Originally published on November 6, 2014.
Rwanda, a landlocked country with a population estimated at 10.5 million people, boasts 1.3 million cattle with a milk production estimated at 450 million liters per year. The bulk of the dairy activities take place in rural Rwanda, which accommodates about 88 percent of the country’s population.
Since Rwanda’s first ever Dairy Public-Private Dialogue in January 2013, a program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – the Rwanda Dairy Competitiveness Program II (RDCP II)
– decided that the inclusion of rural dairy actors was crucial to their efforts to spur growth in the country’s dairy industry. In collaboration with Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) and provincial government leaders, RDCP II, which is implemented by Land O'Lakes International Development, held similar dialogues in four key milk sheds of the Rwanda’s countryside, including territories in Eastern, Northern, Southern, and the only peri-urban milk shed – Kigali.
The sessions provided a venue to advocate for and promote collaboration between the provincial and district authorities and the dairy private sector players in order to position the sector as an important driver for the province’s economic growth. The results of this would contribute toward the country’s economic progression.
It is important to continue having such dialogue to assess opportunities, strength, threats and weaknesses of interventions in the dairy value chain.
The Executive Secretary, Southern Province, Madam Jeanne Izabiliza, expressed her gratitude towards the initiative of bringing together all dairy stakeholders to a shared platform. “It is important to continue having such dialogue to assess opportunities, strength, threats and weaknesses of interventions in the dairy value chain, particularly in the Southern Province and the country at large,” she said.
Provincial leaders appealed for continued collaboration to devise strategic interventions and authorities created milk shed dairy working groups with representation from all districts. This platform will address issues affecting the whole dairy value chain collaboratively.