Livestock keepers in Burera District are upbeat as a new milk factory nears completion. The factory, owned by Burera Diary Ltd company, is being constructed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry through Business Development Fund at a tune of Rwf700 million, according to officials. The project is one of the small and medium industries being undertaken by the Trade Ministry to promote value addition across the country. Located in Kidaho trading centre, Cyanika Sector, the factory is expected to produce cheese, yoghurt and butter, among other products. Residents and local leaders welcomed the factory, saying it offers timely answers to farmers who have previously complained about lack of market for their milk. Most times, the farmers said, they used to sell their produce at giveaway prices only to buy milk products more expensively later. Gedeon Cyambaza, the president of Burera Diary Company board, said that farmers will now be able to sell their milk at collection centres from where it will be picked for processing. He said that once the factory is operational it will provide ready market to farmers and area residents will be able to get other milk products close to them. “The factory will add more value to milk production,” said Cyambaza. Farmers upbeat Farmers said the new factory would help them sell their produce easily and, in turn, provide processed products which they hardly get. They said they lacked a ready market, the reason they were compelled to sell their produce cheaply to either local consumers or dealers from neighbouring countries. “We are happy that we will soon have a milk factory where we shall be selling our produce. Besides, our children will get high quality milk products,” said Nicodeme Niyonzima, a farmer in Burera. Emmanuel Maniragaba, another farmer, said their local consumers at times failed to pay for the milk. “Now that we have a new milk factory, we are optimistic that we will sell the produce and get paid well and on time,” he said. Jean Marie Vianney Nkanika, the sector’s executive secretary, said the factory would boost farmers’ incomes. “Most of the milk was consumed by area residents and those with a surplus used to sell it to Ugandans in Kisoro...Ugandans would process it into other products which they sell to us expensively. Now that we are going to have our own factory, our farmers will have a chance to sell the produce at a good price,” Nkanika said. He added that local leaders are committed to work closely with farmers to improve production. Works on the factory are almost complete and what remains is to train the workforce that will man the factory, according to the officials.