During the stakeholders meeting held today Tuesday March 27 at Hilltop hotel in Kigali organized by the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), Dr. Christine Kanyandekwe its (RAB) the Deputy Director General said the Government will focus of training dealers in animal resources and products so as to increase the country’s foreign income.
Kanyandekwe made the remarks while officiating at a meeting with scores of meat and animal products dealers in Kigali city
“We (government) want this sector to meet the demands of meat and animal skin supply in the region. The market has so far expanded to DR Congo, and Congo Brazzaville and demand for Rwandan products is high” she said:
She said this demand can only be satisfied if we hygiene and quality standards of meat, hides and skins are met.
The meeting was also attended by officials from the Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS), Kigali City Council (KCC), veterinarians from all sectors in Kigali city, the Inspection Directorate in Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI), Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Rwanda National Police (RNP).
Stakeholders discussed Legal structures and ministerial guidelines which need to be followed the dealers. Specifically, they discussed the guidelines No.005/2006, 002/2006, 004/2006 – which establish the setting up butcheries, licensing transportation of meat and animal product businesses, and necessities of opening up abattoirs respectively.
Laurent Kimararungu, the President of Satra Kicukiro Cooperative of animal products, said that the guidelines are important but the reality on the ground is very different in terms of applicability.
“It is better these guidelines are reviewed and amended basing on practical experiences. There is a major problem of transport, time limitations and costs incurred in the process of observing the guidelines” Kimararungu argued.
He cited that the limitation on the number of cows required to be transported in a truck; only 15 heads of cattle per truck which doesn’t make economic sense—doesn’t match the expenses involved.
Another concern is about limitation on the time of transporting animals—6pm, yet it takes longer hours to transport cattle from distant places.
Vincent Niyiragira, the RAB Inspector of Animal resources said that the issues to do with hygiene and standards are the major problems facing meat dealers and has greatly affected the sector’s revenue and quality of animal products.