AU-IBAR is providing support to small-scale farmers in Rwanda by strengthening capacities of the dairy value chain in Rwanda through technology utilization and improved animal management.
The support, under the sponsorship of the European Union, is being made through several activities notably:
1. Assessing the types of milk handling, transportation, and storage facilities in participating cooperatives;
2. Identifying priority training needs as well as critical challenges to their businesses;
3. Training members of the women and youth cooperatives on milk collection, milk hygiene, milk handling, and storage through technology utilization and improved management practices;
4. Equipping women and youth cooperatives involved in milk collection, handling, and selling in Kayonza and Nyabihu Districts through technology utilization and improved management practices;
In line with the scheduled activities, AU-IBAR is currently conducting a training of trainers workshop from 17-21 May 2021, targeting women and youth milk sellers, processers, and national extension officers. Several key results are expected from this action, such as the compilation of an inventory of different types of milk handling, transportation, and storage facilities; Identification of gaps in skills and equipment of Women and youth cooperatives involved in milk collection, handling, and marketing in Nyabihu and Kayonza Districts; and skill development for extension agents and members of cooperatives on milk hygiene, handling, quality assurance and marketing through technology utilization and improved management practices.
Speaking during the official opening of the capacity building workshop, AU-IBAR’s Officer in Charge, Mr. Talal Kishlaf noted the importance of capacitating smallholders being involved in the dairy value chain through training programmes in modern technologies and innovations. He particularly noted that strengthening farmer’s capacities ensures that they can appropriately utilize additional skills in technology to boost production and productivity.
The training comes at a reasonable time, given the impact of COVID-19 on milk processing and trade. AU-IBAR is contributing towards efforts being made at the national level to address such gaps, such as efforts being made by Rwanda National Dairy Platform (RNDP) and the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) are developing different interventions to improve milk quality and markets.
Overall, the training will also promote better standards in a sector that informal traders dominate. As a result, of this intervention, AU-IBAR’s OIC further noted that the training of trainers’ workshop would be the catalyst to boost key stakeholders into practical utilization and uptake of knowledge systems, thus diving an increase in the dairy livestock value chain.