The implementation of the One-cow-per-poor-family programme, ‘Girinka’ will be the responsibility of the districts, effective July this year.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the move to decentralise the process would benefit both the people and the government.
In an interview with The New Times, the Director of the programme, Clarisse Ingabire, said districts would be charged with buying cows from farmers and redistributing them to the people.
“The cost of transporting the cows from one locality to another will be minimised while the farmers will also get money from the cows bought by the districts,” said Ingabire.
She explained that some of the farmers accumulated more cows than necessary since the programme began.
“They will be able to sell the extra cows and use the money for other developmental projects,” she said.
Ingabire added that the programme would address the procurement delays experienced in the past as well as he cow’s environmental adaptation.
“Normally, private contractors would buy cows from places like Nyagatare and take them to the west and cows would find difficulty adapting to the new environment,” she said, adding that cows would henceforth be bought and distributed within the same locality.
The Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA) would be tasked with monitoring and evaluating the programme and ensuring that the cows are in good health.
Jeanne Mukabagwiza, a widow from Gatunda Sector in Nyagatare District, welcomed the move. She admitted that after receiving a cow under Girinka programme in 2009, it produced others which she could not manage.
“Girinka decentralisation policy is timely. I was given a cow under the programme which later produced three more.
I can no longer manage to look after them.
But under the new programme, I will be able to sell the extra cows at good prices since it is the government buying them,” she said.
Since the programme began, about 113,000 cows have been distributed. 4,000 more are expected to be given out during the next financial year.