Celebrating World Milk Day for the benefits of dairy milk and farmers

World Milk Day was first designated by the FAO in 2001.June 1 was a date because many countries were already celebrating a milk day during that time of year.

The Day provides an opportunity to focus attention on milk and raise awareness of dairy’s part in healthy diets. Responsible food production and supporting livelihoods and communities. And supported by FAO data showing that more than one billion people’s livelihoods are supported by the dairy sector and that dairy is consumed by more than six billion people globally. The fact that many countries choose to do this on the same day lends additional importance to individual national celebrations and shows that milk is global food.

Via her tweeter wall, Rwanda Minister of agriculture and animal resources Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana wished all Rwandans a good world milk day and thanked all farmers, milk transporters, processors and trades for their great work in increasing milk production in Rwanda.

In Rwanda milk production was at 649,330 MT per year and it has increased to 816,791MT in 2018 and the consumption per capital was at 68 liters’ in 2018.

MINAGRI estimates, the increase was due to combined efforts to improve genetic of local cattle breeds through artificial insemination Girinka project that offers cross breeds and dairy breeds to poor families, as well improving nutrition of cows.

The Government of Rwanda through in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) established RDDP (Rwanda Dairy Development Project) of 53 billion to increase milk production and support subsequent value chain.

In August, through RDDP, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources started renovation of 60 milk collection Center (MCCs) in 12 districts an exercise that will cost 945,068,433 Rwandan Francs. In addition to that MCCs also needed equipments for milk collection testing and cooling.

In order to strengthen the quality safety of milk farmers are being supported to access milk cans and coolers and mitigate challenges they used to face in insuring the quality of milk from their home to milk collection centers So far 4000 Milk cans have been received by farmers.

Starting from June 2019 another round of 16,050 milk cans will be accessible to farmers across the country. These milk cans includes 7600 of liters 41 liters ,1000 of 20 liters ,1500 of 40 liters and 1800nof 50 liters. Among these Gishwati milk shed farmers will be given 3,465 milk can in total.

In addition to that 25 milk coolers will also given to milk collection centers in June 2019. The total coast of the equipments that are being given to farmers and MCCs is USD 1,396,415.

Farmers are contributing 20% and the government is supporting the rest of the cost of these equipments

To date 15 milk transporters have been licensed while small milk transporters who have been licensed are 156 milk collectors (Abacunda) cooperatives have been formed.

In line with raising milk production, Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) through RDDP support trains farmers on new model to fight Mastitis and best ways to handle their cow’s health, RYAF also has built a strong team that cater for cows and milk production including MCC Associate managers working at MCC countrywide and they are responsible for MCCs management as well as markets for milk.

From RYAF Communication Team

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