Rwanda has vast amounts of Milk which remains untapped but presents a profitable opportunity for the private sector especially agro processing.
The Agriculture Ministry says that almost 80% of milk across the country is not collected for delivery to milk collection centres.
It is the wish of the Agriculture Ministry that the private investors consider processing this milk into various milk products that are of longer shelf life.
According to Dr. Rutagwenda Theogene the Director General of Livestock in the Ministry of Agriculture, “Milk that reaches the factories is less. 80% of the milk is sold illegally,” he said, adding that the current laws require that all milk be delivered to collection centres.
Dr. Rutagwenda has challenged private sector to invest heavily in milk products including cheese, yorghut and other products that require milk components.
He said that only 900,000 tons of milk are processed through factories annually.
However, farmers have expressed concerns that there are not enough milk collection centres across the country to handle the massive milk produced.
For example Ntabanganyimana Rachid the president of a cooperative of milk collectors in Gicumbi district says they can’t think of establishing milking processing factories when there are few collection centres.
Milk is a perishable product with short shelf life and yet most milk collection centres are of low handling capacity compared to milk produced by farmers.
In a related incidence, USAID has extended Rwf234million to support the Milk processing plant at Masaka sector in Kigali.
The plant will use the money to acquire modern equipment to boost its current capacity of processing only 4,000 litres of milk daily.
The masaka plant is currently producing an assortment of milk products.