Rwanda Dairy Development Project (RDDP) in partnership with Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF), trained milk collection center (MCC) managers on how to mentor and coach Livestock farmer field school, as a single approach to reach smallholder farmer.
Sindayigaya Abdoul Madjid, RDDP staff in charge of capacity building for farmers said that this two days training session aims at increasing knowledge and awareness of farmers on how to use Livestock farmer field school to augment milk production on farmer level and Milk collection center level.
“We expect milk collection center managers to help those smallholder farmers to increase milk production. We encourage them to work in groups and use livestock farmer field school; where they will share knowledge and experience on how to increase the quality and quantity of their milk whether on group level or milk collection center level.” Said Sindayigaya
Dr. Marie Claire Uwineza (BVM), a RYAF member (manager) from Gishari milk collection center said that as one who meets farmers day after day, she has got a sufficient package to help in educating farmers and their facilitators.
“We often visit groups of farmers, but we didn’t have sufficient knowledge of how to effectively operate those groups. This training is so helpful as we have learn our tasks to help those smallhoder farmers. We exactly didn’t know the ability of those we serve due to the lack of sufficient knowkedge but after we have received the package from this training, we hope that we will be able to help farmers and their facilitators in general.” She said.
Niyireba Remy Titien, master trainer in livestock said that milk collection centers should be an answer for farmers due to this training of managers. “We ask MMCs managers to collaborate with facilitators in groups of farmers, to see what is missing so that they produce milk in quantity and quality. We expect milk collection center to be an answer for famers.
Those MCCs Managers will help them in sharing knowledge on feeding cows, cow’s health and improving all daily life of cows purposely to increase milk production.” In addition, MCC managers should put more effort in groups of farmers as where they collect milk from them. “It’s in this context that we encourage them to put more effort in collaborating with the farmers as their source of milk. If groups of farmers are working well, milk production will be increased”.
The training which gathered around 80 people from 27th to 28th, covered theoretical and practical topics such as: Livestock Farmer field (L-FFS) approach and methodology, Implementation of Dynamic Dairy Management (DDM) and L-FFS approaches, Informatin on L-FFS core activities and L-FFS implementation arrangements under RDDP. The practical topics scheduled to be done in fields/cowsheds of existing Livestock farmer field school groups in Rwamagana and Gishwati.
Rwanda Dairy Development Project (RDDP) is working in 12 districts of the country (Nyanza, Ruhango, Huye, Gicumbi, Burera, Musanze, Nyagatare, Kayonza, Rwamagana, Rutsiro, Nyabihu and Rubavu), working with farmers to increase milk production.
In those district, RYAF is assigned to 46 MCC with young managers in MCC management and 30 Veterinary technicians in Mastitis control program at Gishwati milk shed. All those teams were providing extensions services to farmers. On the side of RYAF, L-FFS groups is the opportunity of letting farmers to do their own research as group and go back to adopt in their homes. We hope that this training will help us in strengthening the way we are collaborating with L-FFS groups with the target of increasing the quantity and quality of raw milk supplied to MCC.
At the end of the training, RYAF was committed to identify the new facilitators and re-establish new L-FFS/DDM groups in Gishwati milk sheds based on 10 closest farms as the existing L-FFS/DDM groups were not operating well due the fact that its members were come from scattered farms.
By RYAF Communication Team