For quality milk and increase in milk production in the country, RYAF through the RDDP project support is working with different diary cooperatives at Milk Collection Center (MCCs) and local government by deploying Milk Collection Center (MCC) Associate Managers and Veterinary Technicians across 12 districts of project intervention. RYAF has so far deployed 46 MCC associate managers and 26 veterinary technicians.
The MCC associate managers and veterinary technicians will be providing support and facilitations in management of different diary cooperatives as well as help in the increment of milk production by the diary cooperatives and available communal cowsheds.
During a recent visit to different communal cowsheds and diary cooperatives that are supported by the RDDP project, RYAF staff identified challenges faced by members like diseases that affect cattle hence reducing milk production. Due to this, some MCCs are affected in the long run as there is reduction in the quality and quantity of milk supplied to the collection centers.
With the veterinary technicians that were deployed at each communal cowshed such as in Kayonza, Rwamagana and Rutsiro, there will be a close supervision of the cattle’s health and proper feeding of the livestock to ensure improvement in the quantity of milk production.
MCC managers will also ensure a smooth running of diary cooperatives, draw strategies to increase quantity of milk brought to the MCCs, work with cooperative members and local authorities to develop potential projects that will lead to the economic development of the cooperatives and its members.
Cooperatives such as CODAEGA in Rwamagana district under Gahengeri MCC is one of the model cooperatives that has registered several achievements, all thanks to RYAF through the RDDP project support.
After almost collapsing due to poor management, the cooperative says that after receiving a manager that was deployed by RYAF, its performance has improved. They have been able to buy all necessary standard equipment for quality milk storage. The cooperative receives to about 2,000 litres of milk every day, pays local insurance (Mituelli) for its members, they can access small loans from the cooperative, easily get medicines for treatment of their cattle and food such as maize flour which is sold and can be loaned to members anytime.
The cooperative looks forward to start milk processing plant, buy a car for transporting their milk to the buyers and buy a plot of land on which they will build a hotel.The current annual milk production in Rwanda is valued at approximately $162.4 million. Over the years, the government has made significant investments in the industry with the dairy sector being the fastest growing segment of the livestock sector in the country accounting for 10.5 percent of agricultural GDP.
Despite of the progress made in developing the dairy sector, there are still significant challenges such as limited support services like veterinary services, inadequate farmers’ knowledge of dairy cattle management among others.
However, the RDDP project came in to improve milk quality and quantity, farmer’s processing capacity through promotion of climate smart technologies and practices, support the development of dairy cooperatives to benefit from market driven production, processing and trading of dairy products.
From Commucation Team