NYAGATARE - Two farmers’ cooperatives in Nyagatare District, on Monday, received equipment that would help them improve the quality of their milk and ensure hygiene of their products.
The facilities were officially handed over at Bashumbabeza and Mbare milk collection centres in Karangazi sector.
The cooperatives are among the 11 collection centres being assisted by the USAID Diary Competitiveness project under its Land O’ Lakes project.
Land O’ Lakes works with farmers to improve milk quality through cleaning of milk cans and hygiene at the farms.
Speaking at the function, Anne Casper, Deputy Chief of Mission at US embassy pledged continued support to Rwandan farmers, saying that the quality of milk is a key determinant of its price on the market.
“The United States is committed, through its projects, to help Rwanda cement its image of being a country of honey and milk,” said Casper in a speech, partly presented in Kinyarwanda.
She challenged the farmers to adopt new methods of farming by producing clean milk that will not only compete favourably on the Rwandan market, but also outside the country.
“Today you are supplying milk to Rwandan markets…but tomorrow you will be role models in supplying quality milk beyond the Rwandan territory. We shall provide water facilities to 11 more centres to make this successful,” she said.
At Mbare milk collection centre, farmers hailed US projects for reviving their farming dreams but highlighted other issues that still hinder their working environment.
Among the issues raised include the lack of electricity, which has forced them to use generators that are expensive to maintain.
The Nyagatare vice mayor in charge of economic affairs, Enock Byabashaija told farmers that the district will discuss with Rwanda Electricity Corporation (RECO) on how to avail electricity within the shortest time possible.