Farmers from Kayonza District in Mwili Sector thanks the efforts by the Government of Rwanda through the project initiated by Rwanda Dairy Development Project (RDDP) in partnership with Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) to build sustainable cowsheds aiming at increasing dairy products.
The general cowshed is located in Rugeyo village, Kageyo Cell, Mwili Sector, Kayonza District in the Eastern Province of Rwanda.
In May 2019, almost 40 households from Rugeyo model village were given 40 cows in line with the Government’s Girinka Programme to support them with social development programmes. This village also hosts 52 poor families from Ubudehe 1&2 social categories.
From MAY 2019 until now on June 18, 2020, the cows were reproduced and reached to 54 cows and among them 10 calves were given to other needy households.
Farmers said these cows changed their living conditions in terms of finance comparing to the period when they did not have cattle.
Francoise Mukamwiza, one of the beneficiaries said that the cows they were given helped them to come together as they grown them in the same cowshed. She continued saying that they gained milk for their children.
“Besides the nutrition improvement for our children, we managed to reduce poverty as we take the part of the produce to the KAGEYO Milk Collection Center (MCC) and get money.
Jean Baptiste Nkundabatware, another farmer said his cow is 860 kgs weights. He explained that the good health of his cow is due to the advice and training they were given by RYAF veterinary doctors in partnership with RDDP Project.
John Migambi, another farmer who is also the leader of Kageyo cowshed reiterated that there is a tremendous improvement after these interventions.
“a veterinary helped us to establish a committee that is leading the cowshed and he increased efforts in its hygiene. He treats our cows when sick, he also tackled a problem of insemination because we used to wait for the sector’s veterinary and we could end up missing him.” Migambi said, adding that the veterinary doctor of RYAF helped them t raise dairy production.
Dieudonne Mugwaneza, RYAF staff in charge of livestock in Kageyo cowshed said:” I was sent by RYAF in partnership with RDDP Project in January 2020 to help farmers in this cowshed. I first of all helped them to establish a strong committee that brought them together as they were scattered before, we also managed to improve on hygiene through a weekly umuganda community work in and around the cowshed. I partnered with an investor to make a dumping facility; we managed to make artificial insemination to 26 cows, to follow up on them and to cater for calves.
We set up the initiative to wash cows using a special pesticide in order to prevent them from illnesses. We vaccinated cows, we gave them anti-intestinal worms medicines and we vaccinated them against Tsetse fly.
He also said that he helped farmers to test Mastitis disease that affect lactating cows where 27 cows were tested and 10 among them were sick (37%) and they were treated and cured. He also contributed in planting grasses. He added that these interventions helped to increase dairy production from 3000 Litters to 3600 Litters since January 2020 now.
Farmers thanked this kind of partnership that helped them to increase dairy production. However, they requested for further interventions like expansion of the cowshed, increase of land for grasses, helping them to afford medicines and compensating some whose cows died in fresh days after they received them.
Cowshed initiative was initiated by the government of Rwanda in 2006 in line with reducing cow disorder in various areas of the country and increasing quality and quantity of dairy products. This also aimed at fighting malnutrition, helping farmers and to adopt zero grazing initiative.
To make the initiative successful, the government through Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Board (RAB) and its project RDDP, signed an MoU collaboration with RYAF to help farmers get young veterinary professionals to help farmers in proper management of cowsheds, daily feeding cows, hay storage making and treatment of cows among others.
FROM RYAF Communication Team