CD4 shall support livestock farmers grouped in different cooperatives in Rwanda through training on cooperative management to acquaint them with local and international competencies.
The project will be funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
During the launch of the project; CD4 project manager, Willy Nyirigira revealed that the project strives for the development of cooperatives. The latter began operations towards the end of 2018 and will be implemented until 2023.
She explained that CD4 project training will start with maize cooperatives in Rwamagana district, Horticulture cooperatives in Bugesera district, both in Eastern province districts and Dairy cooperatives in Gicumbi district- Northern Province.
Nyirigira emphasized that Land O’Lakes specializes in dairy processing and animal nutrition.
She revealed that Land O’Lakes has been in Rwanda since 2007 where they have implemented various projects including dairy one.
Nyirigira said that Land O’Lakes and partners are aware that a large number of cooperatives already received Government support like the provision of equipment and building milk collection centers among others. She, however, explained that cooperative members can’t get good yields to reap from those businesses without proper management.
“Under this five-year program, we will draw emphasis on building the capacity of cooperatives in terms of leadership, financial and resources management, building competencies at the market, and working with financial institutions among others,” said Nyirigira.
The support will be provided in areas of priority based on outcomes of discussions with cooperative members.
Nyirigira unveiled that they will assess the performance and capacity of each beneficiary cooperative annually to ensure it emulates best practices.
“During the assessment, we first identify the area of priority in need of support and do it annually. This will help us to identify whether a cooperative has matured or not to expand the support to others,” she stressed.
CD4 project will also support cooperative agencies in Rwanda to improve the quality of service delivery.
Hakizimana Pierre Celestin, the president of IAKIB cooperative that brings together farmers in Gicumbi district involved in the dairy business said they expect increased income after acquiring training.
He said the training will enable members to realize their dreams of transforming the cooperative into a well-managed company.
"We have already benefited from Land O’Lakes support to meet standards of supplied milk," revealed Hakizimana.
The Managing Director of Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA), Prof. Harelimana Jean Bosco said the project of Land O’Lakes is expected to enhance cooperatives’ management and improve productivity.
"This five-year project is promising to bring transformations in the cooperative. You have seen that livestock owners in Gicumbi district have started demonstrating good performance. We want Cooperatives to catalyzing economy," he highlighted.
The five-year project will support 220 Cooperatives.
According to figures from RCA, Rwanda accounts to over 9,000 cooperatives with more than 5 million members.