GATSIBO— The East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) project has advised farmers in Gatsibo District to form cooperative societies in order to compete on the regional market.
Addressing a group of Kibondo farmers in Kabarore Sector last week, Celestin Nyamutamba, the project’s investment advisor, said there is need to jointly work under cooperatives in order to catch up with other farmers in East Africa.
EADD is a regional development programme being implemented by Heifer International and a conglomerate of partners that include TechnoServe, ILRI, The World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) and ABS TCM.
“Rwanda is a member of East African Community and farmers in other countries like Uganda and Kenya have been highly ranked within farming sector by forming cooperatives.
This is the only way of assisting farmers to boost their milk production,” he told farmers most of whom are already grouped under Kibondo Farmers’ Cooperative.
Nyamutumba highlighted Kenya’s output whereby on only one hectare of land, farmers are able to produce 1,000 litres of milk a day, despite rearing cattle on a squeezed piece of land.
“Most of you have more than five hectares of land but the production of milk is still low. But there is a possibility, through cooperatives and applied technology like bio gas that you can even go beyond the figures registered in Kenya,” he said.
Rebecca Assimwe, the business adviser in the area said the project intends to produce model farmers.
“We are working hard to mobilise these farmers to form cooperatives in order to come up with our mission of making this area a model production area. We want all farming needs like medicine, market and milk collection centres to be available here where farmers from neighbouring areas can access them,” she said in a separate interview.
Joseph Munyaburanga, the Kabarore Executive Secretary, said that farmers have so far contributed Rwf16 million for a new milk collection centre in the area.
Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of an agricultural development, EADD currently operates in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.