Dairy farmers in Gicumbi District have been called on to turn milk collection centres into business hubs to boost their incomes.
The remarks were made by Dr Otto Vianney Muhinda, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Deputy Representative in charge of Programmes. He was on Tuesday addressing veterinaries who had been undergoing training in bovine artificial insemination for the last two weeks in Gicumbi District.
The 15 veterinaries that received training came from six dairy farmers’ cooperatives that have milk collection centres
“You have improved milk production. You no longer need support in milk production but you need it in post-production processes. The milk collection centres you own can be turned into business hubs”, Dr Muhinda told the veterinaries.
“Milk collection should be complemented with other services that bring in income. For instance, a part from selling milk, a milk collection centre should have an inseminator to serve its clients. It should sell animal foodstuff and medicines among others”, he added
Dr Pascal Nyabinwa, the cattle artificial insemination specialist at Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), challenged new bovine artificial inseminators to use the knowledge transferred to them to boost livestock in the district
“Now that you are equipped with enough knowledge and skills, put what you have learned into practice and help farmers in the district”, he said.
Jean Bosco Ngendanzi, one of the veterinaries, said the knowledge and skills from the training would help him provide better services.
He said, “ It was a challenge for our cooperative members since I was not able to inseminate their cows. I previously had to negotiate with a private veterinary practitioner to carry out insemination on my behalf. But, now am well equipped and prepared to deliver better services”.
In order to help the newly trained vets, FAO provided them with insemination kits, worth Rwf12,950,000 ,including BiostatsGT2, Crestar, pregnant mares’ serum gonadotropin (PMSG) pistolet d’IA and Gaines.