The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has extended Rwf253 million ($335,095) to key players in the local dairy sector.
The support was chanelled through the Rwanda Dairy Competitiveness Programme II (RDCP II) and is to be implemented by Land O’Lakes International Development, Inc.
Rwf106 million ($142,481) of the support will go to Rwanda National Dairy Platform – a private multi–stakeholder group advocating for the needs of the dairy industry. Rwf103 million ($138,524) will go to the Rwanda Agricultural Livestock Inspection and Certification Services (RALIS). Additionally, ten milk collection centres will receive assorted equipment worth Rwf45 million ($59,367).
Malick Haidara, the acting director of the USAID economic growth office, said the grant would play a key role in sustaining the growth of the dairy industry.
“We are confident that this grant will be properly used to develop the dairy sector and promote sustainability. I believe that this will be achieved when all levels have the common understanding about the activity,” he said.
According to Dennis Karamuzi, the leader of RDCP II, this grant will help in improving production and quality of the milk, as well as ease the process of collecting the milk.
Francis Karemera, the president of Kibondo Farmers Cooperative in Gatsibo that received a milk tanker, said the equipment will be important to both the dairy cooperatives and the society.
“Our services cut across the whole society and this equipment will benefit all. For example, our partner, Inyange Industries need milk, so this equipment will be used to transport it easily to them,” he said.
In attendance was also the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Innocent Musabyimana, who reminded the dairy farmers to work hard to increase production.
He also reaffirmed government support to enhance milk production and consumption as it contributes to the development of the country.
From 2012, USAID’s Rwanda Dairy Competitiveness Program II has provided Rwf855 million ($1,145,130) to dairy value chain actors.