Partipants at the Poultry Africa exhibition have appreciated new products, technologies and business opportunities shared at the two day event held in Kigali.
The exhibition that closed on Thursday was part of a conference that attracted over 70 companies specializing in poultry feeding technologies, processing, manufacturing and poultry veterinary services.
Edouard Ndekwe, a local poultry farmer, told Taarifa that he has greatly benefited from the different mechanisms and new technologies that he will apply to his 1,200 poultry farm.
“I used to feed my chicken using simple methods which made most of poultry feed go to waste. I did not know that there is this equipment that could carry feed for chicken. Now I have found out that the equipment, what I need is to use the technique, and I believe the product will be good.”
Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwanda’s minister of agriculture and animal husbandry, described event as is a rare opportunity to bring together poultry industry stakeholders across the value chain from to network and do business with players from around the world.
“This gathering is an occasion to forge partnerships, as we want our poultry players to be connected into the global trade. Such a get-together opens opportunities for our chicken industry players,” she said.
According to the ministry, Rwanda’s poultry population has grown at an average annual rate of 9% over the past seven years, from 3.5 million in 2010 to 7.6 million in 2016, with 69% of the population being local breeds while 31 % are raised in commercial poultry farms with exotic breeds.
Dr. Mukeshimana disclosed that “The vision of the poultry industry in Rwanda is to transform the largely substance to a more knowledge intensive market oriented sub-sector adding value to poultry products.”
The country has 27 large commercial poultry farmers raising between 20,000 and 40,000 layers, 108 mediums with 5,000 to 20,000 layers and 210 small commercial poultry farmers raising between 1,000 and 5, 000 layers.
Domestic production of eggs in Rwanda has increased at an average rate of 8 % rising from 80 million eggs in 2010 to 157.7 million eggs in 2016 due to the use of exotic layer breeds.
Poultry meat increased from 13,718 tons in 2010 to 18,900 in 2016. Rwanda has six animal feed factories in various parts of the country as well as three companies producing day old chicks that have previously been imported.
Francis Shyaka, is a manager at Rwachicks Company Ltd, a hatchery business in Kigali.
He says he has gained a lot from the modern poultry shelter facilities.
“We are expecting to get more exposure from these people who have come to exhibitor from the Netherlands, America and other countries because their technology is more advanced than ours. We will introduce what we have learnt to our farming to increase quality and production.”
Government encourages investors to take advantages of the poultry farming, due incentives it offers to boost production.
Currently, agricultural inputs and unprocessed raw materials are imported duty free whereas animal feed producers are exempted from paying the value added tax (VAT).
Poultry Africa Expo is the first of its kind to he hosted in Sub-Saharan.