The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources and other stakeholders involved in rural development will today officially launch a campaign to fight malnutrition through increased milk consumption.
The Director General of Livestock in MINAGRI, Dr Theogene Rutagwenda, said the campaign at the national level will be launched by Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi in Nyaruguru District, Southern Province.
“Milk has a lot of advantages in fighting malnutrition because it’s a complete food that contains proteins and key elements that are important for growth of children and for the support of pregnant mothers and the population in general,” Rutagwenda explained.
He said that milk is very rich in calcium which is needed for orthopaedic development in infants adding that the campaign will promote a culture of putting milk first in children’s diets as they are more vulnerable to diseases related to malnutrition like kwashiokor.
According to Rutagwenda, after the launch, similar campaigns will be carried out across the country for the next one year.
He said that the campaign will be implemented through regular milk drinking days at the Umudugudu level; through a culture of sharing milk and cows among neighbours under the One-Cow-Per-Family programme, commonly known as the Gir’inka.
“The Government believes that this campaign, alongside other initiatives like One-Pint-of-milk-Per-Child in schools, Gir’inka and kitchen gardens will help decrease malnutrition among Rwandans,” Rutagwenda observed.
According to the official, Rwanda produces over 1.8 million litres of milk a day, saying it was enough to fight malnutrition countrywide adding that consumption has been hampered by limited access..
He said the campaign is supported by Inyange and Savannah dairies and forms a basis to set up strong and elaborate distribution networks for milk around the country.