The New Times (Kigali)

8 November 2012

Rwanda: Govt to Decentralise Artificial Insemination Programme

Government is building the capacity of livestock farmers to provide on-farm insemination services as part of efforts to address flaws resulting from ignorance in the administering of artificial insemination, the Minister of Agriculture said.

Dr Agnes Kalibata was this responding to Senate's concerns about the poor services of the programme.

The programme was introduced to properly manage the transition from the traditional cattle to modern ones to ensure increased milk production.

She admitted that artificial insemination department was lacking and government was spending a lot on subsidising it.

"Those involved were not smart enough but capacity is being built among farmers where on-farm training would be done for those who are able to administer the fertilisation," she said.

Fertilisation centres, she explained, would be set at sector level and both cooperatives and private investors would be empowered to effectively administer the insemination as government pulls out of the exercise.

On insufficient utilisationn of research findings as questioned by the lawmakers, the minister explained that they are decentralising the services up to the farmers' level, where some of them will be trained to effectively share information between themselves and a team of the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB).

She told the Upper Chamber that as a result of responding to research, they are now develop locally, 70 per cent of improved seeds used in the country and that the processing plant at Giti Prison in Northern Province was being expanded to meet the remaining shortfall.

Meanwhile, during the same session, Francois Kinimba, the Minister of Trade and Industry pointed out that by March 2013, commercial farmers will be planting on contract terms with factory owners specifying each others' role in terms of seeds supply, fertilisers and how much output at what price.

The ministers had been summoned by the Senatorial committee on economic development, chaired by Perrine Mukankusi, following the completion of its assessment tour of agriculture activities across the country.

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