Some livestock farmers from Gicumbi district have expressed disappointment over big losses incurred due to lack of markets for their milk and eventual failure to breed their animals.
Gicumbi is among districts of the country which adopted the government’s policy of zero grazing and artificial insemination and is today among the leading producers of milk in the country, selling l more than 65,000 liters of milk a day.
Farmers say lack of market forces some of them to sell their milk on black markets at lower prices.
Gakumba Straton, a livestock farmer has told IGIHE that the milk from the evening session especially lacks market.
“I can milk at least 47 liters in the morning and more 30 liters in the evening. Imagine such quantity of milk obtained in the evening with no market, yet we need to buy feeds especially during dry spells. Having a market for evening milk would improve our incomes,” he said.
A veterinary officer with Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) in charge in Northern Province, Dr Shayaka Innocent has said the issue is getting addressed.
“The matter is well known. It goes beyond Gicumbi district.We hope the milk processing plant based in Mukamira in Nyabihu district will solve the matter when its construction is completed. Businessmen will be mobilized to invest in milk processing activities to keep in tandem with livestock sector growth in Rwanda,” he said.
Today, Gicumbi districts has 72,765 cows.