Volume 2 No: 19_2018: Innovation Opportunities in Milk Production in Rwanda

Download a full copy: Volume 2 No: 19_2018: Innovation Opportunities in Milk Production in Rwanda


The importance of dairy subsector in Rwanda’s economic development cannot be gainsaid given that it is lined up to provide pathways out of poverty for large numbers of players along its value chain development. In Rwanda, 68.2% of all households raise some type of livestock, cattle being the most commonly raised by many households (47%). Although the Rwanda’s national milk production has remained well below levels that can sustainably enhance its contribution to economic development, it is nevertheless recognized to have potential for enormous contribution to food security, nutrition and employment. The overall objective of this research was to undertake a rapid milk value chain analysis toward identifying innovation opportunities to boost the milk production in Rwanda. It is noted that milk and dairy products play important roles in human nutrition in diversifying diets. They provide energy dense and high quality proteins and micronutrients. While Rwanda produces an average of 188 million litres of milk annually, it is observed (from 2000-2013) that its production is very low as compared with other EAC countries. Milk production in Rwanda is faced with many constraints among which prevalence of poor quality indigenous cattle breeds, limited land sizes and good quality pastures, low milk demand and limited markets are key. Milk production VCA conducted at the Mudende Milk IP indicate that the chain starts with input supply to small-holder IP farmers as the main players in producing and partially marketing the milk to processors in local and urban markets. All other factors considered, innovation opportunities exist that can boost milk VC in Rwanda for enhanced socio-economic benefits of the VC actors. The identified opportunities include boosting milk production through improved cattle breeds and animal nutrition, introduction of small and medium scale processors, development of business hub models around MCCs, and consumer sensitization and school programs to boost milk demand.

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