Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA) will have distributed cows to at least 600,000 families by 2017. The cows are distributed to poor families under the Government-initiated ‘One Cow One Family’ project.
This was revealed by the coordinator of the programme, Dr. Everest Namahungu, who represented the Minister of Agriculture at a seminar of agriculture experts held at Hotel Novotel Umubano on Tuesday.
Already the Government has given out over 30,000 heads of cattle to poor families, and plans to increase the figure to 339,400 by 2012.
During the meeting, participants brainstormed on different ways of improving and creating a better framework for the project and overcoming the existing challenges of finding more donors to finance the project.
The programme of giving a cow to each poor household countrywide is an integral part of the Government’s poverty alleviation programme.
The project gives out three particular types of cows; the Inyambo breed (long horned), cross-breed and exotic cows.
Namahungu said that the project has several other activities that include selecting people to assist in identifying the poor families and animals to be distributed.
He said that more emphasis has been put on sensitising local farmers in order to upscale the success of the project.
“We are now recruiting 416 veterinarians in all sectors countrywide to train farmers in milk handling, disease control and animal feeding,” Namahungu said. He added that the exercise also involves district personnel who assist in making follow-up at the grassroots level.
The Government launched the project as part of a wider national programme aimed at improving the livelihood of the people.