Veterinary doctors mull own saving scheme and micro-finance institution

Veterinary doctors could benefit from saving scheme. Michel Nkurunziza.

A saving group and a microfinance institution could soon be established to boost Veterinary doctors’ income and enhance self-reliance of the Veterinary council, Business Times has learnt.

Dr Francois Xavier Rusanganwa said that the plan follows complaints about financial woes among veterinary doctors and the challenges of the council which currently depends on external aid, which is not reliable.

As members of the council increase their incomes, their contributions to the council’s coffers will increase thereby improving their financial welfare, he said.

There are about 2,500 veterinary doctors registered in the council, but their contributions fees to the council are still low, he said.

The council mobilised Rwf415 million that was spent on different projects of veterinary services last year but its members contributed only Rwf18.6 of the budget.

“All Rwf394 million were mobilised from development partners and government with members contributing only Rwf18.6 million.  I think that once veterinary doctors get their income increased through different schemes, the contributions will also increase enabling the council operate better,” he said.

In 2019, veterinary council will spend over Rwf500 million of which Rwf70 million is expected from member’s contributions, Rusanganwa said.

“If we establish a saving group for the members, they will be able to buy tool kits, set up their own facilities, ease transport, start income generating projects among others that will motivate veterinary doctors to improve animal production in the country,” he said.

 Adequate contributions from members of the council and establishing micro-finance institution will help the council to become self-reliance instead of relying on external aid.

These financing models are timely since banks are reluctant to provide loans to agriculture and livestock sector, he noted

The sector, he said, habours multiple business opportunities such as artificial insemination, veterinary pharmacies, clinic for animals, animal surgery, processing of milk among others.

The veterinary expert said a technical committee has been set up to assess the feasibility of the projects.

According to Alphonse Marie Nshimirimina, the Executive Secretary of the council, there is need to increase the budget so that veterinary services by the council can be scaled up.

“We need to continue improving professional training and licensing veterinary doctors. For instance over 200 veterinary doctors have been trained on artificial insemination and we have to train more,” he said.

Patrick Muyoboke, a veterinary doctor from Ruhango District said that the members still need training so as to deliver quality services.

“The training opportunity should be accessible to all those who need it especially for those veterinaries who operate in the countryside where there are a large number of livestock keepers,” he said.

He said that a financial intervention and institutions such as the saving scheme and micro-finance institution is a timely intervention since most private veterinary doctors need capital to start a business in the sector and buy materials to ease their operations on their field.

“The salary for most of veterinaries employed in veterinary pharmacies, livestock farms and others who work as private is significantly low. There are no harmonized salaries and this affects our performance,” he said.

The council said that they are in talks with the government so that salaries are harmonized to benefit veterinary doctors once they are employed in private firms.

At the beginning of 2018, the government harmonized fees charged by veterinary doctors who argued that the quality of services they deliver outweighs the prices they charge.

Artificial Insemination (AI) for large animals will cost between Rwf1,000 to Rwf5,000 (for one service) while for small ruminants it is between Rwf1,000-Rwf2,000 while pig farmers are charged between Rwf2,000-Rwf4,000.

Bovine Embryo Transfer (ET) costs Rwf10,000 to Rwf15,000; while that for small animals is between Rwf5,000-Rwf10,000.

Assistance to normal delivery in large animals goes for between Rwf10, 000-Rwf15,000 and between Rwf3000 and Rwf4000 for small animals such as goats

Caesarian section – the use of surgery to deliver offspring is Rwf50,000 to 75,000 for large animals and Rwf10,000 to 20,000 for small ruminants.

Veterinary consultation at farm level (mammals, poultry, aquaculture, bees) is between Rwf5,000 and  Rwf10,000.