Ordinarily, cattle require a proper balance of feed, water, vitamins and minerals to achieve optimal production of milk.
Experts argue that cows require mineral supplements across the year to not only keep them healthy, but also boost milk production.
The required minerals are divided into major (macro) and trace (micro) minerals.
Major minerals are reported as a percentage of the diet which includes sodium, chlorine, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulfur.
It’s out of this somewhat complex jargon that Vestine Ntirenganya identified an opportunity to develop mineral supplement (cow’s salt lick) containing the required minerals that improve milk production.
The salt is made from local simple and cheap raw materials including red soil, bone flour, limestone and cement
Ntirenganya at her campany where she makes locally cow supplements.
The 23-year-old, started her business early this year with the aim of boosting cattle milk production, promoting and supporting Made in Rwanda program.
Going by the name Ongerumukamo company Ltd the firm is producing Umunyuzo Cattle Salt (mineral Block), from its Nyamagabe District located plant.
She seeks to grow her firm to serve the local and regional market as well as impact farmers productivity and income levels.
She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Rwanda, pursuing Forestry and Nature conservation.
According to her, though the livestock sector in Rwanda has been improving gradually over the years, it has not reached the desired level.
“This is the reason why I am aiming at providing the required supplement, to improve this sector and its related products,’ she said.
Umunyuzo cattle salt made by Ntirenganya.
She added that the Made in Rwanda cattle salt is coming as a solution to various farmers’ problems, including tackling malnutrition problems.
Ntirenganya said that without adequate mineral supplements, milk yield is often lower in comparison to when the supplements are applied.
“Selecting the correct mineral supplement is important for maintaining healthy animals, and optimal growth and reproduction,” she added.
“By doing this, we will improve farmers’ socio-economic status through increasing milk production and sales. Also, when milk is produced in abundance, I believe it’s just one way of tackling malnutrition,” she said.
Ntirenganya said, this way, she is also helping in promoting government initiatives such as improving nutrition for pregnant or breastfeeding women as well as the infant and children.
Considering that high-quality forages and/or grains can furnish a large portion of the required minerals, producers need to select supplements that will meet animal requirements to avoid incurring unnecessary expenses.
Minerals not provided by feed can be easily and inexpensively supplied with a simple mineral supplement.
The statistical analysis obtained from the field tests of her product existence, showed that there was an increase in milk production.
For instance, a cow is able to produce 4 to 5 liters of milk a day, compared to before when it will only produce one liter.
Raw materials used for making cow salt.
She says that they have looked at data in a number of districts including Nyamagabe, Huye and Nyanza.
The young entrepreneur has managed to participate and successfully completed the Next Generation Entrepreneurship Training Program in Rwanda under the UNESCO UNITWIN program, hosted by Handong Global University in Korea three months ago.
She was also the 1st runner up of Yes conference/Rwanda in its 4th edition early this year.Follow Lydia_AtienoM