KIGALI - The One Cow per Poor Family programme (Girinka), has boosted the welfare of families four years after it began, according to the Director General of Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA), Dr Theogene.
In an interview with The New Times Rutagwenda said that Girinka has doubled milk production and related products in the country.
He added that the programme has also boosted farming by generating fertilizers, which has led to some districts with infertile soils been labelled ‘green’ zones.
“We have some beneficiaries testifying that their farm production has doubled because manure has increased from two to five tonnes, which is a very positive impact,” said Rutagwenda.
He added that according to statistics, in 2006, the annual national milk production was 154 million litres and as of last year, it had more than doubled to 33.2 million.
Rutagwenda said that Girinka has also uplifted the socio-economic welfare of the citizens where they have been able to access credit facilities from banks to expand their farming businesses.
The Mayor of Nyaruguru District, Felix Sibomana, one of the districts that had been characterized by famine in the past, told The New Times that courtesy of this programme, famine is history in his district because of the programme.
“Our soil is naturally infertile while a big number of residents depend on agriculture, which is why poor families that could not afford cows for manure were subjected to chronic hunger, but the launch of Girinka has doubled production,” said the Mayor., adding that it had also led to a sharp decrease in malnutrition.
So far over 90,000 poor families out of the targeted 257,000 across the country have benefited from the programme.