KIGALI - The Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, has announced that plans are underway for extensive wool production in the country.
Speaking to The New Times, the minister said that some sheep have been imported and taken to the Higher Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (ISAE) for a comprehensive study.
“It has to start from an institutional level and will be taken to the farmers when we are sure of its effectiveness,” Kalibata said.
“There is potential and it is something we encourage, we can also bring the cashmere goats too, it is a project worth trying.”
Kalibata revealed that she had contacted Rwanda’s High Commissioner to India to assist in linking her ministry with dealers in animal wool production.
She said the importation of woolly animals would help the farmers enormously because the wool would be obtained without necessarily slaughtering the animals.
According to Kalibata, about 200 Merino sheep are currently at ISAE for trial and the ministry is also considering importing cashmere goats for the same purpose.
“It is achievable, it is a source of income for the farmers but we also need to first teach them how to shear the wool off the sheep,” the Minister said.
Wool has been reported to represent 3% of the world’s fiber production and has been significant in many country’s economies and incomes of many citizens.
Australia still dominates the world in the wool market, followed by China.