NYAGATARE/GATSIBO — Cattle prices in different markets in Eastern province have risen, with officials attributing the hike to a decrease in the number of local breeds.
In a mini survey carried out by The New Times, the price of a bull increased from Rwf250, 000 last year to Rwf450, 000 today.
Cattle dealers attribute the increase in prices to decline in supply of cattle for slaughter.
For instance, about 700 cows are sold in a month in Nyagatare district, down from over 3,000 cattle that used to be supplied in recent years.
Cattle dealers who spoke to The New Times said the increase in the number of cross breeds has affected the number of cattle supply to the market.
“We are experiencing low supply of cattle in markets. Many farmers switched to cross breed and exotic cows purposely for milk production,” Janvier Mulamuzi, a cattle dealer said.
Innocent Munyarubuga, a farmer from Rwimbogo sector in Gatsibo district said: “I used to sell ten cows every month but now that I have exotic cows, I depend on milk production than selling them for slaughter.”
Dr. Justin Zimulinda,the Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA) coordinator in Eastern province, admitted the rise in number of cross-breeds as the main factor for the increase in prices.
He added that high demand for cattle in the Democratic Republic of Congo has also led to the rise in prices.
“Cattle markets in the DRC, especially Bukavu market, have out -competed Kigali markets.
We have also put in place measures to fight illegal cross-border trade of cattle,” he said.