RWANDA – Rwandese government has introduced a vaccination program for chicks at hatcheries as a step to safeguard the poultry industry.

The program is a proactive measure to prevent the spread of deadly diseases that have negatively impacted poultry production.

According to Solange Uwituze, the Deputy Director General of the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board, diseases can rapidly spread and cause mortality rates of up to 100% within the first few days.

“The hatchery vaccinations are intended to increase poultry meat production from 40,184 tonnes to 46,464 tonnes by 2024,” she emphasized.

A Poultry farmer, Clarisse Manishimwe from the Musanze district, expressed the need for hatchery vaccinations, as poultry farmers have been incurring substantial losses due to diseases.

She explained that farmers were burdened with high treatment costs when the chicks were not vaccinated at the hatchery level.

“Vaccinating the chicks at the hatchery will ensure healthier chicks are supplied to poultry farmers, benefiting both the farmers and the industry,” Clarisse added.

Remy Twagirimana, the coordinator of the US$4 million “Prevent Project” funded by Ceva Santé Animale, a French enterprise, revealed that Rwanda is one of nine countries to benefit from the vaccination initiative.

Under the initiative, farmers will only need to vaccinate poultry once at the hatchery, as opposed to the previous requirement of four vaccinations,” she noted.

Twagirimana further explained that early vaccination would provide immediate benefits to the chicks and the entire flock.

Additionally, the project is set to enhance hatchery standards and install vaccination machines to further improve the efficacy of the program.

The vaccination program will initially be implemented in five hatcheries across Rwanda, representing a significant step forward in protecting the nation’s poultry industry and ensuring sustainable growth.

Since 2019, Rwanda aimed to triple poultry production in a forecast period of 5 years

To achieve this goal, Rwanda has implemented various interventions to bolster poultry production, including a partnership for a resilient and inclusive small livestock markets program.

This program aims to support the production of small stock, including poultry and covers aspects of the poultry value chain, from primary production to the handling of poultry meat.

Last year, Uzima Chicken Ltd, one of the largest chick-producing firms in the country inaugurated the export of day-old chicks to different African countries.

According to Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), the move was a good development as the country continues boosting the poultry sector.  

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.