Revenues from livestock and livestock products increased from Rwf260 in 2017 to Rwf301 billion in 2018 driven by government subsidies, according to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR)
This represents a rise of 15.7 per cent.
According to the report, which was released last week, the sector contributes 4 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product – the total market value of all final goods and services produced in the country.
Revenues from the industry have been on an upward trajectory since 2010.
The development is expected to boost the well-being of livestock farmers through increased savings and access to adequate nutrition, Solange Uwituze, the Deputy Director General of Animal Research and Technology Transfer at Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) told Sunday Times.
“The key drivers are good livestock production, access market especially for live animals, eggs, meat and milk to some extent,” Uwituze said.
“The Government put subsidies on livestock inputs such as vaccines AI inputs, and animal feed storage facilities, etc. The Government also put some tax exemptions on livestock -related activities such import and value added tax.
Some of the specific interventions that were made to the sector, she said, include mainstreaming dairy, poultry, and pig farming through, increased artificial insemination, the Girinka program and small stock programme consisting of chickens, pigs and goats – which was mainly implemented in the Western Province to tackle youth unemployment and malnutrition.
Victor Hategekimana, engaged a poultry agribusiness in Rwamagana and Kicukiro districts told Sunday Times that encouraging farmers to keep small livestock such as chickens which are easy to take care of, require small space and give yield within a short period of time, are among the factors behind the development of livestock.
He said that the rise in egg production has resulted in reduced prices from an average of Rwf80 an egg before (in 2017) to between Rwf65 and Rwf70 currently.
For him, poultry is a profitable farming business, and its demand for is growing
“I keep between 1,000 and 2,000 chickens that I distribute to farmers when they turn one-month old so that they can easily raise them,” he said.
Total meat production in Rwanda increased from more than 152,000 tonnes in 2017 to 162,470 tonnes in 2018, while egg production rose from 7475 tonnes to 7,936 tonnes in the same period.
Milk output went up from more than 766,900 tonnes to more than 815,000 tonnes in 2018.
Rwanda’s livestock population as of 2018 include more than 1.29 million cows, 5.44 million chickens, 1.33 million pigs, 2.73 million goats, 1.26 million rabbits, and over 600,000 sheep, data from RAB indicates.
To maintain the sector’s momentum, she said, they will keep implementing the fourth Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation (PSTA4) running from 2018 through 2024, and Livestock Master Plan LMP (2017-2022).