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Rwanda Set To Get First Powdered Milk Factory

Photo courtesy: Tastycraze.com

A new powdered milk factory set to go under construction in Rwanda is expected to dramatically boost profit for the country’s livestock subsector.

The plant is estimated to cost around Rwf37 billion in investment, according to information from TRIOMF East Africa – a joint venture firm owned by South African and Rwandan investors, its majority shareholder.

Construction of the plant is expected to have started by the end of this year, and it will take a year for the factory to be completed, said Antoine Juru Munyakazi, Executive Chairman of TRIOMF East Africa.

According to information from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the installed capacity of that factory will allow it to process 252,000 litres per day.

The planned factory is also the first of its kind in Rwanda in that it will be producing powered milk, something that is unprecedented in the country.

Powdered milk or milk powder has a far longer shelf life than liquid milk and does not need to be refrigerated, facilities that are not readily available everywhere.

Pierre-Célestin Hakizimana, the president of IAKIB – a dairy farmers’ cooperative in Gicumbi District, said that IAKIB collects 38,000 litres of milk per day, while it supplies 15,000 litres of it to Inyange Industries.

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“We were struggling to get an additional market for our produce. This factory would be a relief for us as it will enable us to get a ready market for our produce,” he said pointing out that, overall, the cooperatives in Gicumbi District collect some 95,000 litres of milk per day.

“We were planning to increase the size of our cattle by introducing highly productive cow breeds, but we were discouraged by lack of market/factory,” he said expressing that there are also other milk products that lack ready buyers in neighboring districts.

Because dairy powder is nonperishable, its cost of transportation and storage is significantly lower than its liquid counterpart, making it valuable to those living in developing countries.

“It will reduce imports of powdered milk, and drive up Rwanda’s export revenues. It will also support job creation, increase tax revenues,” he said.

“It can also be a solution to the milk produce of the dairy farmers, not only in Gicumbi, but also in other districts of Northern and Eastern Province,” he observed.

Rwanda produces more than 2.2 million litres a day, while only about 10 percent of it gets processed (in factories), according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources.

The dairy powder plant will be constructed in Byumba Sector of Gicumbi District in Northern Province.

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