The Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana, has urged Rwandans to give priority to livestock farming, saying the sector has enormous potential for exports and wealth creation as well as nutrition for families.
The minister was speaking at the closure of the 2017 edition of the Agriculture trade fair in Mulindi, Kigali.
Overall, agriculture contributes about 30 per cent of the country’s GDP with 10 per cent from livestock.
The 12th National Agricultural Show ran, from June 22, to June 27, was organised under the theme, “Adopt Climate Resilient Technologies to Improve Farmer Livelihoods.”
“Farmers should raise productive livestock through quality breed, proper animal feeding, grass storage and use of other animal feed that has been exhibited here to contain effects of dry spells,” Dr Mukeshimana said.
Speaking on behalf of exhibitors, Jean Claude Shirimpumu, a professional farmer from Gicumbi District, said there are good examples that have been registered in the country so far in terms of promoting livestock sector.
Shirimpumu cited storage of fodder for future use, which he said helped address the issue of grass shortage during drought.
In addition, he said, “artificial insemination is no longer only applied to only cows, but other livestock like pigs, calling for the scaling up of such services.
Shirimpumu urged the Government to extend them support, especially in research.
“Comprehensive research is needed to improve our livestock as a whole to move from subsistence to market-oriented farming,” he said.
Farmers who properly applied improved seeds and fertilisers in farming were awarded fertilisers worth Rwf200,000 each.