In an effort to bridge the capacity gap in the dairy industry, Rwanda Development Bank (BRD), in partnership with East African Dairy Development, trained a team of 42 professionals in milk collection centres across the country.
The move is expected to facilitate the upgrading of milk collection centres and to boost the country’s efforts to become self sustaining in dairy production.
“The trainees need to be professional in carrying out their work in order to be able to solve the problems that occur in these centres,” Jack Kayonga, the Managing Director of BRD said.
Rwanda has 42 milk collection centres and BRD plans to increase their number to 70, while turning them into viable business ventures.
“The completion of the training is a milestone toward the official launch of the operations of milk collection centres,” said Desire Rumanyika, the CEO of BRD Advisory services, a subsidiary company of BRD.
Officials said the first batch of milk collection centres will be launched before the end of this month.
BRD’s initiative is a huge boost to dairy farmers who are currently grappling with lack of trained workers and limited market.
According to Dr Theogene Rutagwenda, the Director General of Rwanda Animal Resource Authority (RARDA), the country will stop importing dairy products once Inyange Industries and Savana Milk Plant start operating at full capacity.
“Within one year Rwanda may stop importing milk,” said Rutagengwa.
BRD provided a grant of Rwf66 million to boost the capacities of milk collection centres and a loan of Rwf35 million to each centre.
Rutagengwa said that government targets to establish at least one milk collection centre at every sector.