Rwamagana - Eastern Province leaders have prioritised value addition to agricultural products in order to help fight poverty in the region.
It is in that line that the authorities are planning to construct a milk processing plant and a fruit factory in Kayonza and Ngoma districts, respectively.
The Eastern Province Governor, Odette Uwamariya, told a meeting recently the project will benefit livestock farmers in Gatsibo, Nyagatare and Kayonza districts.
Pineapple farmers in Ngoma and Kirehe districts are also set to benefit, she added.
“We have the capacity to uproot poverty from our communities...all avenues must, thus, be exploited to package and process milk into cheese, butter, etc. That’s the only way we can be assured of market,” she observed.
“We produce a lot of milk and pineapples, which is why we need milk and fruit processing plants as a matter of necessity. We entirely depend on Inyange Industries, which is not sustainable.”
Protais Murayire, the Mayor of Kirehe, called for collective efforts in the construction of factories.
“Districts producing milk in very large quantities can solicit money to process it together. The same thing should apply to Kirehe and Ngoma in starting up a fruit processing factory,” he said.
Jean Paul Uwanyirigira, a farmer in Kayonza, told The Business Times the idea of processing milk into other products was long overdue.
He said that farmers produced more milk than was actually demanded by the local market hence leading to low or no profits.
“The volumes of both the milk and crop production is increasing by the day; unless certain measures are taken, I am afraid we shall not gain much,” he said.