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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Co-created community contracts support biosecurity changes in a region where African swine fever is endemic-Part II: Implementation of biosecurity measures

Chenais, Erika; Fischer, Klara; Aliro, Tonny; Stahl, Karl; Lewerin, Susanna Sternberg


Smallholder subsistence pig production is common in Uganda and African swine fever (ASF) is endemic in the country, with its spread driven by human activities along the smallholder value chain. Previous research in the study area has revealed that many stakeholders are aware of how ASF is spread, its prevention and control, and have a generally positive attitude towards biosecurity. Despite this, even basic biosecurity is largely lacking. Costs, as well as a lack of adaptation to the local context, culture and traditions have been identified as factors hindering biosecurity implementation. Community engagement and local ownership of disease problems are increasingly recognised as important for improving disease prevention and control. The objective of this study was to investigate the capacity of participatory action at community level with broad inclusion of stakeholders to improve biosecurity in the smallholder pig value chain. Specific attention was paid to participants' perceptions and experiences of implementing the biosecurity measures included in their co-created community contracts. The study was conducted in Northern Uganda in villages purposively selected on the basis of previous occurrences of ASF. In each village, farmers and traders were also purposively selected. At a first meeting, basic information about ASF was shared and participants presented with a list of biosecurity measures adapted for farmers and traders respectively. Participants discussed each measure in farmer and trader subgroups, decided on the mea-sures to implement for one year, and signed a community contract to this effect. The following year, interviews were again undertaken and implementation support given. Interview data were coded and thematically analysed. Each subgroup chose a minimum of three and a maximum of nine measures, with wide variations between villages in their selection of measures. At the follow-ups, none of the subgroups had fully implemented what had been agreed in their contract, but all had changed some of their biosecurity routines. Some frequently recom-mended biosecurity measures, such as not borrowing breeding boars, were not considered feasible. Relatively simple and cheap biosecurity measures were rejected for reasons of cost, highlighting the participants' general level of poverty and the relevance of poverty as a specific factor governing disease control results. The partic-ipatory methodology allowing for discussions, co-creation and the option to refuse measures seemed to facilitate the implementation of measures that had initially been thought to be controversial. The broad community approach was deemed to be positive for strengthening community identity, cooperation and implementation.


Participatory approach; Co -construction; Community engagement; Smallholders; Domestic pigs; Disease control

Published in

Preventive Veterinary Medicine
2023, Volume: 214, article number: 105902
Publisher: ELSEVIER