Heifer International Rwanda, through its project East Africa Dairy Development (EADD), has donated motorcycles worth Rwf 30 million to farmers in the districts of Gatsibo, Nyagatare and Rwamagana.
In Rwanda since 2008, EADD project aims at boosting the household income of dairy farmers through integrated interventions in production and marketing of milk.
Dr Charles Kayumba, Heifer Country Director, said that the motorcycles will be used by extension services providers to facilitate farmers in farm management.
“We are happy that our efforts were rewarded...the farmers we trained have reached a stage where they can live on their won. The modern techniques they posses in farming, makes them very competent...they have cooperatives that are well managed,” he said.
He further said that Heifer International would in addition support the district of Bugesera to embrace modern farming.
“The motorcycles we have given farmers actually mark the end of our first phase of farmers’ support. We are however coming up with another phase that will include Bugesera district... another five-year project is in pipeline”.
Charles Mushaija, the chairman of Terimbere Mworozi, a farmers’ cooperative based in Nyagatare District, commended the support saying it increased milk production.
“We are a step ahead in modern farming...hygiene in the process of milk production is good. The quality of milk is no longer an issue. We know how to do timely artificial insemination, cross-breeding, all done by farmers themselves”.
Meanwhile, Celestin Nyambi, Rwanda Agriculture Board Coordinator in Eastern Province disclosed that pasture management in indoor farming was no longer a problem. He however added that farming in general was still hampered by the problem of drought and trans-border diseases.
“Heifer’s trainings solved the issue of quality milk production, pasture management, etc. Now that transport is being offered, the dairy sub-section in Rwanda will reach its target. Transport was a great challenge,” he said.
At least 40 per cent of the country’s population of cattle are found in Eastern Province.