Rwanda to host major dairy meet

Rwanda will host the sixth edition of the Eastern and Southern Africa Dairy Association (ESADA) meeting that will draw over 500 delegates from various countries.
The Minister of  Agriculture, Dr. Agnes Kalibata (C), Tom Opiyo (R) and RDB’s Pipien Hakizabera during the Breakfast Meeting yesterday. (Photo J. Mbanda)
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Agnes Kalibata (C), Tom Opiyo (R) and RDB’s Pipien Hakizabera during the Breakfast Meeting yesterday. (Photo J. Mbanda)

Rwanda will host the sixth edition of the Eastern and Southern Africa Dairy Association (ESADA) meeting that will draw over 500 delegates from various countries.

The event that is scheduled to take place between May 18 and 21, will seek solutions to the industry’s challenges of competitiveness and sustainability.

The African Dairy Conference and Exhibition is the largest and most comprehensive conglomeration of regional and international dairy stakeholders in Africa.

Speaking at a press briefing, Thursday,  ESADA Chairman Tom Opio, said that the event will allow regional stakeholders to interact with industry experts, practitioners, researchers and scholars, financiers, distributors and marketers, world dairy leaders and other inputs suppliers.

Cutting edge technologies, best practices, recent research findings and studies, innovations, animal care and outstanding animal breeds are showcased at this auspicious African dairy event.

“Dairy is gaining recognition as a potential for development into and integrated robust industry that can deliver marketable products,” said Opio.

“In the recent past, dairy has experienced mixed fortunes, particularly in this region. In 2008 and 2009, most African countries were experiencing drought and thus milk production declined significantly and animal feeds prices increased due to increased demand for raw materials.”

Opio said that in Africa, farm milk production has remained low due to poor and  inadequate feeding and declining genetic base.

“Close to 30 percent of total milk production goes to waste due to transport constraints and domestic market inability to accommodate all the available milk,” Opio said.

He highlighted some of the challenges facing the industry pointing out, poor infrastructure, inadequate technology climate change, and market constraints.

The Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Kalibata, said that despite Africa having much milk, the continent still has many malnourished children.

“The milk industry in Rwanda has grown by 300 percent in the last ten years although there are still problems with low competitiveness, and this upcoming event will help us iron out all the challenges and come up with better methods of boosting the dairy industry,” said Kalibata.

The conference is co-organised by ESADA, Rwanda Development Board (RDB), MINAGRI, Rwanda Conference Committee and Land O’Lakes.

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