsartikel2022Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Pigs as a shortcut to money? Social traps in smallholder pig production in northern Uganda

Arvidsson, Anna; Fischer, Klara; Hansen, Kjell; Kiguli, Juliet


Recent decades have seen a growing market for pork in Uganda. The government and donors have promoted pig rearing as a potential route out of poverty for poor smallholders. The idea is that upscaling and commercialisation of smallholder pig production can be a successful way out of poverty. Drawing on the concepts of trust and social traps, this article describes how pig production fails as a pathway out of poverty in post-conflict communities in northern Uganda due to tensions created by the focus on individual wealth creation. Results from ethnographic fieldwork reveal that there is a strong moral obligation in the studied communities for individuals who fare better to contribute to the community and share their wealth. Social tensions remaining from the period of conflict are stoked by the focus on individual wealth creation in pig production, resulting in acts of harming, stealing and killing other people's pigs. Locally these acts are said to be caused by “jealousy”, which for many smallholders is a more significant problem than disease in pig production. The findings suggest that poverty reduction measures would be more successful if they focused on distributed approaches aimed at raising the general level of welfare in communities and supporting the collective rather than the individual


Pig; Wealth; Trust; Social trap; Smallholder; Ubuntu

Publicerad i

Journal of Rural Studies
2022, Volym: 94, sidor: 319-325