Private sector promises to help dairy industry

The Private Sector Federation (PSF) is to give more support to the dairy sector.

The Private Sector Federation (PSF) is to give more support to the dairy sector.

‘The private sector has funding to put in place more milk collection centres as a way of addressing the marketing problem faced by farmers,’ said Alexie Rubayinza, the director of livestock sector in the private sector federation.

Speaking to The New Times on January 22, in a telephone interview, Rubayinza said that the federation is also trying to help farmers organise themselves as a company.

The company, if formed, will provide the collection, distribution and processing of milk. 
Earlier this month Dr Theogéne Rutagwenda, director of Rwanda Animal Resource Development Authority (RARDA), urged the private sector to invest more in dairy farming.

RARDA wanted more milk collection centers to be constructed in order to address the marketing and distribution constraints in the country.

“Milk production in the country needs the attention of PSF. If there is to be an increase in high quality milk, farmers need to be assured that there is a ready market,” Rutagwenda said.
In reaction to RARDA’s comments, Rubayinza said that PSF is willing to offer more support to the dairy sector given that the introduction of more exotic and hybrid cows in the country has meant increased milk production.

“We are doing our best to support the farmers,” Rubayinza said.

He further revealed that they are drafting an integrated business plan for a milk production chain that will include measures for the collection, distribution and processing of all dairy products.  Rubayinza refuted RARDA’s claims that there is no market for increased milk production.

According to a report released by the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Ministry last year, Rwanda only produces 130,000 tonnes of milk. This allows for 13 liters per person per year. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) recommends 52 liters per person per year.

Rubayinza attributed the apparent lack of market to inefficient milk marketing.
“But the formation of a company owned by farmers will help them solve these problem,” he said.

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