Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) has allocated Rwf60 million for capacity building in 21 milk collection centres as the Bank intensifies its technical assistance program to microfinance institutions and cooperatives.
The program, that is being spearheaded by the government through BRD is in conformity with the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) policy.
“The objective of this program is to empower SMEs through capacity building and at the same time encourage, identify and enhance both the supply and demand sides of SMEs development,” said Desire Rumanyika, the head of BRD advisory services.
Rumanyika also added that BRD has a critical role to play in the development of Rwanda by focusing on the priority sectors of the economy.
“The bank has made important contribution in financing the primary sectors for the last two years with approval of projects worth Rwf4.3 billion in 2009 compared to Rwf633 million in 2008,” said Rumanyika.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, favourable government anti-poverty policies and the focus on developing the diary industry have resulted into increased milk production from 50,000 tons in 2000 to
35,000 with only 40 milk collection centers.
Bank officials said that the technical assistance is critically needed if Rwanda is to attain its target of producing high quality of milk and milk products in order to boost the incomes of dairy farmers.
BRD advisory services has supervised the construction of 21 milk collection centers (MCCs) and installed the equipments and provided technical assistance of one year.
The financing of MCCs construction is a mix of equity, debt and subsidy to ensure ownership by stakeholders.
The construction of each MCC was estimated at Rwf55 million to be raised by stakeholders, where each contributed Rwf10 million as their participation, another Rwf10 million was a subsidy from government and BRD a loan of Rwf35 million to each MCC.
“The technical assistance will include recruitment of staff, training of MCCs managers and personel in different areas and designing as well as setting up management systems that include internal rules and
regulations,” added Rumanyika.