With a high demand for dairy products and a favorable climate, Rwanda is an ideal destination for dairy businesses. The country boasts a young, growing population that is becoming more health-conscious and willing to pay for quality dairy products.
The dairy sector holds strategic significance in Rwanda’s pursuit of sustainable development goals, with potential contributions to poverty reduction and enhanced food and nutrition security. The government has invested significantly to transform the sector from subsistence farming to a modern, business-oriented industry, aiming to meet local dairy product demand and generate surpluses for the regional market. Rwanda has witnessed impressive growth rates in the dairy sector, emerging as a notable player in the regional industry. However, productivity and quality levels remain lower compared to regional leaders like Kenya. The Dairy Master Plan outlines two systems for growth: the ‘Improved Family Dairy’ focused on small-scale farming, and the ‘Commercial Specialized Dairy’ emphasizing high-input, high-productivity systems. While the Family Dairy system dominates, producing 97% of the milk, both systems are targeted for strengthening to achieve ambitious growth targets.
Challenges in the Dairy sector
Challenges in the dairy sector include low milk production per cow, poor raw milk quality, limited access to essential extension services in dairy farming, insufficient organizational structures for effective marketing and input/service access, additionally, well-established processing facilities and an underdeveloped market for dairy products an underdeveloped market for dairy products are absent. These obstacles collectively hinder the sector’s growth and efficiency.
Despite challenges, there are opportunities in various facets of the dairy sector, including dairy production (such as commercial feed and fodder production, AI services, and genetics), dairy processing (involving processing machinery, cold chain logistics, and storage), and business development (including the premium product market and establishing milk zones). Dutch expertise can play a crucial role in supporting the development of Rwanda’s dairy sector.
For further details on the opportunities, download the report. Reach out to TRAIDE Rwanda if you need more information at [email protected].