M a r k e t N e w s

Rwanda: Dairy Exports Cross Rwf9 Billion in 2016

Posted on : Tuesday, 13th December 2016

Rwanda's earnings from export of dairy products increased from $85,000 in 2012 to $11.5 million in 2016, Rwanda Dairy Competitiveness Programme II (RDCP II) Impact Report shows.

By 2016, according to the report, 78,000 additional litres of milk were being processed per day in Rwanda, helping meet a growing need for milk used in value added products.
This move brought the quantity of milk processed daily to 110,000 litres.
The report was released last week during the closure of dairy programme which ran from 2012 to 2016.
The $15 million 5-year programme's goal, funded by USAID, was to increase competitiveness of Rwandan dairy products in regional markets.
It was implemented by Land O'Lakes International. The first phase of the project was implemented since 2007 at a tune of $6 million.
Overall, improved production and better access to markets thanks to the support of the programme, led to an increase in farmer milk sales from $4.6 million to $66 million in 2016.
Farmers' income from dairy products increased by average 192 percent during the programme implementation, according to the report.
It also created over 12,000 new jobs and benefited over 63,000 individual Rwandans.
This, according to the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), Jean-Claude Kayisinga, contributed to poverty reduction through creation of employment as well as empowering women.
The programme was implemented in 17 districts of the country with focus on various pillars, including farm production and productivity, milk and dairy products quality, policy and enabling environment, market access, technologies and business services, demand for dairy products, investment promotion and export market development.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the programme, Dennis Karamuzi, the project's Chief of Party said since 2007 up to today, they witnessed transition from traditional cattle to an improved breed that has higher potential of production.
The programme also helped triple milk production. Figures from Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) show that milk production was over 710,000 tonnes against the set target of 723,831 tonnes by 2017.
"And therefore we have witnessed exponential growth registered in dairy exports over the years, which was all generated from local production," Karamuzi said.
"In our case, there has been recognition of the role of every player in the sector, including the informal trade. And so the government has been able to register revenues as a result of that booming business especially around the borders."
PS Kayisinga noted that the strategic vision of the transformation of Rwanda agriculture sector, one area of focus is to increase livestock products and agriculture exports through more private sector involvement, a move he said was embraced by RDCP II.
Increasing milk consumption
Kayisinga said that RDCP II boosted milk consumption through 'Shisha Wumva' 'Feel the Goodness' dairy consumption campaign which complemented Government's one Cup of Milk per Child programme.
It brought per capita consumption of milk to 59 litres which also contributes to reducing malnutrition.
Per capita consumption of milk increased from approximately 40 litres per year in 2012 to 59 litres by 2016. The target is about 80 litres by 2020, according to the National Dairy Strategy.
'Shisha Wumva' reached 1.6 million consumers, driving consumer demand for dairy products across the country.
It also raised awareness of people on the nutritional benefits of milk and milk products, according to officials.
"RDCP II has helped transform Rwanda's agriculture sector from subsistence farming to a value-added driven sector and RDCP II will continue to be a role model for what can be done within the sector," Kayisinga noted.
Karamuzi said that the programme also delivered over Rwf1.3 billion grant to different entities, including processors and milk collection centres, for equipment to advance their operations.
Noel Nsengumukiza, production manager at Zirakamwa Dairy, makers of yogurt and fermented milk, said that initially they could not process more milk because of low capacity equipment.
"We had cooling tank that could keep 1,000 litres of milk but later RCDP II provided us with a cooling tank with capacity of 2,500 litres. They also gave us a chiller that can help us to cool about 1,000 litres within about 15 minutes yet it could take about an hour using the previous chiller we had," he said.
"Initially, our factory had capacity to process 2,500 litres of milk per day, but after the equipment support from RDCP II, it can process 8,000 litres per day," Nsengumukiza noted, adding that they also got skills in making quality products.
The project officials stated that when the programme started [in 2012], 40 farmer-owned milk collection centres (MCCs) were collecting an average of 16.1 million litres of milk per year. By the programme close, the number of farmer owned MCCs had increased to 77 with 48.4 million litres of milk collected and marketed per year.
Dairy is an emerging growth industry now contributing 6 percent to the national overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Source : allafrica.com
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