Dairy farmers in Gishwati Zone, the Western Province’s largest milk producing region,will soon get 93 kilometres of feeder road to help take their produce to the market.
According to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, it is part of 450 kilometres of feeder roads which will be rehabilitated, upgraded and maintained in six districts of Gatsibo and Nyagatare in Eastern Province, Nyabihu and Rutsiro in Western Province, Nyaruguru in Southern Province and Gakenke in Northern Province courtesy of a$68 million (about Rwf59 billion) grant from the World Bank.
There are about 30,000 cows around Gishwati-Mukura National Park, and the dairy farmers there collect between some 70,000 litres of milk (during the dry season) and 90,000 litres per day (rainy season), indicates information from Nyabihu dairy farmer cooperatives’ union.
Speaking to Sunday Times, Imena Munyampenda Director General of Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) said construction of the roads is expected to start in July and will be completed in a period of 12 months (one year).
“There is production of milk that should be taken to market. The roads that were existing there were in bad condition. That is why we chose to construct the roads in Gishwati so that the transport of milk produce to market is eased. It will help to address issues affecting farmers in Giswhati area,” he observed.
Joseph Sekageme, a farmer keeps 10 dairy cows in Gishwati zone in Rambura Sector of Nyabihu District, told Sunday Times that he gets about between 40 and 50 litres depending on seasons that he needs to sell every day.
However, poor roads which are almost impassable, especially during the rainy season have been an issue of concern to farmers in the area.
“Transporting our milk produce has been a challenge because of lack of good roads. Roads are much needed in Gishwati as they can help us take our milk to markets such as Mukamira Dairy,” he said.