Originally published on August 21, 2015.
USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden (second from right) with farmers from Amizero Cooperative
On August 11, United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden visited our Rwanda Dairy Competitiveness Program II (RDCP II), which is funded by USAID. In Africa to announce seven new school feeding projects that have the potential to benefit more than 2.5 million children, Harden’s visit to Rwanda emphasized the link between nutrition and learning.
Harden toured Rugobagoba Milk Collection Center (MCC), where she observed milk delivery and quality testing. The group accompanying Harden included US Ambassador to Rwanda Erica Barks-Ruggles, USAID Rwanda Mission Director Peter Malnak and Rwanda Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources Geraldine Mukeshimana.
Afterward, Harden met with members from Amizero Cooperative, the majority of whom are women. The farmers discussed how the training provided by RDCP II, combined with the support the MCC has acquired through the program, have allowed them to earn more for their milk. As a result, their families are benefiting from improved nutrition and have the income to send their children to school.
“I commend you for taking part in dairy farming. I believe in women’s involvement in farming as a transformative approach in community development,” Harden told the cooperative members. She also encouraged them to act as good ambassadors in their communities by continuing their hard work to supply milk to the market, while also saving some for consumption at home.