NYAGATARE - Farmers and officials in the Eastern Province have welcomed last week’s approval by the African Development Bank of a US$35m loan meant to boost Rwanda’s livestock sector.
The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), the window of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, approved the loan last week.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, a substantial part of the loan will be disbursed under the country’s Livestock Infrastructure Support Programme (LISP), which will be implemented over a period of four fiscal years running from 2011 to 2015.
The Ministry says that part of the funds will be allocated to solve the water problem facing livestock farmers in the Eastern Province, with 30 milk collection centres set to be constructed in the province to enable farmers’ access markets for their products.
Speaking to The New Times, scores of farmers welcomed the move, saying the support has potential to boost their livelihood.
“Our main economic basis is livestock farming. The support from AfDB is thus quite welcome,” said Titus Mugisha, a farmer in Nyagatare District.
Ivan Mukombozi, another farmer in Kayonza District said AfDB support would increase farmers’ access to veterinary services.
“I own a number of cross breeds and in the last two years, I lost six of my cows due lack of access to veterinary services. This support will ensure that such services will be made readily available,” he said.
Justin Zimulinda, an official from Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) in Eastern Province said the support will not only boost milk production but will also increase the quantity of meat.
LISP’s goal is to create an enabling environment to stimulate the development of a modern livestock industry in Rwanda through value addition.
The program aims at increasing access to markets in order to encourage diversification of the economy in terms of sustaining growth, creating jobs and alleviating poverty.