RWAMAGANA - At least 16 milk cooling plants in the districts of Kayonza,Rwamagana, Nyagatare and Rwamagana will soon be given computers and specialised ICT staff.
This was revealed yesterday, by the East African Diary Development (EADD) country representative, Emmanuel Munyandinda.
EADD project is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Munyandinda told The New Times that the computers and new staff are expected to improve data collection in the plants.
He observed that the new development will improve milk collection in rural and remote areas, improve milk transport network, and ensure access to quality services for producers.
“We are going for sustainable data collection system at chilling plants. The recruited staff will have to train local people how to collect data using computers,” he said.
Rebecca Asiimwe, EADD business advisor, reiterated the importance of IT in collecting and entering data at the plants.
“Data collection has been an issue...the cooperative staff have no IT skills. It is thus difficult to analyse what is done at the plants. This is what we expect to reverse. The computerised system will also help the farmers keep in business,” she said.
Paul Chatikobo, an EADD expert, said that under normal circumstance, each plant was supposed to collect cows and farmers’ data on a daily basis.
He noted that data can only be accurately collected and analyzed, when people master the use of computers. Chatikobo added that the ultimate aim is to have a farmer’s management software.
“Piling data on papers is no longer fashionable, especially for a project funded by Bill Gates. It’s a big irony,” he said.
EADD project is led by Heifer International in partnership with American Breeders Service–Total Cattle Management (ABS-TCM), ILRI, Techno-Serve and the World Agro-forestry Centre (ICRAF).