The Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) has pledged to contribute significantly to the Gir’inka programme by donating cows to needy Rwandans so as to boost poverty eradication in the country.
Gir’inka is the One-Cow-per-Poor-Family programme initiated by President Paul Kagame in 2006, and targeting to benefit 257,000 poor households, as a way of improving their welfare.
Over 90,000 households have so far benefited.
Army and Defence Spokesperson Lt. Col. Jill Rutaremara told The New Times yesterday that the pledge will require collaboration with other relevant government departments such as the ministries of agriculture and local government.
“In one of the meetings recently held at RDF headquarters, the officers expressed satisfaction by the related government efforts but pointed out that supplementary efforts were needed from all sections of the Rwandan population including the military,” Rutaremara said.
He noted that “modalities of implementing this pledge have been worked out.”
Agriculture Minister, Agnes Kalibata, announced last month that her ministry is trying to identify “unconventional” means of supporting the project so that its target can be realized much faster.
The minister said she was set to embark on a countrywide ‘cow-raising’ campaign meant to raise 3,000 extra cows every year for the programme. By the end of this financial year (end of June 2011), she hopes to have raised 5,000 more cows.
Previously, cows have been obtained from governments such as Ireland and Kenya, as well as private Rwandans, government resources and NGOs like Heifer International, Send a Cow, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Plan International.