An aircraft carrying livestock from the Republic of Ireland that will be distributed as donation to Rwandans arrived in Kigali on Tuesday.
The livestock include; 37 dairy heifers, 260 pigs, 100 dairy goats, and 5,000 chicks as well as three pedigree bulls and 5,000 doses of Bovine Semen for the National Bovine Breeding programme.
The livestock will be distributed to people under a programme coordinated by Irish Aid Agency Bóthar and Heifer International.
Bóthar chief executive officer, Dave Moloney, commended the Irish for the donation.
“It all started with the generosity of the Irish public in donating these animals, including farmers who, at a very challenging time for them, still gave calf heifers worth up to €1,500,” he said.
“The people behind this are delivering a life-changing gift to these families.
The animals will transform lives of beneficiaries, their livelihood will improve because the livestock will be a source of income, fertilisers, among others,” he added.
The Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources, Gerardine Mukeshimana, hailed the initiative which she said will transform lives.
“This project will complement existing government programmes that aim to transform people’s lives. For instance, the dairy goats are milked and can produce four liters per day. So they will improve beneficiaries’ nutritional lives.
‘‘The beneficiaries were trained on caring for the livestock in order to get good yields from them. They have planted food for them and have already constructed cowsheds to ensure these animals will be well cared for,” she said.
Dr Charles Kayumba, the country director for Heifer International, said beneficiaries are vulnerable people that deserve to be supported, adding that cows and pigs will be distributed in Nyamasheke, chickens and goats in Ngoma, Kayonza and Kicukiro districts.
Dr Kayumba said the project started in 2013 and that, so far, 70,000 families across the countryhave been supported.
He said the number will gradually rise due to the fact that beneficiaries donate the livestock to their neighbours as they breed and that the programme is ongoing.