RWANDA – Rwanda has a budget of US$3.13m for the implementation of standardized measurement technology during the sales of livestock to reduce discrepancies and unfair pricing, which negatively impacts both buyers and sellers.

According to the traders, livestock body weight is the basis for determining ration amounts and sale prices. However, in informal direct negotiations during which livestock is not weighed, visual assessment is the only method used to judge the price.

Innocent Rwabagabo, one of the cattle traders, said a seller or buyer must have negotiating power or a strong flow of information on the livestock market, lest he/she leaves the auction unsatisfied.

He added that currently there is no way for actors in the business to know whether the weight of the animal they are buying is accurate or not.

“The discrepancies in weight estimation based on visual appearance in the Eastern Province have been largely influenced by the existing social network, brokers, and other actors in the livestock trading industry,” Rwabagabo lamented.

Johnson Ntigurirwa, a butcher in Kayonza District, also noted that visual assessment of beef cows during trading has occasionally led to losses in my business.

To address the concerns raised by actors in the livestock trading business, Jean Leonard Sekanyange, Gatsibo District Vice Mayor in charge of Economic Development, has allocated over Rwf 53m to buy a mobile weighing scale at the Rwimbogo and Kabarore livestock auction markets.

Both investments in the livestock trading business aim at cushioning the traders from losses by offering transparency in weight measurement.

Rwanda seeks to address professional shortage in aquaculture

Meanwhile, the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Board (RAB) is gearing up to launch a ‘farmer field school’ program aimed at addressing the lack of professional personnel in the fishing industry.

Aligned with the country’s Vision 2050, which seeks to transition from subsistence to commercial aquaculture, the farmer field school (FFS) will be a significant step toward achieving this goal.

Themistocle Munyangeyo, the Managing Director of Fine Fish Ltd, expressed the need for the government to establish more fish farming schools to train professionals.

He recounted the losses incurred by the company, emphasizing the importance of practical training rather than theoretical knowledge, as even university graduates have caused extensive damage to harvests.

Solange Uwituze, the Deputy Director General in charge of Animal Resources Research and Technology Transfer at RAB assured that the new strategy aims to boost annual fish production from 4,000 tonnes to 80,620 tonnes through aquaculture by 2035.

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