Global actors in poultry industry are meeting in Kigali to discuss on the industry development on the African continent. Themed "Poultry Africa 2017," the 2-day event has brought together over 1000 key players in poultry industry mainly from Europe, North -America, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, to discuss the development of the poultry industry in Africa.
Speaking at this global event, the Minister of agriculture and animal husbandry Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, noted that this is a rare opportunity to bring together poultry industry stakeholders across the value chain from farmers, distributors, processors, food ingredient suppliers, packaging and equipment manufacturers, scientists, to network and do business with players from around the world.
"This is a great opportunity for us to explore new technologies and learn best practices from each other in a bid to increase our poultry productivity. Importantly, this gathering is an occasion to forge partnerships as we want our poultry players to be connected into the global trade. Such get-together opens opportunities for our chicken industry players", says Minister Mukeshimana. "The vision of the poultry industry in Rwanda is to transform the largely substance to a more knowledge intensive market oriented sub-sector adding value to poultry products.", she added.
The Government of Rwanda has identified poultry as one of the avenues that has a great potential to contribute to improving food security, income as well as to increasing GDP.
Rwanda's poultry population has grown at an average annual rate of 9% over the past seven years from 3.5 million in 2010 to 7.6 million in 2016 with 69% of the population being local breeds while 31 % are raised in commercial poultry farms with exotic breeds. The domestic production of eggs in Rwanda has increased at an average rate of 8 % rising from 80 million eggs in 2010 to 157.7 million eggs in 2016 due to the use of exotic layer breeds. Poultry meat increased from 13,718 tons in 2010 to 18,900 in 2016.
The country has 27 large commercial poultry farmers raising between 20,000 and 40,000 layers, 108 medium with 5,000 - 20,000 layers and 210 small commercial poultry farmers raising between 1,000 and 5, 000 layers.
There are six animal feed factories in various parts of the country as well as 3 companies producing day - old chicks that have previously been imported.
The Government keeps encouraging potential investors to take advantages of business opportunities available in Rwanda's poultry industry; given that it offers incentives to boost production where agricultural inputs and unprocessed raw materials are imported duty free in addition to animal feed producers being exempted from paying Value Added Tax (VAT).
'Poultry Africa 2017' comprises of leadership conference focusing on animal health issues and trade opportunities for Africa; Expo showcasing 70 international companies throughout the poultry production supply chain; and technical seminars offering solutions to everyday challenges on the poultry farmers.