KIGALI - The Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, has urged Rwandan dairy farmers to explore the opportunities that the sector offers as a way of not only improving their lives, but also contributing to national development.
Speaking at the opening of the 6th African Dairy Conference and Exhibition in Kigali yesterday, Kalibata said; “Our mission is to initiate and manage suitable programs of transformation and modernization of agriculture and livestock”.
“Government programs like One-Cow-per-Poor-Family will ultimately increase the standards of living of the population as well as contribute to the national economy”.
The minister added that the exhibition would provide the dairy sector with opportunities to interact with experts and practitioners from other parts of Africa, hence contributing to the already flourishing collaboration.
The Chairman of Eastern and Southern Dairy Association (ESADA), Tom Opio Oming, said that Rwanda had been considered as an opportune country to host the event due to the government’s unwavering support for the dairy industry and recognition of the sector’s capacity to alleviate poverty and improve food security.
“There is a clear indication that Rwanda is open for business,” Opio said.
ESADA is a regional association of dairy stakeholders comprised of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe. However, the number of member countries is expected to grow with the addition of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in the near future.
During the exhibition, many dairy stakeholders and companies within ESADA ranging from producers, distributors, marketers to technology developers, showcased their products to visitors who came from various parts of the world.