RWANDA – Inyange Industries Limited, Rwanda’s leading agro-processing firm has announced plans to commission a US$45 million milk processing unit in the Nyangatare district.

The new factory is anticipated to begin operations in May 2023 and will have the capacity to process 650,000 litres of milk in liquid form into 50,000 kilogrammes of milk powder a day.

The site intends to supply the produced 50 tonnes of milk powder along with 150,000 litres of UHT-treated milk every day, according to James Biseruka, Inyange Industries General Manager in an interview with the New Times.

According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, the plant’s marketing plan includes securing an off-take contract from Africa Improved Foods (AIF), a local major food manufacturer, for 2,000 tonnes of milk annually.

However, only 20% of the factory’s production will be domestically supplied while the remaining 80% is intended for exportation to the countries of the East African Community (EAC), the East African Common Market and Southern (COMESA) and the Middle East.

The plant will rely on local farmers in the region and the adjacent communities to ensure a continuous and consistent supply of raw milk.

“We are mobilizing dairy farmers, and we started by signing contracts with 352 cattle herders in Nyagatare district,” Mr Biseruka said.

He also informed The New Times that almost Rwf9 billion (US$) will be going to farmers every month, as the minimum price to a farmer is Rwf300(US$) for a litre, which will play a crucial role in the sustenance of their livelihoods.

According to Biseruka, the company is also collaborating with government bodies such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Animals Resources to identify problems faced by dairy farmers and find a way to mitigate them.

They intend to help farmers effectively grow animal feed and store water for cattle consumption, especially during drought where shortages occur.

Farmers are currently reportedly producing and supplying 50 litres in a day, but as per the terms of the introduced contracts, they are obliged to supply 500 litres a day to the company.

The new site will provide a reliable and stable market for farmers which will motivate them to increase their yields.

The company intends to eventually have operations in all districts of the country and further down the line expand and export, particularly milk powder, to countries like Kenya, Egypt and countries in Asia.

The country as a whole recently announced to have exceeded their dairy processing targets by 1 million litres of milk on account of some initiatives put in place by the government, according to the Minister of Finance during the 2022-2023 national budget presentation.

The country had targeted to have 20,069,334 litres of milk delivered to processing plants in the first 6 months from July 2022 to January 2023. However, as of January 2023, about 21,066,384 litres of milk had been delivered to factories.

The growth of milk production is attributed to the livestock insurance programme, artificial insemination and cattle vaccination among other measures employed by the Ministry of Agriculture.

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