Rwanda seeks to enhance poultry meat production from the current 30,000 tonnes per year to 100,000 tonnes within the next five years.
This was revealed by Dr Christine Kanyandekwe, the head of Animal Resources Department at Rwanda Agriculture Development Board (RAB).
Among the strategies to achieve this target include better poultry management practices like proper feeding, effective disease management, and networking among poultry farmers to scale up best practices, among others. The planned interventions is good news for poultry farmers who for a long time have grappled with issues of poor skills and capacity to practice modern poultry farming.
If the plan is implemented in partnership with all key stakeholders, it will consequently see fortunes of the sector double or even triple as planned in line with the government's Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation (PSTA4), which will run from 2018 until 2023.
However, for this to be achieved on time, government should prioritize capacity building of poultry farmers to empower them with modern poultry farming practices. If poultry farmers are mobilized in groups and fully empowered, the poultry sector production will get the necessary boost.
Skills gap is also still a big challenge in the sector. For example, in 2013, Duterimbere cooperative from Rwamagana District lost over 700 birds out of 900 chickens it was rearing for meat. The cause of this problem was lack of skills in effective poultry farming.
With regular training and extension visits of poultry farmers, such incidents will be avoided. Also there is need to do more in terms of producing affordable and quality feeds for poultry farmers.
With renewed efforts spearheaded by Rwanda Agriculture Board, the poultry sector contribution to national development will drastically shoot up as Rwanda's overall meat production will be boosted by increased production of poultry meat.
But the success of this strategy will largely depend on the concerted effort of all stakeholders.