RWANDA – Deputy Director General in charge of Animal Resources and Technology Transfer at Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board, Solange Uwituze, says that Rwanda is expected to be producing 1.25 million tonnes of milk annually by 2024.
Rwanda dairy sector plays a key role in generating income for most rural households and improving the country’s nutrition.
According to Solange Uwituze, Rwanda was producing 932,951 tonnes of milk per year as of 2021/2022.
The eastern and southern provinces of Rwanda have however been affected by the drought causing a reduction in milk production.
On average, the quantity of milk collected from 15 collection centers in Nyagatare decreased from 80,000-100,000 liters a day during the rainy season to 39,000 liters a day due to the drought and lack of water and forage.
The drop in production affected dairy processors like Inyange industries which saw its milk inception volumes drop from 80,000 liters per day to 20,000 liters during the dry season.
The country now wants to raise its milk production by 34% come 2024 so as to meet expected rise in market demand and also provide a steady stream of raw milk supply to a milk powder plant that is currently under construction in Nyagatare District.
Various interventions have been initiated to increase milk production countrywide and they include,forage cultivation, training farmers on appropriate forage preservation technologies, support to dairy farmers to access water harvesting and preservation equipment and maintenance of feeder roads.
Uwituze also said that the government is putting in an effort to increase milk production through artificial insemination same at the milk collection center level.
Recent cattle registration data indicates that 84% of the cattle population estimated at 1.4 million heads is made of improved dairy bread and/or crosses.
A significant portion of the expected surplus in milk production is expected to be processed by the new milk powder plant which is being developed by Inyange Industries
The facility is expected to have an annual capacity to produce 14 million kgs of milk powder, and 5460 tonnes of fat and will require 180,000 tonnes of raw milk per year.
The raw milk is primarily to be sourced from Nyagatare, a major milk shed in the country, and nearby milk sheds like Gicumbi.
Inyange has so far signed milk supply contracts with about 350 dairy farmers to ensure the milk powder plant needs are met.
As per the signed contracts, the farmers selected from Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Rwamagana, Kayonza, and Kirehe districts are obliged to individually increase milk production to 500 litres per day.