The government of Rwanda has handed over management of Mukamira dairy processing and collection centre to Inyange Industries.
Construction of Mukamira dairy factory located in Gishwati,Nyabihu district began in 2013.
“What was making us delay was to look for an investor but now we have found one, we expect the processing to start immediately,” Francois Kanimba, Minister of trade told KT Press.
The new factory valued at Rwf 5 billion can process up to 40,000 liters of milk per day at full capacity. Inyange factory produces 15,000 liters per day.
Inyange Industries already has several milk collection centres across the country mainly in eastern province. Acquisition of the new Mukamira factory will increase milk collection to 1.4 Million liters from Gishwati and neighboring areas alone.
“Farmers are making losses through middle men who buy our milk at low price because farmers themselves cannot access the market,” said Eugene Shingiro, the district’s veterinary officer.
Government in 2013 entered into agreement with Inyange industries to set up collection centers across the country and buying from farmers.
The factory signed supply agreement with eastern province farmers which saw farmers reaping more from milk.
Dr Christine Kanyandekwe, Deputy Director General for Livestock at Rwanda Agriculture Board-RAB had last month indicated that the processing center will help reduce milk wastage along the value chain which was costing farmers in terms of incomes from milk sales.
Under the current arrangement, farmers in Gishwati sell their milk at about Rwf 100 per liter to middle men. Others opt to sell milk to neighbouring Congo at much lower price.
“We are happy that government has finally listened to our request to have the center completed,” Maniriho, a livestock farmer in Nyabihu who is under the livestock cooperative, UPROCENYA told KT Press on Thursday.
In February this year, the cooperative was still demanding over Rwf 30 million from middle men who reluctantly failed to pay farmers.
Rwanda’s milk production amounts to 710,000 metric tons (about 700 million liters) annually.
Every day, 1.5 million liters of milk and only 270,000 liters representing 18% is collected while less than 10% of it is processed.