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Farmers set for Africa’s largest dairy exhibition in Kigali

Dairy farmers from Africa and beyond are set to convene in the Rwandan capital Kigali for a major dairy conference and exhibition scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 2, says Rwanda ministry of agriculture and animal resources.


Addressing a news conference on Wednesday ahead of the meeting, Jean Claude Kayisinga, permanent secretary in the Rwandan ministry of agriculture and animal resources said the continental conference will seek solutions to the industry’s challenges of competitiveness and sustainability.

"It will create a platform for dairy farmers to share ideas and explore new technologies towards enhancing milk production across the continent. The conference will enable Rwandan dairy co-operative leaders, individual farmers as well as dairy investors to meet and interact with dairy equipment makers for better deals," he added.

Milk production in Rwanda increased from 50,000 metric tonnes in 2000 to over 710,000 metric tonnes in 2016, and the country’s milk production and products generated 1.2 million U.S. dollars last year.

The three-day meeting organized by the Eastern and Southern Africa Dairy Association (ESADA) will bring together about 500 delegates, including 130 exhibitors from more than 40 countries from Africa and beyond.

According to the organizers, the meeting will deliberate issues on taxation on capital equipment which has been identified as a major challenge to the growth of the dairy industry on the continent.

Peter Ngaruiya, executive director, ESADA said that the dairy farmers will network and meet face to face with industry leaders from around the world during the forum.

"It will be a great opportunity for farmers to experience the game changing technologies and solutions that will enable them to increase milk production capacity. The conference will highlight strategies to boost dairy production, quality, trade and market access," he noted.

Ngaruiya stated that dairy products and equipment exhibitors will also get an opportunity to grow their client’s portfolio as well as showcase their products and services for trade.

According to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, about 150 million households around the world are engaged in milk production. Milk provides relatively quick returns for small-scale producers and is an important source of cash income.

In most developing countries, milk is produced by smallholders, and milk production contributes to household livelihoods, food security and nutrition. However, milk production in Africa is growing more slowly than in other developing regions, because of poverty and adverse climatic conditions in some countries.

Jimirasire

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