Following The Chronicles story on an offer of $200,000 by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to buy 200 cows for a village in Bugesera district, the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) has issued the following statement.
Clarification on the story published by The Chronicles:
The $200,000 equivalent to 200 cows donated by the Prime Minister were received by the Government of Rwanda and channeled through Rwanda’s ONE COW PER POOR FAMILY Programme (Girinka) through which poor families are provided with cows to improve their welfare.
Out of that envelop, 47 cows were bought & given to residents of Rweru model village in Bugesera District; because the remaining 153 families had previously received cows through Girinka Program when when they were settled few months prior to the visit of the Prime Minister.
After this donation all the 200 families in Rweru IDP village had cows.
The balance of the envelop was used to build infrastructure for water supply, sanitation and hygiene, disease control, and feeding for all 200 hundred cows on that site.
The Indian High Commissioner to Rwanda was informed of this arrangement when he visited Rweru IDP village.
The low milk production is attributed to a long drought that struck Bugesera District last year causing shortage of animal feeds in that area.
For short term mitigating strategy: we are buying feeds from elsewhere and trying to sustain these cows while waiting for a good harvest of forage.
Long term strategy: we are helping farmers to cultivate drought tolerant forage as we teach them how to feed agriculture byproducts such as Rice and Maize bran and straw available in the area.