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Projet: Emission Club de la Presse: "Urubuga rw’Itangazamakuru "

Activité:Talk show ″Urubugarw'itangazamakuru″ (Club de la presse)


  • IPGL

Milk shortages, price hikes bite as drought takes its toll

Kanyange Angelique currently pays over 60 per cent more on milk than he used to about two months ago.

The resident of Gasabo District is one of the many milk consumers feeling the pinch of the limited milk supply, which officials attributed to drought effects on dairy farming output.

"I have to pay Rwf500 on the same quantity of milk I used to buy at Rwf300. This is increasing the cost of living for me, and hindering my ability to make savings. But, because milk is my favorite drink, I accept to incur such a cost," she said in interview

Prices of unprocessed fresh milk went up from Rwf400 a litre about two months ago to Rwf600 currently in some parts of Kigali.

For processed fresh milk by Inyange Industries Ltd, the price of a half-litre (or 500ml) pack increased by 70 per cent, from Rwf500 to Rwf900 at present, in some parts of Kigali.

Some retailers told the reporter of Urubuga rw’Itangazamakuru  talk show that they are buying a box containing a dozen half-litre milk packs of Inyange milk at Rwf9,000 from distributors, up from Rwf5,000 previously.

"Apart from the milk being expensive, the supply is so limited that sometimes we lack it," one trader said

Milk production, supply drop

Dr. Eugene Niyonzima, the Head of Animal Resources Processing and Biotechnology Division at Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Board (RAB) said that  the observed shortage of milk supply is mainly attributable to the drought (characterized by the scarcity of forage and water for dairy cattle).

The drought period does significantly affect milk production particularly in Eastern Province, he indicated.

He said that the current data on milk aggregation indicate that the average quantity of milk collected from 15 milk collection centers (MCCs) in Nyagatare (a major milk shed in the country), has decreased from 80,000-100,000 liters a day during the rainy season (March-April) to reach 39,900 liters a day (July).

Ensuring sustainability

Based on data from RAB, Rwanda produced an average of 2.4 million liters of milk per day as of 2021. A big proportion of it is sold unprocessed to consumers, while only around 10 per cent of it is processed by dairy industrial units.

He indicated that during the fiscal year 2021/22, 4,558 Ha of forage were cultivated.

Regarding water scarcity, Niyonzima said that efforts are being deployed to enhance the access to water in dairy farms particularly in Nyagatare milk shed.

These include, among others, the support to dairy farmers for acquiring dam-sheets for water storage on a subsidized scheme, and the construction of boreholes to enhance farmer's accessibility to water [for cattle consumption].

In order to address forage scarcity, Niyonzima said that dairy farmers have been mobilized for the forage cultivation and storage in preparation for drought, adding that the Government subsidizes the costs of forage seeds.

The feeder roads in Gishwati milk shed are also being rehabilitated to allow a smooth collection of milk.





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