REPUBLIC OF RWANDA Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources
Technical Assistance for Institutional Component of Support Project to the Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture in Rwanda (PAPSTA)
Strategic Plan for Animal Nutrition Improvement Programme for Rwanda
14 April 2009
T S T
N E N A
X X X X
R R R
A T A
HTSPE Limited Thamesfield House, Boundary Way, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP2 7SR United Kingdom, Tel +44 (0) 1442 202400; E mail; email@example.com, Http://www.htspe.com MATRIX Development Consultants, Kenya Premier Consulting Group Ltd., Rwanda
TA Support to Institutional Component of Support Project to Strategic Plan for Transformation of Agriculture Rwanda Animal Nutrition Strategy – Final Report – 14 April 2009. HTSPE Job No: 1007032
ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
District Livestock Officer
Dry Matter Intake
Democratic Republic of Congo
Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy
Frontline Extension Worker
Gross Domestic Product
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points
Heifer Project International
Association of Farmers of Rwanda
International Centre for Research in Agro Forestry
Rwanda Resource Institute for Agriculture
Luxemburg International Development Agency
Lutheran World Federation
Monitoring and Evaluation
Milk Collection Centre.
Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources.
Master of Science
National Agricultural Policy
TA Support to Institutional Component of Support Project to Strategic Plan for Transformation of Agriculture Rwanda Animal Nutrition Strategy – Final Report – 14 April 2009. HTSPE Job No: 1007032
Non Governmental Organization
Non Protein Nitrogen
National Research Council
Dairy Cattle Development Project
Support Project for the Strategic Plan for Transformation of Agriculture
Mutara Development Project
Umutara Rural Development Project
Doctor of Philosophy
Strategic Plan for Transformation of Agriculture
Rwanda Agricultural Board
Rwanda Agriculture Development Authority
Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority
Rwanda Bureau of standards
Rumen Degradable Protein
Send a Cow Rwanda
Season from September to December
SONARWA Rwanda Insurance Company SOPAB
Society for Production of Animal Feeds
Rwanda Society for Animal Feed Production
Value Added Tax
Yield (Milk Yield)
TA Support to Institutional Component of Support Project to Strategic Plan for Transformation of Agriculture Rwanda Animal Nutrition Strategy – Final Report – 14 April 2009. HTSPE Job No: 1007032
Table of Contents
1. Executive Summary ..................................................................................... 10
2. Introduction .................................................................................................. 18 2.1 Strategy development – constraints ............................................................. 22
3. Overview of Strategic Plan for Animal Nutrition Improvement Programme in Rwanda ......................................................................................................... 24 3.1 Livestock Development Sub-sector and Growth Trends .............................. 24 3.2 Potentials and Challenges ............................................................................ 30 3.3 Plans and Strategies for Livestock Subsector Growth.................................. 34 3.3.1 Policies and Strategic Plans ...................................................................... 34 3.3.2 Major Stakeholders ................................................................................... 35 3.4 Animal Nutrition and Feeding ....................................................................... 36 3.4.1 Feed and Water Requirements ................................................................. 36 3.4.2 Requirements for Lactating Cows ............................................................. 40 3.4.3 Calf Nutrition ............................................................................................. 40 3.4.4 Nutritional Assessment and Planning ........................................................ 44 3.4.5 Water Requirements ................................................................................. 45 3.4.6 Effect of Poor Nutrition and Feeding ......................................................... 47 3.5. Rationale for Animal Nutrition Improvement Strategy.................................. 48
4. Current Situation of Animal Nutrition in Rwanda ...................................... 52 4.1 Eastern Province .......................................................................................... 54 4. 2 Central Plateau ........................................................................................... 57 4.3 Western and Northern Highlands ................................................................. 60
4.4 Feed Resources, Availability, Utilization and Conservation.......................... 64 4.5 Compounded Feed and Quality Control ....................................................... 67 4.6. Water........................................................................................................... 69 4.7 Challenges and Proposals for Improvement of Animal Nutrition .................. 70 4.7.1 Cattle Feeding Practices ......................................................................... 705 4.7.2 Data from Feed Survey Questionnaire ...................................................... 70 4.7.3 Fodder Quality and Quality Improvement .................................................. 70 4.7.4 Fodder Seed Multiplication ........................................................................ 70 4.7.5 Farmer Organisations................................................................................ 70
5. Institutional and Legal Framework ............................................................. 79 5.1 Legal and Policy Framework ........................................................................ 79 5.2 Extension, Information and Training ............................................................. 41 5.3 Research System, Training and Development ............................................. 86 5.4 Technological and Financial Environment .................................................... 88 5. 5 Socio-economic and cultural environment ................................................... 90 5. 6 Stakeholders and Collaboration .................................................................. 92 5. 7 Environment and Gender Issues ................................................................. 93 5. 8 SWOT for Animal Nutrition .......................................................................... 93
6. Strategic Issues, Objectives and Strategies .............................................. 97 6.1 Fodder and Compounded Feed Requirements and Emerging Issues.......... 97 6.1.1 Importance of Intensification of Production ............................................... 97 6.1.2 Compounded Feed Industry ...................................................................... 52 6.1.3 Cost Benefit Analysis for Dairy Production on Different Feeds ................. 54 6.1.4 Seed Multiplication Initiatives .................................................................... 54 6.1.5 Feed Conservation and Dry Season Preparedness .................................. 55
TA Support to Institutional Component of Support Project to Strategic Plan for Transformation of Agriculture Rwanda Animal Nutrition Strategy â€“ Final Report â€“ 14 April 2009. HTSPE Job No: 1007032
6.1.6 Priority Areas for Development of Different Livestock ............................... 56 6.2 Strategic Issues and Actions, Priority Programme Actions and Budgets.... 117 6.2.1 Priority Programmes................................................................................ 117 6.2.2 Overall Strategic Plan.............................................................................. 120 6.2.3 Immediate Quick Actions........................................................................... 62
7. Proposed Programme Actions for Strengthening Institutional Capacity ......................................................................................................................... 129 7.1 Time Frame for Proposed Strategic Actions............................................... 143 7.2 Budget for Strategic Actions ......................................................................... 67
8. Conclusions and Recommendations ....................................................... 144
9. Strategy Implementation ............................................................................. 72 9.1 Logical Framework ....................................................................................... 72 9.2 Institutional Framework ................................................................................ 81
10. ANNEXES .................................................................................................... 84
TA Support to Institutional Component of Support Project to Strategic Plan for Transformation of Agriculture Rwanda Animal Nutrition Strategy â€“ Final Report â€“ 14 April 2009. HTSPE Job No: 1007032
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
Livestock Population Trends, 2004 – 2008
Trends in Animal Products, 2004 - 2008
Total Water Intake for Cattle
Estimates of Pasture Area Required for Cattle, 2008 and 2012
Estimates of Fodder Area Required for Improved Dairy Cattle, 2008
and 2012 Table 6:
Leading Districts in Numbers of Different Livestock Species
Relationship between Feed Intake of Lactating Cows, Milk Yield and Body Weight
Livestock Population and Distribution by Species and Province
Area Comparison for Unimproved Natural Pastures with Improved Grass Pastures
Area Comparison for Poorly Managed and Well Managed Napier Grass
LIST OF ANNEXES
1. Terms of Reference (ToR) 2. Inception Report 3. List of Persons Met 4. Checklist for Institutional Stakeholders Interviews 5. Questionnaire for Farmers 6. Energy and Protein Requirements for Lactating Cows and Fattening Cattle 7. Dry Matter Intake of Lactating Cows 8. Nutritional Content of Feedstuffs for Ruminants 9. Feeding technologies 10. Local and Dairy Cattle Numbers by Districts, 2008 11. Livestock Numbers by Districts and Provinces
12. Cost-Benefit Analysis for Dairy Production on Different Feeds 13. References 14. RBS Feed Standards
Purpose of Assignment The main task of the assignment undertaken by a two person team during the period January to March 2009 was to assist MINAGRI in developing a plan aimed at improving the quality and availability of animal feeds and fodder for enhanced productivity in the livestock sub-sector. The improvements to the livestock nutrition implementation plan had to be in line with the sub-sector’s higher level objectives as stated in the National Agricultural Policy of 2004 as well as the operational priorities and targets of the PSTA II and EDPRS programmes which include intensification and integration of livestock into the crop production systems with particular emphasis on the One Cow Programme, small ruminants and where applicable fish development.
The major objective of the consultancy was therefore, to prepare a comprehensive strategic animal nutrition improvement plan showing the approach of execution, strategies and actions which should be undertaken by MINIAGRI and its various implementation agencies such as RARDA, ISAR which have been subsumed in the newly formed Rwanda Agricultural Development Board, and other stakeholders in order to produce more productive livestock and increase the supply of livestock species, breeds and products that can be marketed in- and outside the country. The strategic plan aims at improving the efficiency/productivity of the livestock sub-sector in a sustainable manner, promote public health and support marketing of both livestock and livestock products to contribute to the national efforts in poverty reduction, improved food security and income to the satisfaction of the expectations of key and subsidiary stakeholders.
Current Situation of Animal Nutrition in Rwanda The livestock development subsector in Rwanda contributes about 12% of the country’s GDP and approximately 30% of Agricultural GDP. The subsector has undergone significant transformation in recent years with introduction of improved dairy breeds in the country followed by an ambitious genetic improvement programme of upgrading the local cattle breeds. The development has significantly
increased national milk production from about 135 thousand metric tons in 2004 to an estimated 257 thousand metric tons in 2008. The increase in production has accordingly supported reduction of milk imports and savings in foreign exchange. Even more significant is the level of economic transformation of the rural farming communities with ready source of protein and increased household incomes, contributing to food security and improved livelihoods.
Development of other livestock species has also improved in terms of population growth leading to large increases in meat and egg production. The increase in products is however mainly attributed to overall production from larger animal numbers but not individual animal productivity. Lack of attention regarding genetic improvement, husbandry and feeding has kept animal productivity static, and notably little improvement in development of commercial poultry and pig industries. The rapid growth of livestock subsector particularly dairy is expected to continue and especially underpinned by implementation of the Strategic Plan for Transformation in Agriculture (PSTA II) of 2008 and the National Agricultural Policy (NAP) of 2004.
There have been a few challenges in enhancing livestock productivity particularly for the improved dairy cows. The key one is poor animal nutrition caused by multiple factors associated with lack of adequate quantity and quality of feed. Improved dairy breeds have a higher genetic potential that can only be fully exploited with proper feeding. For communities previously rearing local cattle with little demand on feeding and husbandry, the change has entailed a major shift in feeding the newly acquired cows and often with little preparedness to manage the change. Majority of beneficiaries of the national ‘one cow, one household’ programme are poor households owning less than half a hectare of land. New Government regulations require farmers to restrict animals to their farms; hence the major dairy production system in high population density areas with small sized farms is ‘zero grazing’. The problem of lack of feed and knowledge of appropriate feeding techniques has therefore been aggravated by this change where animals depend on feed resources from own farm. The quality of concentrate feedstuffs that can be used to supplement the basal forage diet is currently poor due to lack of quality control regulation of the
feed industry, yet the feeds are highly priced and out of reach. Additionally, sound nutrition requires adequate water intake for the animals and this resource is not sufficiently available at farm level. Livestock feeding influences productivity in regard to growth, reproduction and generation of products of economic importance. Underfeeding adversely affects overall livestock health and performance.
The situation of poor animal nutrition and feeding has been a major concern of MINAGRI whose objective is to consolidate and enhance further gains in the dairy industry and overall livestock production. This was the rationale behind developing a strategic plan for animal nutrition improvement programme for the planning period of 2009 to 2012. The goal of the strategic plan is to create a positive impact on food security, livelihoods and incomes of poor rural farming communities through improved livestock production. The overall objective is to enhance livestock productivity and products through improved animal nutrition and feeding. The plan will also tie up with other policy documents like the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) projecting an increase in annual growth of livestock production from 6% in 2007 to 8% in 2012, with significant increase in animal productivity.
Approach and Methodology In preparation of the strategic plan, data was collected using a variety of methods and tools. These included: direct observations, focus group discussions (FGDs), key informant interviews and interaction with the farming communities. At the national level, information was collected through interviews with key officials of MINAGRI and its agencies namely, the Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA), the research agency (ISAR) and Rwanda Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), MINAGRI projects particularly PADEBL and major stakeholders. A questionnaire was further used to elicit information from MINAGRI national staff, field officers and major stakeholders on the status of animal nutrition, strengths, weaknesses and proposals for improvement. Secondary data was obtained from national policy, legal and institutional documents, annual reports of MINAGRI and its agencies, project reports, internet, and additionally from journals and text books.
TA Support to Institutional Component of Support Project to Strategic Plan for Transformation of Agriculture Rwanda Animal Nutrition Strategy â€“ Final Report â€“ 14 April 2009. HTSPE Job No: 1007032
At the community level, data on animal nutrition and feeding, livestock performance and other farm level variables was collected during field meetings with farmers, cooperative officials and MINAGRI staff. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were held using checklists to guide the discussions. For the field visits, farmers and farmer cooperatives were selected from each of the 4 provinces, representing different agroecological zones and production systems. Additionally, research stations, an agricultural college (polytechnic), milk collection centres and a milk processing plant were also visited. Further visits were made to farms in Kigali City for dairy, poultry and fodder seed multiplication.
Information from the above data collection exercise confirmed that the status of animal nutrition and feeding in the country was indeed poor and needed a strategy to enhance performance. The average milk yield for improved dairy breeds was correspondingly low at the range of 6-12 litres per cow per day. The data helped indicate the prevailing situation on fodder/feed production and feeding practices for various livestock species under different production systems in different agroecological zones. For dairy cattle under zero-grazing, the main feed was Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) fed alone. Majority of farmers did not feed their dairy cows on legumes and concentrates. The main reasons given were: lack of seed, inadequate knowledge on fodder production and feeding management, high cost and poor quality of compounded feeds, and low milk prices which some farmers felt did not warrant use of concentrates. In the Eastern region where annual rainfall is lower and farms bigger, cattle are raised under open grazing system. However the pastures are in poor state due to lack of proper management and use of natural pastures which have low productivity.
In recommending appropriate cost effective methods for feeding improved dairy cattle, the most sustainable option would be that of providing adequate mixed forage of grass and legume species grown on the farm. This feeding technique can provide for a reasonable level of milk production of about 8-10 litres per cow per day. To achieve higher productivity, this diet needs supplementation with concentrate feeds to meet the higher energy and protein requirements that cannot be practically fulfilled by a forage diet alone. The single feedstuff concentrates for energy or protein can be
used to meet the deficit especially the cheaper options like molasses and urea. Higher value concentrates which markedly increase milk yield like oil seed cakes, cereal milling by-products, small quantities of fish meal or compounded dairy meal are more expensive and often unavailable in rural areas. Roughage from crop residues has low nutritional value but can be fed particularly during the dry season to augment dry matter intake and its feeding value can be significantly enhanced by urea-mineral mixture. Contrary to perception of some farmers, the cost benefit analysis for milk production on different feed rations indicates that the highest financial benefits are achieved when grass-legume forage diets are supplemented with concentrates.
It is crucial that farmers grow appropriate grass and legume species and more importantly, that they use proper integrated feeding techniques to ensure adequate intake of nutrients and dry matter. Sound management of pastures and fodder crops and planting of improved forage species with high dry matter yield is essential. Improved grass species like Chloris gayana yields over 4 times feed dry matter per hectare compared to the common natural pastures in the main grazing areas like in Eastern Province. The current number of animals would hence satisfy their feed intake from one quarter of the grazing area currently used per farm. Similarly for areas with zero grazing systems, proper management of Napier grass especially addition of manure to replenish soil fertility would more than double the forage production for the same unit area. The number of animals kept could be doubled using the same fodder area. Such strategic actions would be in line with the policy on intensification spelt out in PSTA II.
Animal Nutrition Strategy The livestock nutrition policy calls for strategic measures in dry season preparedness for livestock feeding. There is need to conserve the surplus wet season forage to provide for dry season feed and even out feed availability throughout the year. The simplest and most effective method nationally would be conservation of high quality forage at the right stage of growth to hay. The advantages of hay emanate from its high dry matter and nutrient content hence the lower weight required to meet livestock requirements and the ease of transporting it across the country to areas
experiencing feed shortage. Farmers can only undertake the improved fodder production and conservation practices if they have appropriate seed, knowledge and skills. It is the responsibility of MINAGRI and RARDA in particular, to ensure that farmers are trained on these practices through the extension system. The fodder (grass and legume) species for different climatic zones should be evaluated onstation and on-farm by the research agency ISAR and enough seed bulked by RADA and registered seed multipliers. It is the responsibility of RARDA to upscale and ensure country wide distribution of fodder seed together with the requisite information on establishment and feeding.
To ensure production of quality compounded feeds, MINAGRI needs to liaise with Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) on enforcement and compliance of feed standards by the feed millers. The latter government body is legally obligated to regulate standards of the feed industry and needs to urgently intervene on behalf of farmers to help improve livestock productivity nationally. Some of the bottlenecks of the feed industry include high tariffs for imported raw materials, inadequate production of cereal grains and milling by-products, and lack of knowledge by farmers on importance of feeding concentrates to livestock. The future development of the feed industry is further linked to the growth of commercial poultry and pig industries which are dependent on compounded feeds but currently under-developed. The three industries create synergy associated with higher benefits accruing from expanded operational capacities of feed millers. There is increasing demand for poultry and pork products particularly in Kigali city which the country should take advantage of. The latter products are largely met through imports from the region. The Ministry can work towards addressing the bottlenecks of the feed industry and play a further role of developing non-ruminant livestock industries in the medium to long term, particularly in peri-urban areas with easy access to production inputs and markets for animal products. Productivity of cereal crops which is currently low should be intensified through facilitation in provision of inputs like fertilizers.
There are seven strategic areas below that must be addressed for improved performance in animal nutrition and feeding. The strategic actions are categorised into three different areas based on required time frame and resources for implementation, ease of execution and level of envisaged impact. The categories are: i) Overall strategic actions; ii) Priority programme actions; iii) Immediate quick actions. Some of the strategic issues require to be addressed in the short to medium term while others can be targeted for longer term attainment. The quick actions are simple, low cost activities that can be undertaken immediately and yet create significant impact. Most of these can be executed within the existing extension framework and resources. The priority programme actions require more resources and strengthening of existing extension and research agencies but would create higher impact if implemented. The overall strategy is the comprehensive, all encompassing framework of actions that need to be executed in a coherent manner in the short to long term period to achieve the overall objective and goal.
1. The overall strategic areas are:
Forages/fodder and feed development
Compounded feed industry and quality assurance
Research and development
Extension, training and information
Institutional, policy and legal framework
Technological, financial, marketing and socio-economic environment
2. The priority programme actions require strengthening of the following key areas:
Production, utilization and conservation of grass/legume fodder and other types of forage and country wide distribution of fodder seed
Research capacity to effectively deliver in production of multispecies fodder and dissemination on establishment, utilization and conservation
Capacity for effective extension and information service delivery to end users on animal nutrition, feeds and integrated feeding techniques
Development of commercial poultry and pig industries to meet increasing demand for products and enhance growth of the compounded feed industry
Production, distribution and utilization of non-forage feeds mainly single feedstuff concentrates
Production, distribution and utilization of high quality compounded feeds
The above actions call for budgetary support to implement especially the first four as a major step in paving way for improvements in animal nutrition and feeding. The responsibility for most of the actions currently rests with the Rwanda Animal Resources
strengthened to enhance its capacity to perform the revised roles. A proposed improved organisational structure consistent with the new responsibilities is presented in the text. It is hoped that the same concern will further be addressed by the current MINAGRI reorganization measures in creation of the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB).
The immediate, quick actions mostly call for dissemination of useful information that is currently not well known by farmers in regard to simple feeding technologies and provision of water. It is also crucial to release and distribute more fodder seed to farmers particularly through the farmer organizations. The key operational structures for dissemination at farm level are the frontline extension workers who create more impact by working with the farmer groups. These grass-root dissemination structures and operational mechanisms need to be strengthened to enhance effectiveness.
It is envisaged that implementation of the overall strategic plan will lead to attainment of the targeted goal of higher household incomes and food security through improved animal nutrition and production by 2012 and beyond.
The Republic of Rwanda covers a total surface area of about 26,338 km2 with a human population of 8,776,324. The country has a high population density estimated at an average of 310 persons per km2. This figure however varies from about 100 to 538 across the different regions. The country has a tropical climate with average temperatures of 25-30oC during the day and 15oC at night. Most of the country receives an annual rainfall in excess of 1000mm distributed over two seasons: the long rains in February-June and short rains in September-December. Rwanda’s economy is mainly based on agriculture which contributes about 39% of the GDP, approximately 80% of foreign exchange earnings and employs about 88% of the population.
The livestock sub-sector contributes about 12% of the GDP and an estimated 30% of the agricultural GDP. The livestock population has increased steadily in the last 5 years from an estimated 1 million head of cattle in 2004 to about 1.20 million in 2008. The numbers of other livestock species grew at relatively high rates, ranging from over 4% for sheep to a high of about 99% for goats. Corresponding increases in animal products were realised, with milk moving from about 135 to 257 thousand metric tons over the 2004 – 2008 period. This was largely attributed to the introduction of improved dairy cattle breeds whose numbers grew from about 2,000 head purebred in 2004 to a total of 273,000 head in 2008 comprising 198,000 crosses and 75,000 purebred.
Nationally, the consumption of milk accordingly increased from about 6.8 litres per person per year in 1999 to an estimated 20.2 litres in 2007.
The increase in
production notably resulted in a decrease in milk importation from about 1378 to 500 metric tons over the 2002 to 2006 period. It is projected that further growth in this sector will push milk production to about 290 thousand metric tons by year 2012. The national initiative associated with the major growth in the dairy industry is the ‘one cow per household’ programme implemented in the last several years involving distribution of imported pure dairy breeds and dairy crosses to poor families in the country. These efforts are augmented by an ambitious genetic improvement
programme of upgrading the local Ankole cattle herd through Artificial Insemination (AI).
The above statistics represent a major growth of the livestock subsector in Rwanda in the last five years with good prospects for sustained growth. The policy documents that cover this subsector project significant future growth in relation to all the above parameters by 2012. The revised Strategic Plan for Agricultural Transformation (PSTA II) of 2008 re-emphasises the importance of the development of the livestock subsector particularly under sub-programme 1.2 on “Integrated development and intensification of crops and livestock”. The PSTA II strategy is refocused to be consistent with other recent government policy initiatives for national development such as the ‘Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS)’ and Vision 2020. The objectives of transforming agriculture in PSTA II are shown along with respective plans for re-orienting and modernising the livestock sub-sector.
It should be noted that despite the growth forecast for livestock development, some significant challenges have been encountered at various levels. If not addressed, these could derail the envisaged growth process and attainment of targets. According to RARDA Business Plan, the major constraints to livestock production in Rwanda are: Animal diseases, poor animal nutrition, poor performance of indigenous breeds, limited diversification of animal production with emphasis only on cattle, inappropriate legislation, low utilisation of research results, weak extension system, poor marketing and lack of value addition, and finally lack of strong investments in the animal subsector. Most of government interest has so far revolved around disease control with similar focus on the AI programme. Due attention has not been given to the vital area of animal nutrition which exerts major influence on productivity especially for improved breeds and currently the most critical constraint to overall animal production. Information from RARDA further indicates that animal nutrition has remained particularly weak in the livestock resource subsector in both qualitative and quantitative terms. Much of this could probably be attributed to a shortage of available farm land that limits fodder production, low utilization of crop residues and industrial by-products, lack of information on conservation technologies, low availability of dry season feed, and insufficient yet poor quality commercial feeds.
There has been concern at different levels regarding the adverse effects on animal performance arising from poor nutrition and feeding for all the livestock species. This is most felt in the dairy sector where cattle numbers of improved breed have rapidly grown, with corresponding needs for adequate feeding. It is noted from a historical context that the local communities traditionally engaged in livestock keeping, rearing indigenous Ankole cattle and other local livestock species. The typical cattle production system was extensive, with open grazing on natural pastures and moving to better pastures as the seasons and feed/water availability dictated. This system was particularly suitable in the Eastern region where annual rainfall is lower, sometimes with a prolonged dry season that adversely affects feed availability and animal productivity. The recent change to improved breeds has entailed a major shift in husbandry and feeding practices, yet the level of community preparedness on the new methods has remained wanting. The production system has further been compounded in many areas by recent demarcation of land to individually owned parcels with new regulations of confining animals within the farms.
Although the improved cattle population has steadily increased in most areas of the country, the producers continue to lose out on full benefits of the enhanced potential due to poor feeding. The higher genetic potential goes with elevated nutrient requirements. This is critical at the farm level where satisfying the higher feed requirements is a daily reality, a position aggravated by lack of external sources of feed. Methods for intensifying and integrating the farming systems have not been promoted yet these would harness benefits of crop-livestock interactions and nutrient cycling.
A look at the status of other livestock species depicts a different picture. It is apparent that the focus in the country has so far been on dairy hence the underdevelopment of other animal industries. The small ruminants are usually valued for their hardiness and many socio-economic and biological advantages which include lower input requirements, shorter generation interval, diversification of the species for purposes of capital accumulation and spreading of risk, importance for sociocultural ceremonies and income generation.
Even with the many advantages,
development in relation to breed improvement particularly for meat production has largely been overlooked. Further, the lack of growth of commercial poultry and pig farming has negatively affected the animal feed industry for compounded feeds. The latter thrives where feed milling operations cover the entire spectrum of livestock species, with the largest segment dedicated to poultry feeds that help make the operations viable. The low key commercial poultry and small scale feed milling operations, and absence of quality control regulation have resulted in production of highly priced but low quality compounded feeds. This situation has turned into a vicious cycle with many farmers avoiding the use of such feedstuffs, further impeding growth of the feed and livestock industries. Attention and prioritisation is needed in this area to stimulate interest and expansion. It is hoped the newly resumed operations of the National Hatchery will spur growth but more needs to be done in the area of feed quality control.
From a policy perspective, it is notable that even with direction and targets for animal production in the relevant policy documents, a concrete strategy to guide the changed livestock subsector particularly in the area of nutrition improvement is lacking. The national livestock policy dating 1998 needs revision to keep it in tune with the changing scenario. This situation has created the need to separately highlight and address some of the pressing issues that have emerged in this subsector. Animal nutrition and feeding primarily drive livestock productivity, influencing growth, reproduction and generation of all the products of economic importance. Underfeeding leads to waste of valued genetic potential that goes unexploited in improved breeds and translates as loss of production and income, in addition to adverse effects on health and performance.
Based on the current inadequate position regarding animal nutrition and feeding at all levels, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) in Rwanda found it imperative to address this area by developing a Strategic Plan for Animal Nutrition Improvement. The plan is in line with the sub-sectorâ€™s objectives as stated in the National Agricultural Policy as well as the operational priorities and targets of the PSTA II and EDPRS programmes. It addresses the various issues related to animal feed requirements that are specific to the different species of animals and
production systems. Further, it comprehensively shows the approach of execution, strategies and actions which should be undertaken by MINAGRI and its various agencies such as RARDA, ISAR and other stakeholders in order to produce more productive livestock and increase livestock products. Implementation of the plan will lead to progressive re-orientation of the livestock development services, education and research so as to ensure integrated approach to improved nutrition of all animal species, leading to overall increase in animal productivity. Finally, the plan will provide a road map for animal nutrition improvement in the country in the 2009-2012 planning period. 2.1 Strategy Development – Constraints
The strategic plan was developed under an environment constrained by the following:
Lack of specific animal nutrition and feeds policy
Limited quantitative data on animal nutrition due to lack of baseline surveys on animal nutrition and feeding in the country
Addressing a sub-component of animal production cannot practically be done in isolation of overall animal production. Livestock extension officers in the field are expected to deal with most of production issues with no specialised staff to handle animal nutrition only. This needed consideration in making recommendations.
Animal nutrition status is determined through indirect indicators like milk yield or body weight gain, yet the parameters are also influenced by other factors affecting animal performance. Feeding is the practical aspect contributing to the nutritional status but subject to other internal metabolic processes that may be difficult to assess. Unlike formal records of number of inseminations done and calves born in animal breeding, or number of animals vaccinated in disease control activities, animal feeding is an informal task that a farmer has to perform daily or leave the animal to fend for itself through grazing, browsing or
scavenging. This invisibility dimension might explain the previous lack of emphasis in the area, hence the limited data.
Overview of Strategic Plan for Animal Nutrition Improvement Programme in Rwanda
3.1 Livestock Development Sub-sector and Growth Trends
Agriculture in Rwanda counts for about 60% of the total land area. It is characterised by cultivation on small sized farms with about 43% of families depending on less than 0.75 hectares (NAP, 2004). The types of crops grown are mainly traditional food crops and productivity is low. The livestock sub-sector is similarly characterised by a majority of small holder traditional farmers rearing indigenous livestock species with little attention on feeding, disease control and overall management. Crop and livestock farming are undertaken together on most of the farms under mixed production systems. These low input, low output systems are maintained for subsistence household needs where products are consumed and surplus sold to generate cash for the family. The overall priorities of such traditional systems are usually in the reverse order of those of modern day commercial farmers. Livestock keeping is not profit driven but rather serves the purposes of capital reserve, risk reduction in case of crop failure, spread of risk through species diversity and meeting family income needs at a subsistence level. Such systems provide little incentive for improvements in general husbandry or capital inputs especially because the overall requirements for indigenous species are low and the priorities of producers are not commercial.
The above kind of setting is what the Government of Rwanda has targeted to improve in recent years. Genetic improvement of the local Ankole herd has been a priority and especially with the initiative of ‘one cow per poor household’ programme. One of the constraints in the country is a shortage of land. Land distribution data shows that more than 50% of rural households own less than 0.75 ha of land (A proposal to distribute a cow to every poor family in Rwanda). However, close to one third of these families were keeping cows before the start of the above programme in 2001. Part of the two thirds without cows was therefore targeted by the programme if they satisfied a set criterion. Animals distributed were either exotic breeds, dairy
crosses or local Ankole cattle. The latter type would be upgraded by crossing with exotics using AI or purebred bulls to give yield improved F1 generation crosses.
The Government of Rwanda and MINAGRI in particular have laid down plans and mechanisms for transformation of the livestock subsector in various policy documents. The key ones articulating the national and subsector objectives and strategies are:
Vision 2020, Economic Development and Poverty Reduction
Strategy (EDPRS), National Agricultural Policy (2004) and the PSTA 1 (2004) & 2 (2008). Implementation of the plans is aimed at modernising the livestock sub-sector to make it market oriented and responsive to the needs of local farmers and the national economy. The shift in this direction requires intensification of the farming systems starting with genetic improvement of livestock and attendant enhanced feeding, disease control and management practices. This converts the farming enterprises to high input, high output production systems that require investment in terms of capital, technological, material and other management inputs. The result is generation of high product output that translates to significant profit in a favourable market environment. These efforts are primarily driven by national aspirations to improve the quality of life of local farmers and enhance the national economy. Further motivation stems from appreciation of the enormous potential the country has and the many opportunities that can be exploited for the good of the citizens.
The country has been striving to create an enabling environment for investments in the livestock subsector and engaged in various ongoing initiatives to encourage growth of the industry as shown below:
Land policy geared towards secure tenure. The process of land demarcation and issuance of legal contract documents is on-going. This encourages farmers to invest in improved breeds , develop their farms and adopt modern farming technologies
There is improved animal health service delivery
Artificial Insemination has been strengthened by training and equipping more staff and farmer co-operatives
Local banks are giving loan facilities to farmers wishing to import improved livestock breeds
Other funding opportunities for breed and technological improvements are offered through government projects like PADEBL and RSSP
The government initiative of ‘one cow per family’ has enabled many farmers acquire improved breeds of cattle, both pure breeds and dairy crosses. This has helped farmers access more milk for consumption and sale and manure for crop/fodder production
The on-going PAPSTA project (collaborating with stakeholders) has helped farmers in several zones acquire dairy cows and other improved livestock species, trained farmers in modern farming methods and put in place mechanisms to ensure ownership and sustainability
Some NGOs like Heifer Project International (HPI) have distributed in-calf heifers to families using the same concept of ‘one cow per family’ where beneficiaries pass on the first female offspring to the next recipient. The ‘Send a Cow’ NGO has a similar programme of providing cows to poor families.
Other NGOs like World Agro-forestry Centre (ICRAF) are working with HPI and other stakeholders to promote fodder production at farm level for enhanced feeding of improved cattle
The government research agency ISAR is similarly promoting adaptive research technologies related to production of fodder species
different agro-climatic zones
RADA is up-scaling
on fodder seed multiplication for both grasses and
RARDA and stakeholder NGOs have directed efforts to releasing extension materials on animal production and fodder production
MINAGRI (and its agencies) has so far given priority to the dairy industry in regard to modernisation and intensification, starting at the farm level. As earlier noted, it has invested in ambitious programmes for genetic improvement. The PSTA 1 projections for these trends in breed improvement were: 2% annual reduction in local breeds to improve production and reduce environmental degradation, 8.5 % annual increase
rate for crossbreeds and 6.5 % increase for pure breeds. The plan targeted importation of minimum 500 purebred cows each year such that 40% of the national cattle herd would be dedicated to milk production by 2010, with 20.7% annual increase rate in milk production.
Current data from RARDA indicates that some of the earlier projections on improved breeds and milk production have been surpassed (Tables 1 and 2). The total cattle population projected in PSTA I for year 2008 was 1,065,590 head comprising 12,854 pure breed, 179,200 crosses and the rest local breed (Rwanda Agricultural Policy Note, 2006) while current figures cited by RARDA for the same year indicate 1,194,895 head (Table 1). The breakdown for the latter is 74,608 pure breed, 198,208 crosses and the rest local cattle. Similarly for milk production, the projection for 2008 was 251,419 metric tons while current data by RARDA indicates 257,197 metric tons (Fig 2).
Table1: Livestock Population Trends, 2004-2008
h rate, ll Specie
1,006,57 1,077,20 1,122,17 1,147,15 1,194,89 4.16 2
1,263,96 1,663,55 1,988,27 2,237,73 2,519,80 12.60
2,082,12 2,109,19 1,776,02 1,867,72 2,217,72 18.74
Source: RARDA (2009)
Table 2: Trends in Animal Products (metric tons), 2004-2008
Growth rate,% 2007-
(Exported) Source: RARDA, 2009
It is apparent there is no focused policy on meat production and this is partly reflected in growth trends for meat animal populations particularly pigs and sheep (Table 2). A few efforts on distribution of imported commercial pig breeds (Large White) and specialised meat goats (Boer bucks) by NGOs under the PAPSTA Programme have been reported (Martin, N and Venuste, R., 2008) but currently on
very low scale. The land policy reforms on demarcation and confining animals to the farm have however favoured the rearing of indigenous small stock and this is evident from the goat and chicken populations which have grown at the rate of 12.6% and 18.74% respectively, in the 2007-2008 period. This demonstrates the popularity of these species among farmers considering the many socio-economic advantages the two enjoy in a subsistence setting and the convenience in terms of negligible levels of inputs. Even with appreciation of these benefits, deliberate policies on improvement of breed, feeding and management ought to be formulated to give direction towards commercial production and enhanced overall productivity.
For poultry production, egg production nationally dropped in the 2004-2005 period. The more drastic drop in 2007-2008 was however due to poultry ban imposed on the industry arising from the risk of Avian Influenza epidemic that was a global crisis then. It is clear the commercial poultry area for meat and egg production has not received much attention, hence no specific data on that segment. This is an important area that cannot just be left to take its own course with no organised planning for future growth. With smaller farm sizes this would be an ideal enterprise especially if promoted in the peri-urban areas with direct access to market for the products and easy procurement of production inputs. Resumption of operations by the National Hatchery is a step in the right direction. It is imperative to focus on liberalisation of the subsector especially hatchery operations, to allow for other market players. Developing this industry would further spur the growth of the feed milling industry with benefits spilling over to the now lacklustre pig industry. The factors affecting the growth of the three interrelated industries are however many and need to be considered in a more comprehensive manner to ensure viability and rapid expansion in the near future.
There are no specialised beef cattle breeds or meat goats in Rwanda although a few budding initiatives are cited here and there. Much of the meat comes from culled animals especially male calves and infertile or old non-reproductive cows. As noted above, the other common sources of meat are goats, sheep, pigs, chicken and rabbits. The focus nationally is for meat to be supplied mainly by small ruminants as the national Ankole herd reduces and gets upgraded for milk production. The
national requirements for beef versus supply showed a deficit in the 2000-2003 period (RARDA Reports, 2009). Similarly, there were significant meat imports in the country to bridge the deficit. The above RARDA data (Table 2) however shows that meat production surpassed the demand from 2004 to 2006. Respective data on national needs for 2007 and 2008 is not shown in the RARDA reports but production data indicates marginal increments for those years. The lower beef production trends are bound to continue due to the current destocking of local cattle particularly in the Eastern region, where land has been demarcated to generally smaller parcels and grazing restricted within the farm. In the circumstances, many farmers have opted to go for improved breeds to benefit from higher productivity and dispose of some of their local animals or upgrade them through AI. This is also nationally encouraged due to the urgent need to conserve the environment partly through avoidance of overgrazing. A significant number of the local animals are currently exported to the neighbouring DRC. It is important to assess the impact of these changes in relation to future national beef requirements rather than leave these operations to be undertaken in a haphazard manner without due consideration.
3.2 Potentials and Challenges
There is much agricultural potential in Rwanda and some of these are indicated in the National Agricultural Policy and the PSTA documents. On the livestock production side, the country enjoys several advantages which place it in a unique position compared to many tropical countries. These mainly relate to the favourable highland climate suited for rearing exotic breeds of livestock and growing of high yielding pasture grasses which largely contribute the bulk of the nutritional needs. Additionally, the climate favours production of fodder legumes that serve as valuable supplements to meet the higher nutrient requirements of such animals. Taking advantage of the surplus lush growth from the wet season and conserving this in form of silage, hay or simply standing hay, provides reserve feed to meet the deficit in the dry season. The wide range of crops grown in the different agro-ecological zones offers an assortment of crop residues and by-products that can further add value and variety to the livestock diets especially during the dearth period. By-
products from milling of cereal grains particularly maize and wheat can conveniently lay a foundation for the compounded feed industry.
In addition to the above, the rural population has traditionally reared local types of livestock for generations accumulating a reasonable base of indigenous knowledge and skills. Livestock traditionally assumed a high socio-cultural value especially in regard to cultural ceremonies and conferred high social status on those owning large herds and flocks. The local people highly value milk as a basic consumer item in the household and this has provided a major incentive in striving to attain higher production levels through improved dairy breeds. The indigenous knowledge base has on a positive note made it easier to build onto, in the transition to raising improved breeds. However this has also been a challenge in terms of changing some deeply ingrained cultural attitudes that are not compatible with modern farming methods. Along the same lines, socio-cultural beliefs have fuelled disinterest in keeping of other commercial species, particularly pigs and poultry which do not enjoy as much social prestige.
The patterns of livestock production systems in Rwanda largely correspond with the agro-ecological zones. These zones are apparently consistent with the different geographical regions which currently form the 5 provinces of the country: Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western and Kigali Municipality/province. Each of these regions has its typical bio-physical, demographic, socio-economic and farming system characteristics, potentials and constraints related to these factors. It therefore follows that the process of identifying constraints, opportunities and strategies for livestock development needs to factor in these considerations for proposed interventions to be valid and feasible under the different situations.
The high populations in the capital city Kigali and other major towns create a high demand for animal products that favours production of livestock in the peri-urban areas including commercial poultry and pigs. The easy access to ready markets for the products and access to farm inputs provide a conducive environment for livestock farming. It is notable that the urban and peri-urban farming around Kigali is quite significant and takes on a different perspective from that of rural areas, with
farmers raising large numbers of purebred dairy cattle and commercial chicken and some mixing their own formulated feeds. The demand for animal products is high in the city, with its many hotels and restaurants, a large urban population to feed including tourists and expatriate communities. These opportunities need to be fully exploited as many of the high value animal products to cater for this segment are imported.
Some of the challenges encountered in agricultural and livestock development are indicated in policy and institutional documents. There are various challenges associated with legal and institutional environment. Much of the legal framework is outdated and requires reforms to underpin the current developments but more important, facilitate further progress in different sectors. The current mess regarding poor quality of compounded animal feeds is also a case in point with nobody taking charge probably due to gaps in specifying who is legally empowered to deal with what area of that industry. Insufficient institutional capacities have also rendered the relevant Government agencies operationally ineffective in certain areas. Both RARDA and RBS acknowledged lack of capacity to expressly deal with issues of substandard animal feeds which have become the norm in the industry. On a positive note, RBS has made a major step in developing the actual feeding standards (feed specifications) and a ‘code of practice for animal feed production, processing, storage and distribution’ and these booklets are available at their offices. They also once organised a training session for some feed millers. However willing to regulate, they are constrained by lack of technical staff in the animal products and feeds quality control section.
Of special mention are the problems of weak institutional linkages particularly between research, extension and farmers hindering information flow and transfer of livestock related technologies. Lack of capacity is one issue while lack of necessary collaboration is another. The officials from the respective Government agencies (ISAR, RARDA, RBS) with mandates for research, extension and regulation of feeding standards respectively, agreed there was barely any collaboration between the agencies and no consultative forums for exchange of information on the same. There was similar admission to serious lack of technical staff and equipping of the
same to enable the agencies effectively implement mandates specific to animal nutrition. This reinforces the urgent need for capacity building and adoption of intersectoral approaches in addressing issues of interest that cut across different sectors. Discussions with different stakeholders in livestock development exposed the same weakness of lack of collaboration, with many actors undertaking their own initiatives in isolation from the big picture and no coordination with the rest.
Poor animal nutrition has become a major challenge to the rapidly growing livestock industry particularly affecting productivity of improved breeds. This is a constraint that has been acknowledged in some of the policy documents and interventions proposed. However, not much has been done in comprehensively analysing the entire spectrum of nutrition and feeding for improved livestock across the species and developing concrete strategies to specifically address the area. Again, the agencies mandated to deal with the pertinent issues have pointed out various inadequacies and identified the urgent need to deal with this particular area.
The national emphasis on dairy development is justified by the quick economic transformation that improved milk production can offer the producers and respective communities. To a certain extent, the high socio-cultural value attached to cattle and milk by local communities has hastened the change to improved dairy breeds, hence the enthusiasm in adopting the innovation. The ‘one cow per household’ programme has clearly been a success story particularly in distribution of the dairy breeds. The table below serves to demonstrate the conspicuous difference in milk production between the local Ankole cattle and the improved breeds (ISAR Songa, 2005):
Production per day (litres)
Ankole x Jersey (F1)
Ankole x Jersey (F1) x Jersey
The above production figures are however on-station data which usually is at variance with actual average yields at farm level. Many farmers have failed to attain
optimal performance for improved breeds due to constraining factors at farm level related to nutrition and management. Farmers interviewed during the field meetings disclosed the average production they were achieving from their improved breeds ranged between 6 and 12 litres per day and that feeding was the major constraint. A few exceptional farmers with knowledge and means have fed their animals well with corresponding response of up to 20 litres of milk per day. Although the efforts to introduce improved breeds were well placed and have changed the dairy landscape in the country, the plans were not implemented in tandem with those of improved animal nutrition and feeding. This is where the challenge lies. Neglect of this vital area has created difficulties in effectively managing the improved breeds with their higher nutritional needs and many farmers have settled for substandard levels of production.
3.3 Plans and Strategies for Livestock Subsector Growth
3.3.1 Policies and Strategic Plans
The overall livestock sub-sector development strategies are articulated in various national and sectoral policy documents. The policies at the national level are broader statements on national economic growth objectives, the planned interventions and timelines, charting the way forward on directions for the sectoral policies. As earlier stated, the guiding national policies in this regard are the Vision 2020 and the EDPRS. An important objective in the two documents is to reduce the number of households living below the poverty line from 60% in 2001 to 25% in 2020 and to increase per capita income from 210US$ to 600US$ during the same period. The main agricultural sector policy documents are the National Agricultural Policy, the PSTA I and II and the Livestock Development Policy (1998). The first three spell out the objectives of the agricultural and livestock sectors development and strategies for their fulfilment. The latter policy document specifically for livestock is relevant but needs updating to be in tune with recent developments in a rapidly changing subsector.
In the National Agricultural Policy, one of the specific objectives regarding animal resources is: To create favourable conditions for the increase of livestock products through genetic improvement, feeding and animal health. This aptly summarises the important issues of this subsector but leaves details of implementation to the relevant government agencies. The same document mentions that poor animal nutrition and feeding, and lack of adequate research and extension system, are constraints among others. For animal nutrition, the emphasis is on production of various fodder species and evaluation and establishment of rational feeding systems. The PSTA II document for 2009-2012 period is the most up to date document, having taken stock of all the subsector developments so far. It is well articulated in terms of targets and respective actions but its enormous scope for the entire agricultural sector has not provided much room for highlighting subcomponents like animal nutrition. It has recommended the upscaling of the ‘one cow’ programme noting that its benefits are clear, with further observation that feed availability remains the main limitation on the side of the recipient farms.
3.3.2 Major Stakeholders
The main stakeholders in livestock development can be categorised by the various levels at which they operate. At the highest level is the Government of Rwanda and the line Ministries that have a stake in this subsector. The key Ministry mandated to take charge, implement and coordinate the overall Government objectives and initiatives in the subsector is MINAGRI including the roles of monitoring and evaluation. At a horizontal level are other line Ministries that have an interest or play a complementary role in fulfilment of some shared objectives. The main ones are: Infrastructure dealing with water and roads infrastructure, etc; Co-operatives covering the area of farmer organisations; the Ministry covering RBS which oversees development and regulation of Industry/ Feed Quality Standards, etc.
The key subsector agencies under MINAGRI are RARDA in charge of animal resources, ISAR whose research mandate includes livestock and RADA which covers the area of fodder/legume seed multiplication (Organisational Structure of MINAGRI, MINAGRI Website, 2009). RARDA comprises 3 units namely: Animal
Production, Veterinary Services, and Administration and Finance. The Animal Production Unit covers several sections of interest, namely: Animal nutrition, small ruminants, pigs, poultry, cattle genetic improvement and AI. One of the 6 units under ISAR deals with research in animal production amongst other activities, including transfer of respective technologies. Research in this area is undertaken at Nyagatare, Songa, Karama and Gishwati stations. ISAR and RARDA have common linkages with some of the partners cited below.
The supportive administrative units at MINAGRI are: Planning and Capacity Building, ICT and, Internal Resources, Management and Finance Unit. There are several important projects under the Ministry but the key ones for livestock are: PADEBL which supports RARDA in promoting and overseeing funding for dairy development; RSSP which supports funding for rural investments such as, livestock development initiatives, animal feed and fodder production, product processing and marketing.
The other level of stakeholders is that of partner organisations and key NGOs in animal production and nutrition which include: HPI, SACR and ICRAF; Development partners, Training institutions, funding agencies, extension agencies, professional organisations and various service providers at different levels. At the community level there are CBOs, extension and service providers and farmer organisations. Then there are the end user stakeholders the farmers, who are the target beneficiaries of the entire stakeholder process. It is important for the various interrelationships and linkages to function efficiently to ensure positive impact on end users and achievement of objectives. This is especially important for extension and information dissemination, hence the need to foster effective networking and collaboration amongst stakeholders.
3.4 Animal Nutrition and Feeding
3.4.1 Feed Requirements
Food is the material which after ingestion by animals is capable of being digested, absorbed and utilised. The components utilised are referred to as nutrients and
primarily comprise of carbohydrates, fats, protein, minerals, vitamins and water. The food of farm animals consists of plants and plant products although some foods of animal origin such as fishmeal are used in limited amounts. In simple terms, an animal should receive an ample supply of good food to enable it provide for its needs. The animal uses feed to maintain life, to grow, to reproduce and to produce all of the products of economic importance to man. The objective is to supply the right amount of feed to satisfy the requirements of the animal for maintenance and production. The needs for production need to be met for the particular level of production (subject to genetic potential) and doing so at the lowest cost possible. To satisfy the above objective, there is need for two types of information:
The nutrient requirements of different types of animals at various stages of life and production
The different feed materials available for inclusion in the animal diet and their cost.
The largest food requirements in animals are for energy followed by protein. Most of gross energy in plant feedstuffs is lost through digestion. Feed quality is important as it determines the extent of loss through digestion which can range from 20 to 60%. Fibrous feeds are relatively well digested by ruminants but not by monogastric animals. Even for ruminants, the more fibrous the feed the less digestible it is. As plants mature with age, the level of dry matter increases, so does the fibre content. The fibre composition tends to change with maturity increasing in lignin content which is not digestible. This renders feedstuffs from late stage of plant growth more indigestible hence less nutritious. Despite high levels of gross energy, high fibre low quality feedstuffs like maize stovers and cereal straws have low digestibility hence low energy value; dried grass like hay is at medium level, whereas cereal grains have high digestibility thus high energy value. This parameter is therefore the key determinant of digestible energy (DE) value of feedstuffs. However, metabolisable energy (ME) obtained after further deducting some smaller losses through methane (from feed fermentation in the rumen) and urine, is the best indicator and the one used to show the real value of the feedstuff. [Metabolisability (q) of a feed is used to
represent this value, hence pointing at the feedstuff quality. The q value is obtained by dividing the ME of feed by its GE. The range of q values of common feedstuffs varies between about 0.4 to 0.7 with poor quality straws at the former value and high quality dairy ration at the upper end]. The utilisation of ME is further dependent on the species, age, type of production, and nature of diet fed. Protein comprises the largest part of the dry matter in the animal’s carcass (after fat in mature animals). Its requirement is similarly for maintenance and production and therefore dependent on the animal’s physiological status. The greatest demand for protein occurs during lactation. Protein is the most expensive part of the livestock diet hence the importance to ensure it is used efficiently and prudently to avoid waste and economic loss. In ruminants, the protein supply must be met from: i) the microbial protein that the rumen microorganisms synthesise represented by rumen degradable protein (RDP) and ii) the dietary protein that escapes rumen fermentation (UDP). These can be calculated from knowledge of the dietary crude protein and its overall degradability. The estimated values for various feedstuffs are known and can be used for this purpose (See Annexe). It should be noted that degradability of feed protein by rumen micro-organisms to synthesise RDP depends on energy supply from the diet, hence determined by the metabolisable energy of the diet. This must be factored into feeding techniques because efficient utilisation of protein or non protein nitrogen (NPN) demands energy supply. When animal protein requirements exceed those of microbial protein (RDP) especially in case of high milk yield, then dietary supply of UDP must be included especially true protein which largely escapes fermentation in the rumen and is digested in the small intestines. The best feedstuffs for UDP supply are fish meal which is usually expensive or the legume leucaena which is a far cheaper source. These are important principles and considerations in feeding for high milk production.
Minerals can either be categorised as major or trace depending on level of body requirement. About 27 chemical elements are essential to animals, 11 major and 16 trace elements. The key major minerals required by cattle are: Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Chlorine, Sulphur and Magnesium while the trace elements are: Iron, Zinc, Copper, Molybdenum, Selenium, Iodine, Manganese, and Cobalt. The
inorganic elements are required mainly as structural body components or for other biochemical reactions and nutrient metabolism. Milk contains relatively high concentrations of both Ca and P which drain the damâ€™s reserves and can cause serious problems in early lactation. Milk fever occurs when a cow is unable to mobilise enough Ca from bone for milk production after parturition. Low bioavailability of P is common with tropical feeds hence P deficiency is the most common problem of mineral nutrition. Multi mineral supplements in form of blocks or licks should be given to ensure there are no mineral deficiencies. Vitamins are essential for their role in biochemical reactions. About 10 vitamins should be supplied but ruminants (adult stock) may not need direct supply of all these due to provision from microbial synthesis.
For dairy and meat production, most tropical cattle depend on natural pasture, crop residues and by-products. Milking cows are expected to derive their maintenance requirement and the first kilograms of milk from such roughage. This method of feeding is cheap but not adequate for high yielding dairy breeds. Cut and carry forage such as Napier grass may act as a supplement to natural grazing. In more intensive systems, cows are zero-grazed and all the feed given in the stall. Additional high quality feed inputs must be given if higher milk yields are to be achieved. Under intensive systems in temperate regions where the exotic breeds originate, supplementary concentrates form a greater proportion of the diet. However, over 35% of the dry matter intake should be from roughage for proper rumen function. The roughage can be natural or sown pasture, conserved forage such as silage or hay, forage from fodder grasses and legumes, crop residues or browse.
commercial poultry and pigs must be very closely met by the feed given which should be complete and provide all required nutrients at the right amounts and proportions. These species are raised in total confinement. Hence must be offered complete compounded rations specifically formulated for them and their different classes. The commercial poultry hybrids are bred for superior production with rapid growth rate in broilers and high egg production for layers. These high performance breeds are very sensitive to nutritional
deficiencies and their nutrient requirements must be met in full to avoid low production, metabolic problems and high mortality. Unlike the case for ruminant livestock, nutrient requirements are addressed at a higher level of specification. Protein requirements are expressed as essential amino acid requirements, with amounts clearly specified and the most limiting of these, namely lysine and methionine being augmented in the feed with synthetic amino acids where necessary.
The only way to satisfy poultry nutrient requirements is through use of high quality compounded rations where the feed miller has strictly formulated the rations to the specified nutrient composition spelt out in the feeding standard tables. The feed specification (feeding standards) booklets are available at the Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) for poultry feeds and dairy meal concentrates but they are not used by feed millers and many do not know of their existence or how to make use of them. This is pathetic because it leaves feed millers who in many cases are business persons with no technical knowledge in animal nutrition, to operate through trial and error methods. It is important for every feed miller to engage technical assistance in formulating and compounding animal feeds and for purpose of quality assurance. 3.4.2 Requirements for Lactating Cows
Milk production imposes great nutritional strain on the lactating cow. Cows feeding on diets that do not meet their energy and protein requirements for high milk production tend to mobilise body tissue reserves to meet energy requirements. This phenomenon commonly occurs in early lactation for high yielding cows (milking off their back) since they are not able to meet the high demand for milk production from their total feed intake. However, this should only be allowed to last for a short period. If the weight loss in early lactation is high (>25 kg) or prolonged beyond the first few weeks, the result is impaired subsequent fertility, lower peak yield and low overall lactation performance, among other adverse effects. Adequate, well balanced, high nutrient density rations must be fed to minimise effects of this condition. It is also important to put pregnant cows in their last month of gestation on a high plane of nutrition, a process referred to as steaming up. About 1-2 kg of concentrates are fed
to the cow daily to facilitate build up of body nutrient reserves in preparation for the early lactation period.
Feeding insufficient, low quality diets deficient in energy and protein requirements can only support low levels of milk production and further cause loss of body weight that leads to poor body condition. Poor quality roughages must be supplemented with high quality feedstuffs to increase milk yield and avert loss of body weight. The major part of nutrient requirements for lactating animals should be supplied from feed resources available on the farm to reduce feeding costs and make the enterprise profitable. Other simple and affordable supplements like molasses and urea can be used in low amounts to augment the energy and protein (NPN) intake and increase milk production. At higher production levels single feedstuff concentrates can be fed which are protein or energy-rich, or preferably, high quality compounded dairy meal which is specifically formulated for high milk production. It is important to assess the overall animal needs based on desired level of production and then evaluate to what extent these can be met from the feed resources on the farm. Where there is a deficit, the level of supplementation needs to be assessed in regard to nature of supplements, availability and cost.
Estimating total nutrient requirements and how to meet them can be assessed using different techniques. A suitable method is the ME and protein system. The energy requirements are calculated based on level of production using ME units (MJ/day) per animal. The protein requirements are similarly calculated using total crude protein (g/day). The degradability level of CP for rations fed is also important information for high milk yield. The ME and CP requirements increase with increasing milk production levels (Annexe Table). The other crucial parameter in meeting nutrient requirements for lactating cows is the total dry matter intake (DMI) of the daily ration fed. This determines total nutrient intake based on the concentrations in each feedstuff that make up the daily ration.
Even with good growth of pasture or fodder grasses dairy cattle are not able to derive enough nutrients for high milk yield from such diets. The common practice in Rwanda is to feed dairy cattle almost entirely on Napier grass (Pennisetum
purpureum) and without much regard for the stage of growth. The tendency is to feed it at a mature stage when its dry matter content is higher. It is important to note that that young leafy Napier is the most nutritious despite its low DM content. It has about 15% DM, 10.7% CP and ME content of 11.3 MJ/kg DM. At mid-stage, its DM content is higher (23%), but the CP content drops to 9.1%. At mature stage, its DM is highest at 27%, CP at its lowest (5.2%) and low ME (9.3 MJ/kg DM). This data tells the whole story on nutritional value of Napier grass and that the best time to feed it is at a young to medium stage when quality is high but balancing on DM yield at the same time. Feeding at mature stage as commonly practised by farmers offers little nutritional value particularly the low protein and energy and can only support a low level of milk production. The critical dietary CP value is about 7% below which the diet can hardly meet any milk production needs. It is important to note that Napier grass is popular due to its high biomass yield but its DM and nutrient content is fairly low.
Dry matter intake of Napier grass varies with quality mainly related to stage of growth and whether there is supplementation with protein or energy source. Supplementing with legume forage like leucaena, increases total DM intake by over 20% and by about 30% if concentrates are used. As the only feed, good quality pasture or Napier grass will support production of less than 10 kilograms of milk per cow per day unless high nutrient density supplements are used (Mbugua, P.N., 1999). Above this productivity level, it is necessary to provide one kg of concentrates for every 1.5 - 2 kg of milk produced. Compounded dairy meal is ideal for supplementation since it is specially formulated for milk production. Farmers wishing to save on cost can feed more affordable concentrates like oil seed cakes, cereal grain milling byproducts, fish meal or bone meal, either as single feedstuffs or mixed formulations with fairly satisfactory results. In absence of concentrate feeds, improving the nutritional value of Napier grass by mixing with legumes which are high in protein and readily available on the farm remains the most cost effective feeding strategy
In feeding dairy cattle, the objective is to ensure adequate intake of dry matter and the requisite nutrients. Dry matter (DM) intake expressed as percent of body weight
varies with the size of animal and level of milk production (NRC, 1978). This phenomenon is well illustrated in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Relationship Between Feed Intake of Lactating Cows, Milk Yield and Body Weight
A cow eats dry matter equivalent to 2.5-3% of her body weight each day depending on quality of diet (Matthewman, R.W., 1993). A 400 kg animal hence needs 10-12 kg DM per day or 3650-4380 kg DM per year. For medium growth Napier grass with 20 % DM, this translates to 50-60 kg fresh herbage daily and 17-22 tons a year. The DM intake is related to level of production and pregnancy status. High yielding cows eat more than low yielders while pregnant cows eat more than non-pregnant ones. The dry matter intake (DMI) of lactating cows is estimated using an equation that relates it to body weight (BWT), level of milk yield per day (Y). Thus, DMI (kg DM/day) = 0.025 BWT + 0.1Y. This demonstrates the importance of balancing
quality with quantity of Napier grass to provide adequate DM and optimal nutrient intake at the same time, hence the recommended cutting stage at about one meter height or 6-10 weeks of growth/re-growth (Mbugua, P.N., 1999).
3.4.3 Calf Nutrition
Dairy nutrition cannot be complete without addressing calf nutrition. The heifer calf is the next dairy cow and neglecting its nutrition and management undermines the foundation of the future dairy herd. Well fed dairy cows yield enough milk to motivate farmers to offer adequate amounts to the calves daily. Calves should be fed about 350-400 litres of milk from birth to weaning at about 3 months of age. The daily amount should increase from 3 litres the first week to 5 litres per day by the 7 th week then gradually reduce to one litre by 12 weeks of age. A handful of concentrates if available (calf pellets) can be fed from the 5th week and gradually increased to about one and a half kg by the 12th week. Low amounts of milk below recommended intake levels depress growth rate of calves and prolong period to attain sexual maturity, first service and first calving. All these delayed performance parameters prolong the generation interval for the herd and reduced overall performance.
3.4.4 Nutritional Assessment and Planning
The first stage comprises assessment of all the resources available to the farmer. These have to be evaluated on per year basis and include: the amounts of grazing, browse, crop by-products produced during the year, household waste and other nonconventional feedstuffs used. The amount of energy and protein available from each source is calculated using feed composition tables (See Annexe Table on nutrient content of feedstuffs). Annual DM yield for grasses varies between 1 ton per ha for unimproved pastures to 4-5 tons per ha for well managed cultivated pastures and this can go to 10-20 tons for irrigated pastures. Napier grass can yield up to 20 tons DM and go beyond this level if well managed or irrigated. Using the table on
estimated energy and protein requirements for cattle per year versus the values estimated as available on the farm per year indicates either surplus or deficit. If the latter, the farmer has to look for more feed or purchase to supplement and meet the deficit. The farmer can decide on other options like reducing number of animals or changing the type of pasture to improved type with legumes. Efforts should be made to make the feed supply more uniform throughout the year by a policy of feed conservation. This can be done by conserving surplus wet season feed as hay, silage or standing hay. The main indicators of good nutrition are body condition, milk yield and rate of growth/body weight gain for young stock. In other species like poultry, the rate of egg production is the best indicator in layers and body weight gain in broilers.
In determining the feed requirements and how to satisfy them, the nutritionist cannot work in isolation from the rest of the animal/crop production system, the prevailing bio-physical environment or the socio-economic circumstances of the farmer and his family. Nutritional advice should produce a feeding strategy that takes all these factors into consideration. In an attempt to fulfil the stated nutritional objective for his animals, the farmer usually works against a series of limitations that practically apply within his specific context. Where there is a shortage of land, the farmer has to restrict the space over which his animals may find food. In many situations, there is a shortage of high quality foods that can be used to offset an abundance of poor quality grazing or fodder. The aim in either case must be an attempt to produce a properly balanced diet at the least cost to the farmer.
3.4.5 Water Requirements
Water intake depends on food intake, nature of diet, physiological status of the animal and the ambient temperature. Indigenous breeds drink less than exotic breeds because they are better adapted to hot environments and have a lower body water turnover. Ideally, a constant supply of water should be available. Estimating drinking water requirements takes into account that the feed on average supplies half of the total requirement, hence only the other half needs to be directly provided as shown in Table 3.
Table 3 : Total Water Intake of Cattle (kg/cow/day)
temperature over 200C) 0
3.4.6 Effect of Poor Nutrition and Feeding
Under-nutrition of the animal always results in decline in performance particularly in relation to the achievable level for the inherent genetic potential. The main adverse effects of underfeeding are:
Reduced production of milk, meat and eggs
Impaired reproductive performance
Low dietary energy and protein for dairy cows cause a drop in milk production and negatively affect milk composition. Failure to meet the nutrient requirements in early
to peak lactation reduces the peak yield and that of later lactation and adversely affects breeding. Poor nutrition causes loss of body condition, anoestrus, infertility, silent heat and retained placenta. It is the predominant cause of long calving intervals in the tropics. Similarly in other species, underfeeding always results in poor growth rates in young stock, decline in reproductive performance and low levels of production of animal products like eggs, meat and wool.
3.5. Rationale for Animal Nutrition Improvement Strategy
It is clear from the foregoing that breed improvement programmes nationally must be accompanied by similar reforms in animal nutrition and feeding. The same holds true at the farm level where change to modern commercial breeds or upgrade to intermediate crosses has to go hand in hand with the requisite feeding. Enhanced genetic potential can only be optimally exploited through appropriate feeding that meets the nutrient requirements for the inherent potential. In the absence of adequate feeding, the extra potential goes unexploited amounting to wastage of valuable genetic resources and often causing other metabolic disorders that reduce overall performance. For the farmer, this translates to loss in income from the foregone production and additionally from the adverse effects on performance.
Although plans and intentions for improved nutrition have been generally stated in the policy documents, it is the absence of concrete strategies and co-ordinated implementation that has left a gap that now urgently needs to be addressed. For dairy which has been the focal point, the other subcomponents on disease control and AI have received priority attention, thus comparatively enjoy a better position. Initiating of programmes and technologies that create major changes in respective communities needs to be considered in a holistic manner with comprehensive planning. Many times, piecemeal introduction of technology packages can be counterproductive, hence the need for the whole package that also factors in the socio-economic environment to enhance adoption. For farmers receiving improved dairy breeds, it has obviously not been business as usual and all round preparedness is needed under such circumstances.
Conceptually at the policy level, animal nutrition merits high priority status for success of programmes dealing with high performing livestock across the species spectrum. However, the area has received marginal attention from the mandated agencies especially RARDA and ISAR and the lack of due joint consultations and collaboration has exacerbated the problem. To be fair and realistic, the two agencies may be willing to improve but lack capacity particularly in regard to technical staff, requisite budget and specific policy guidelines. It is hereby acknowledged that some good work has been accomplished by some of the projects like PADEBL which is mandated to put more focus in this area. Lack of coordinated activities and functional linkages between the relevant agencies have hampered progress and the negative impact of this has mainly manifested at the end user level.
Available information indicates that some of the necessary measures for preparing the dairy cow beneficiaries have been undertaken by PADEBL and some of the NGO stakeholders who have participated in the breed improvement initiatives. Most notable are the HPI and SAC which have done part of their work under the PAPSTA Project (Shem & Venuste, 2008). These two have trained farmers and farmer cooperatives on husbandry practices, breeding and feeding management, fodder establishment, management and utilisation, before or alongside the distribution of improved cows. This is commendable and the way to go but the initiatives are on low scale compared to national needs and their success rate needs to be enhanced. The efforts need to be up-scaled and coordinated with those of other stakeholders to become more meaningful and allow for synergies across the various players.
On a different note, genetic improvement for the other species has remained a low priority area and production systems for these animals have not changed much. Productivity is low, characteristic of indigenous species with low genetic potential. Animal nutrition and feeding is also low priority even at the farm level where animals mainly scavenge or browse around for their feed requirements and only restricted or tethered to protect crops against possible damage. The competition for feed with dairy cattle is mostly felt during the dry season when pasture and fodder production are low and crop residues and by-products have to be shared. It is important to note that feed supplementation enhances productivity for these species as well
particularly local hens which are known to lay more eggs per clutch and more clutches per year if supplemented above the scavenging. Farmers appear not to have this kind of information and they hence settle for minimum productivity. The appropriate feeding practices for indigenous livestock need to be disseminated by the extension system.
A lot needs to be done for the compounded feeds industry. There is no data on the actors and the field appears to be free for all without due regulation in terms of standards and quality control. No wonder it has become the concern of everybody, both farmers and policy makers. Not much has however been done and the industry continues to run without any control mechanisms. There is lack of information at national level on private operators, installed and operational capacities, types of feeds made, quality assurance measures, amounts and sources of raw materials, feedback mechanisms for related animal performance, distribution network and other issues of concern. A visit to formerly state owned but privately operated ‘SOPAB’ feed mill (now SOPAR) revealed the sequence of events that led to closure of its feed milling operations in an environment with total lack of quality control regulation. Its production of fairly priced, high quality feed could no longer compete in an industry where every operator produced whatever quality they wished in the name of animal feed and priced it cheaply to maximise on profit.
Visits to dairy and poultry farms around Kigali showed that farmers have turned to mixing their own suspect concentrate rations under unhygienic conditions and this is a dangerous trend. The likely exposure of poultry to hazards of mycotoxin contaminated feed when the global feed industry has engaged HACCP quality control standards is to further jeopardise an already vulnerable sector. The industry needs to be brought back to sanity and firmly put under jurisdiction of the relevant quality control organs of Government.
As noted elsewhere lack of development of commercial poultry and pig industries impedes growth of the animal feed industry by denying the three the positive interrelationships and synergies that they share. The negative effects of this scenario spill over to the dairy industry that demands production of high quality compounded
feed supplements to support enhanced productivity. Regulation of the feed industry is urgent but it is also important to consider the impacts of the related industries for future planning. The national planning framework for dairy development should therefore initiate an all inclusive strategy so that the scattered initiatives by stakeholders and their achievements are acknowledged, documented and information made available at the coordinating Ministry level. Forums for joint planning and information sharing are required to exchange notes on planned activities, degree of success, constraints and strategies.
4. Current Situation of Animal Nutrition in Rwanda
The status of animal nutrition in the country is largely consistent with factors relating to biophysical characteristics of the agro-ecological zone which in turn influence the production system. The rainfall pattern for all the regions is bi-modal, with two rainy seasons around March-May and October-December. In between are two dry seasons, the longer one being June â€“September. Although the climate does not show big differences in the various zones, the Eastern lowlands experience more severe dry seasons and lower rainfall than the Western highlands. Consistent with the climatic pattern, the latter region has a higher human population density and its livestock production systems are different. In the Eastern province, animals are kept on relatively large farms on open grazing. In the Central plateau and the Western high mountains, animals are strictly on zero grazing, except in a particular zone reserved for livestock, Gishwati, extending across three districts (Rubavu, Nyabihu and Ngororero). In that zone comprising 12,000 ha, farm sizes are 5 ha each and animals (around 25,000 head) are reared on open grazing. Figure 2 shows the estimated populations and distribution for the main livestock species in Rwanda.
Figure 2: Livestock Population and Distribution by Species and Province
4.1 Eastern province
The altitude for this zone varies from 1000m to 1500m ASL and annual rainfall is about 1100mm. The daily temperatures are among the highest in the country. About 45% (463,972 head) of the national cattle population (1,194,895 head) is in this province. It is the only zone where average farm size of 10-25 ha can be seen.
In this region, animals are raised under open grazing systems on natural pastures. Proper pasture management has not been practised so far in this zone except for a few farms with improved dairy cattle where paddocking has been done. Despite the presence in the region of a livestock research centre, very few farms have improved the quality of their pasture by introduction of new improved grasses like Chloris gayana and legumes like desmodium. On a positive note, one good thing that has been done on most of the farms is clearing of the wild bush as a result of land redistribution and acquisition of title deeds. Farms are smaller than before and more manageable. There is a feeling of ownership of the land by the farmers.
The pastures comprise essentially of grass with little wild legumes. The nutritional value of the natural pastures is not known. At the end of the rainy season, grass is generally plentiful, especially in those few farms that are paddocked and well managed. But the long dry season is usually a disaster. Animals die of starvation and those which survive lose weight dramatically. Milk production is at the lowest level and reproduction is almost non-existent at the time. There is a belief among traditional cattle keepers in Eastern province, that animals cannot feed on dry grass like hay. The tradition was previously to move animals to more humid areas during the dry season (transhumance) with all the problems that the movement was creating in terms of disease spread and social conflicts.
In this province, farmerâ€™s cooperatives have now been organized and have purchased sixteen tractors. Considering the almost flat topography of the area and the two rainy seasons that allow good growth of pasture, these tractors are going to trigger the start of mechanization of the livestock sector. Non- governmental organizations like HPI, Techno-serve and ICRAF, an institution of higher learning and a livestock research centre (a station of ISAR) provide good opportunities to develop livestock production and nutrition in particular. As observed in the whole country, the only fodder that farmers plant in Eastern province is Napier grass (Pennisetum perpureum) to feed during the dry period. This grass tolerates drought but is not very rich in nutrients. It is often cut and fed to animals when it is too old and has high fibre content. A few farmers with dairy animals have started making silage of this grass for the dry season. Improved fodder legumes are not known to majority of the farmers in Eastern province except for the few that have been trained by NGOs (ICRAF). It is in this season 2009 when planting will start for those who have been trained in fodder production.
The strategic plan for transformation of agriculture (PSTA) has put an emphasis on cereal production especially on maize and rice. In Eastern province, land has been allocated to growing the two cereals. This means there will be large amounts of maize and rice crop residues available after harvesting. The handicap remains the fact that farmers are ignorant about fodder conservation and feeding techniques for crop residues. The current environment of cooperatives and extension work being undertaken by various organizations is likely to improve the situation.
Reports from RARDA show there are 61,707 head of cross breed dairy cattle and 27,490 head of pure breed dairy animals. Without considering the 374,915 head of Ankole cattle, the province has the capacity to produce 540,000 litres of milk daily from the improved cows alone. This is calculated on the premise that half of them are in lactation and producing 10 litre per cow per day for the crosses and 20 litre per day for pure breeds. However, the real situation shows only an estimated 100,000 litre are produced by all the animals. This difference indicates a major loss due to poor pastures and lack of concentrates for the improved breeds of cattle. This kind of situation renders the efforts of genetic improvements useless.
The following actions should be done to improve animal nutrition and animal production in Eastern Province and the country as a whole. Farmers should be trained practically on:
Production and utilisation of improved fodder and availing fodder seed beginning with the coming September 2009 season. Planting improved grass species can improve dry matter productivity by 4 times, hence less land to cater for more animals.
Conservation of fodder on large scale using the farmers’ cooperative structures to enhance the dry season feed availability
Protecting the land against degradation by matching the number of animals to the carrying capacity of their land and destocking where necessary. They further need extension advice on pasture and grazing management and observance of carrying capacity for the area.
Identifying sources of ingredients for concentrate feeds in the country and in the region and facilitation for access to these feeds provided.
Other Livestock Species
Efforts are currently made to improve cattle production but very little has been done for the other ruminants (sheep and goats). In this province, sheep and goats are kept on free grazing together with the cattle. The number is generally small per household. Goats are tethered to trees to graze on a limited area. These animals are of local breed with a very low growth rate. There is a starting initiative by RARDA to import Boer goats (bucks) from South Africa to improve the local breed. The improved goats will also benefit from the improvement of pastures generally targeting cattle.
Pig and poultry production is practiced in trade centres and along main roads. Pigs are fed on grass like Pennisetum and Setaria spp, low grade tubers (sweet potatoes, cassava) and banana leaves and peels. In areas close to rice production, pigs are
fed on cheap rice bran. There is no proper compounded feed for pigs in Eastern province. Modern poultry production is rare, especially after the ban of importation of day old chicks from abroad. A few farmers started late last year (2008) with small numbers of birds because they were not sure of getting a reliable source of poultry feed. The big population of chicken is kept the traditional way of scavenging in most of Rwanda.
The country needs to strengthen the pig industry by up-scaling importation of exotic pig breeds (Large White and Land Race boars) to upgrade the local animals. For poultry, local production of hybrid day old chicks needs to be stepped up to meet the high demand particularly in peri-urban areas.
4. 2. Central Plateau
This zone comprises the southern province, part of the Western province (Ngororero) and Kigali province. The altitude varies between 1500 m and 1800 m and the temperature is around 20° C. The rainfall is about 1200 m. The continuous exploitation of land that is not protected has resulted in a very poor soil that cannot sustain reasonable crop production unless replenished with manure/fertilizers. The land is so scarce that it is not easy to see a farm with open grazing system. Almost all animals are confined. The sign of livestock rearing activities are patches of Napier grass alternating with banana plantations on the slopes of the hills.
In this zone, about 20 % of the cattle population (400,000 head) is of improved breeds (5% pure dairy and 15% cross bred dairy animals). Animals are kept for milk for consumption and sale, while manure is used for fertilization of the degraded soil. The nutrition of these animals is based on Napier grass (Pennisetum spp). On farms around Kigali and other smaller towns like Huye, Ruhango, and Muhanga, cows are fed with small amounts of legumes (Mucuna, Desmodium, etc) in addition to
pennisetum. Some of the farmers that can be called relatively modern feed their animals with concentrate feeds. The big number uses maize bran instead of the actual compounded dairy meal. In December – January and in June during harvest time of maize, animals are fed on maize stovers for a short period and farmers are happy with availability of this feed to sustain milk production.
For the last 4 to 5 years, farmers have started conserving fodder (pennisetum) in form of silage. The dry season is some time longer than usual and can go up to October. In that case all the reserve fodder, standing hay or silage gets finished and farmers resort to tips of sugar cane and banana stems. It is during that period that animals are at the lowest level of milk production. Most of the farms are rather small with a small number of about 2 to 5 animals and these belong to modest or poor people. Cattle are primarily fed on Napier grass and crop residues. During the dry season, farmers spend their time in wet low lands cutting natural grass that is never enough for the animals.
They also cut tree leaves
(Ficus elastica) and banana stems but animals starve and lose weight.
Other Livestock Species Small ruminants are considered as the “cows of the poor” in Rwanda and seen as the first step for a poor person trying to get out of poverty. The next step is when the owner of goats sells them and buys a cow. This is probably why there is not much effort put in development of small ruminants in regard to genetic improvement and disease control. The local breed is very resistant to diseases but has a low growth rate. In the context of land scarcity in Rwanda, goats should be seen as a good alternative to cattle because they are not demanding in terms of feeding and management. In the central plateau, almost every rural household has two or three goats. They feed on natural grass in fallow plots, shrubs used as fences and all sorts of crop residues. These animals are not selective in terms of feeds, and hence resist the dry season well. As earlier proposed, local meat goats should be improved by crossing with exotic bucks of heavier goat breeds like the Boer.
The Southern Province that forms the biggest part of the central plateau is known to have a large population of pigs, especially in districts of Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru and Huye. In ordinary rural areas, pigs are of local breeds. It is only in church based centres, learning institutions and research centres that one can find cross bred pigs, generally crosses of Large white with the black local breed. The district of Nyaruguru has a forest (Nyungwe) that extends to Burundi and harbours wild pigs and warthogs. These wild animals constitute a reservoir for “African swine fever”, a disease that regularly kills more than half of the swine population. This is why the population curve fluctuates over time. Pigs are fed on grass (Pennisetum, Setaria spp etc), banana stems, and maize and beans leftovers. They are also fed on solid wastes of sorghum beer that is widely produced and consumed in that region. Since 2000, rice production has increased in the country in general and in Southern Province in particular. The processing of rice yields a good amount of rice bran that is also given to pigs. It should be noted that rice bran has certain anti-nutritional factors such as silica and oxalates and dietary inclusion should be controlled to acceptable levels for pigs and poultry. It is rare that pigs in Rwanda are fed on formulated concentrate feed. There is no production of compounded pig feeds such as ‘creep feed’ for piglets and ‘sow and weaner meal’ for sows and fatteners. These are specifically formulated for commercial pigs to promote fast growth rate and early marketing. These recommended feedstuffs used in other countries should also be produced in Rwanda to help promote development of commercial pig industry.
Poultry development has been handicapped by the risk associated with outbreak of Avian Influenza (bird flu) and subsequent ban on importation of day old chicks by the national hatchery. The country has gone without commercial poultry for almost three years (2006- 2008). The village chicken found in almost all households does get any attention. It scavenges on human food leftovers, solid wastes from preparation of the local sorghum beer, insects, etc.
Rabbits are less common in Rwanda in general. They are found in trade centres and in church based community centres. They are fed on grass and legumes considered as weeds especially those growing under banana crop. The domestic hutch rarely contains more than 50 rabbits. After the war and genocide of 1994,
many Rwandese prefer to settle in urban areas and in trade centres because of security reasons. From interactions with different people during movements outside Rwanda, feeding habits of many citizens have changed especially for those in towns. They can easily eat pork or rabbit meat. The market for these animals would therefore not be a problem. The tourists and expatriate communities in Kigali city form a critical mass in terms of demand for such products and special pork products to meet this demand are currently imported.
4.3 Western and Northern Highlands
This zone extends from the border with Uganda in the North of Rwanda and takes all the western side of the country including the volcanic mountains and Gishwati forest. The
average altitude is 2000 m and average temperature is 17Â° c. The rainfall is
around 1300 mm per annum. The population density is the highest in the country and goes up to 700 people per Km2 in some of the districts like Musanze. However, there is land comprising 12,000 ha allocated to livestock since 1987. The soil is acidic and not well suited for crop production without appropriate soil amendments. Many small rivers and streams run from up and down the hills, planted with kikuyu grass and some trifolium spp (white clover).
Like any other place in this country, during the war and genocide, animals were slaughtered as well as farmers while others went out of the country. Gishwati was repopulated with animals from Eastern Congo brought in by old refugees returning from Masisi (Eastern Congo). These were mostly crosses of Brown Swiss and Friesians. The land was recently distributed to small farmers and each got 5 ha for keeping 10 head of cattle. These animals graze on kikuyu grass and trifolium alone and give about 12 litre a day. Farmers there are complaining about the low price given for their milk of 80 Frw per litre during the wet season and 100 Frw per litre during the dry season. This is due to the inaccessibility of that zone. Roads have
been repaired with the funding of PADEBL but the seasonal heavy rains always destroy them.
Besides Gishwati zone, farmers keep few animals in their homes and feed them with crop residues like maize and sorghum stovers, wheat and rice straws, according to the harvest season. Beans and peas leftovers are given to animals. Heifer Project International and Action Nord–Sud have distributed animals to poor families and have trained them in animal husbandry. It is in these homes where one can find fodder trees like Calliandra and Leucaena. Those who are close to Musanze town and Mukamira flour mills feed their improved animals with maize or wheat bran. At 1800 m of altitude and above, Pennisetum purpureum does not grow well and farmers rely on Pennisetum clandestinum or Kikuyu grass. A study is being conducted by ISAR to grow improved Brachiaria grass spp. in those high lands.
Generally, farmers are not trained in animal husbandry and therefore need intensive extension work to improve nutrition of their animals and production. In Musanze, farmers have tried to use the by product of pyrethrum processing (Pyemac) as a source of protein and the results are good. Tests done at Sokoine University of Agriculture showed the by-product has CP content of 19% of DM. Around Rubavu town (ex Gisenyi), a good number of farms have been put up and are on zero grazing. Farmers take the advantage of the presence of Gisenyi breweries and use the brewery’s processing by-products, rich in crude protein (18 %) and energy. These farms supply milk to the two towns of Goma (Eastern Congo) and Gisenyi (Rubavu district). The feeding of these industrial by-products need to be promoted while ISAR should evaluate and recommend the optimum dietary inclusion levels for different species.
Other Livestock Species
Small ruminants are animals of choice in the northern and western regions because of the high population density and the scarcity of land for large animals. Caprines and ovines are kept indoors and fed with fodder and crop residues in most cases. For the few families that can afford to let a plot lie fallow, sheep or goats are tethered
on the plot while the owners are busy doing other farm work. Most of the times, the farmers mix types of fodder and crop residues not because of the intention of balancing the diet but because it is what is available in the environment.
In Burera (North) and in Karongi (West) districts, cross breeds of Merino sheep are kept for wool and for meat. In Musanze, a high learning institute for agriculture (ISAE) has a farm of Boer goats and diffuses the males in the districts. All these good breeds receive no special attention as far as nutrition is concerned. The Northern Province is known to be the sole source of pigs in the country such that inbreeding has built up. This has adversely affected performance of the animals. In 2008, 107 pigs were imported from Ireland and are doing well in Gicumbi and in Rubavu. Those animals are all fed on grass and weeds (Biddens and Commelina spp) that are common in all parts of Rwanda. In the North and the West they are also fed on solid wastes of from processing of local sorghum beer. In Gisenyi town, pigs are given breweryâ€™s wastes.
Since the end of last year (2008), commercial poultry units have been started in Rwanda, especially in the Northern and the Southern provinces. They are fed on concentrate feeds made on the farms using ingredients purchased from within Rwanda and outside. Cotton and sunflower seed cakes come from Tanzania whereas premixes and vitamins are from Kenya and Uganda. At certain periods of the year, even maize is imported from Uganda and Tanzania. Importing raw materials makes the cost of production of animal feeds very high especially in times of fuel crisis or political instability in exporting countries. This happened when there was violence in Kenya after elections in 2008. The price of maize doubled because a big portion of Ugandan maize was taken by Kenyans and by Southern Sudan. Rabbit production exists but at very low scale in and around trade centres.
Proposals for Improvement
In all ecological zones and under all livestock production systems, efforts of genetic improvement and disease control are visible. However, the only problem that is not
addressed is feeding. The following interventions are required for improved animal nutrition:
In the low altitude zone (Eastern province) and in Gishwati area (Western Province), where animals still graze freely, pastures should be improved using adapted types of fodders. Also the stocking rates and recommended carrying capacity should be respected to avoid overgrazing and deterioration of the environment.
Pastures and fodder composition should be improved by planting more legumes adapted to different agro-ecological zones.
Farmers need to be convinced of the positive impact of concentrates on animal production. Concentrate feeds should be produced locally either by cooperatives or by local private business men in districts in order to make them as cheap as possible. The Ministry of Agriculture and animal resources has a role of facilitation.
Small ruminants, pig, poultry and rabbits should be promoted also as sources of meat for Rwandese especially now that the orientation for cattle is dairy. Otherwise the country will run short of meat soon. The small stock fit in well with the small land sizes in most of the country. Poultry and pigs should be promoted in peri-urban areas where there is easy access to concentrate feeds and other inputs, and ready urban markets.
In fish farming, growth rate of fish should be enhanced by feeding specially formulated compounded feed sprinkled in the pond. This feeding regime accelerates growth rate of fish and allows earlier harvesting at the desired weight/size. However, this does not happen in Rwanda. Fish are fed on maize bran and rice bran; oil seed cakes, ruminal contents, sweet potato leaves, solid waste from sorghum brews and household food left overs. There is some low scale integration with poultry where fish are fed on chicken waste. This again demonstrates the need for development of the compounded feed industry to promote the fish industry through proper feed.
4.4 Feed Resources, Availability, Utilization and Conservation
Fodder/forage: grasses, legumes, fodder shrubs and trees. Although data on exact surface area occupied by pasture and planted fodder allocated to livestock is not available, the reality is that the demand by the national herd is far above what the country can provide. The only grass species cultivated all over the country is Pennisetum purpureum because it grows easily in most of the areas of Rwanda, gives a lot of biomass and regenerates fast after cutting. Few modern farmers conserve fodder in form of silage. Many do not have enough to feed animals and conserve so they resort to buying too old Napier grass or sugar cane tops which are very poor in nutritional value. The result is that there is always decrease in milk production during the dry season because no reserve is made for that period. Despite the fact that fodder legumes were introduced long ago, very few farmers have adopted them. Across the country, in all farms there is a deficiency of fodder in quality and quantity, causing low milk production, loss of body condition and long reproduction cycles which result in serious economic losses.
ISAR has started interesting work on Brachiaria spp. that can replace Napier grass on acidic soils and drought prone areas. In addition, PADEBL project has financed fodder seed multiplication by RADA and distributed by RARDA to farmers’ cooperatives. MINAGRI should raise funds to continue fodder seed multiplication after PADEBL closes operations.
Crop residues Crop residues are available everywhere in the country but farmers lack the knowledge and technology to use them in animal feeding. The table below shows the area nationally occupied by different crops:
Cultivated area (ha)
Annual report season A, 2008 â€“ RADA.
In the interest of enhanced crop-livestock integration as proposed in PSTA II, crop residues should be processed if necessary and safely conserved for the dry season so as to provide fodder in that period while manure is collected and used in fertilization of the soils. For this to happen, there is need of intensive extension work at the farm level through participatory approach. A certain level of mechanisation is also necessary to facilitate fast adoption of methods by farmers. Cheap and easy to handle machines should be proposed for cooperatives and individual farmers to allow them to chop and conserve crop residues.
Concentrate feed Concentrate feeds are not available in most districts in the country, and when available, they are expensive relative to milk prices which are low in remote areas. The quality of those concentrate feeds is not known because of absence of an efficient control system. The potential in animal feed resources of districts is not known although it is estimated to be low compared to requirements of animals. District livestock officers assisted by officers in charge of crop and animal production should conduct an inventory of all feed resources in their districts. Some districts have improved their cereal production in maize and rice e.g., Musanze in the North, Kamonyi , Muhanga, Ruhango in the South. The habit in Rwanda is to consume maize without hulling it, either as whole grain or as flour from full grain. It is only in Kigali that around 1000 tones of maize are milled giving about 100 tons of maize bran monthly. Unfortunately, prices of imported animal feed ingredients have been increasing while local milk prices are rather static, making the venture of animal feed production risky and uncertain.
Molasses In the district of Gasabo, Kigali municipality, there is a sugar factory that produces molasses as a by-product of sugar. Farmers are often obliged to feed their animals
with too old elephant grass or even sugar cane tops. The crop residues are also fed to animals when their nutritional values are low in terms of energy content. Addition of molasses to these feeds enriches them with soluble carbohydrates and increases palatability. Farmers know the existence of that source of carbohydrate but it seems not to attract their attention while it is quite cheap (40 Frw per litre). It is mainly a problem of lack of knowledge and dedication to livestock production.
Pyrethrum waste. The districts of Musanze and Burera ( North) and Nyabihu (West) are pyrethrum producers. That pyrethrum is processed in a factory in Musanze town. The wastes are given to animals (cows) as a source of protein. As stated earlier, Pymarc has 19%-20% CP of DM. This product can be an alternative source of protein for animal feed and can help to lower the prices. Further studies are needed on optimal inclusion levels to avoid possible toxicity.
Minerals Although consumed in small amounts, minerals are very important in animal nutrition. Low levels in feeds result in low productivity (meat and milk). This could also cause delay in return to heat that ultimately translates to an economic loss. Many metabolic diseases (milk fever, retained placenta, uterine prolapse, etc) that are frequent in farms of pure dairy and cross bred cows are a result of mineral deficiency. Quality concentrates which should provide minerals are not available in most of farms in Rwanda. Mineral licks are not available in most districts except in Kigali where they are expensive. In Rubavu district, a private entrepreneur has started making a form of these blocks that deserves encouragement. In Eastern province, animals are given salt from Katwe (Uganda) that may be lacking in some essential or trace elements. In general, farmers ignore the importance of mineral salts in animal nutrition. This is compounded by the problem of their scarcity.
Proposed Actions Although concentrate ingredients and mineral salts are not abundant in Rwanda, those available are not properly utilized because of lack of information by farmers.
Farmers should be trained and made to understand that farming is a business and needs investment.
Animal feed manufacturers should be encouraged and facilitated to produce quality feeds by providing them with information.
Good initiatives for agro-processing yielding industrial by-products suitable for livestock feeding (such as cited for Rubavu) should be encouraged and scaled up.
4.5 Compounded Feed and Quality Control
Availability, quality and high cost of animal feed are problems in Rwanda. Before the war, the source of animal feeds was mainly a semi private company in Kigali called “Societe de production d’Aliment pour Betail” (SOPAB) or animal feed production company. The share holders were mainly parastatal organizations (e.g., SONARWA) and few private people. Feeds were produced and distributed without much comment because there was no competition. After the war, the plant was sold to a business man and operated for some time. Then many types of feeds got in from Uganda while others were made locally, competing with SOPAR especially in terms of prices.
Generally, farmers rush for cheap feeds and only realise later that they have made bad choices. Feeds currently in the market are not checked for quality. They have no written labels on the bags to show their nutrient specification so that the farmer can know before buying to feed his animals. Neither MINAGRI nor the Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) undertakes any control. It is up to the farmer to experience the negative impact of poor quality feed through low animal productivity.
The mandate to regulate quality of all manufactured products including animal feeds is vested in RBS through Law No. 43/2006 of 5/10/2006, Article 3, which stipulates the responsibilities and functions of the standards bureau in this regard. The feed standards booklets are available at the RBS offices for poultry, cattle and code of practice. The cattle standard is however missing the nutrient specification table for
dairy feeds and this omission needs to be rectified. The code of practice clearly shows the procedures to be followed by feed manufacturers in regard to quality control and those for RBS quality inspectors in sampling and testing different batches of feed.
A visit and discussion with RARDA and RBS staff revealed that both institutions are understaffed. Only one person deals with all matters related to animal nutrition in RARDA and only one person at RBS is charged with quality control of all animal related products. There is urgent need of putting up a serious system for quality control regulation of animal feeds involving RARDA, RBS, district livestock officers and RBS field inspectors. Animal feed producers should be informed and trained on feed standards to ensure their products meet the specifications and legal measures should be taken in case of substandard products. Further, there should be a regulation for every feed miller to engage a technical person qualified in animal nutrition for developing formulations for different feeds.
The tradition in Rwanda is for cattle keepers to take their herds of cattle to water sources, either rivers, lake or other water source where water is put in a trough and animals drink. The water source is generally far away from home especially considering that many people live on top of the hills of Rwanda. Taking into account that animal production policy is on intensification and zero grazing a lot of care is needed for the confined improved and high performing animal breeds. Distribution of water is only done in towns and their vicinity. It is not common for ordinary farmers to realize how much water is needed by their improved cows daily (about 3 jerry cans of 20 litres each). Water sources are down in the valleys and it is not easy to fetch enough for home consumption and for animals.
The only solution for this system of rearing is rain water harvesting from the roofs of houses. It is done in Bugesera, Gatsibo and Nyagatare districts of Eastern province and in Nyaruguru of Southern province. Tanks built to store water are not big enough to hold water for the long dry season that can take three months. In Bugesera district (Eastern province), a project funded by the state of Luxembourg has built 400 tanks of a capacity of 3m3 or 3 000 litres each, with participation of beneficiaries. In Eastern province, more than 140 valley dams have been built for cattle by development projects; PADEBL, PDRCIU, PDM etc, but many dry up before the end of the dry season due to defects in construction, poor management as well as prolonged drought. For farms that topographically cannot have enough water for a valley dam, boreholes have been dug and provide water for animals. The project of boreholes was financed by African Development Bank and JICA. Construction of 50 valley dams and water reservoirs on hill sides for purposes of irrigation is proposed in the PSTA II.
Since the start of the on-going land redistribution, some small farms were left without water and hence take animals to other farms with water. This creates a potential source of conflict and spread of diseases from farm to farm. With land redistribution, farmers have started to rear exotic dairy cattle that are not adapted to hot environments as in the Eastern province and which need plenty of water for milk
production and temperature regulation. The dairy cows cannot produce much milk without enough water.
More valley dams and boreholes should be built where possible, with active participation of beneficiaries. It is only when communities participate in terms of money or in kind (man power) that they own the infrastructure and manage it properly. The following actions are proposed to enhance water availability and ensure adequate intake for livestock.
Water can be pumped from rivers or boreholes to the hill and then distributed to other farms by gravity. This system is known to be expensive. It can be subsidised by the state to make it affordable to farmers at the beginning but later pay the total cost of water on user basis.
Bulls can be trained to pull carts with tanks or jerry cans of water from sources.
It is important for farmers to understand that a cow needs water ad libitum. For every litre of milk, a cow needs 5 litres of water though part of this comes from the feed eaten. Water can be a source of contamination for the animals and therefore it should be clean and cool.
4.7 Challenges and Proposals for Improvement of Animal Nutrition
4.7.1 Cattle Feeding Practices in Rwanda
There are some critical issues to note regarding the main cattle feeding practices in Rwanda especially in the context of nutritional principles already covered:
Dependency on Napier grass alone and this is further fed at mature stage of growth when nutritional value has deteriorated (low ME and low CP). An added disadvantage is that the DM intake of Napier grass fed alone is always low hence cannot meet the energy and CP requirements for high milk production;
Lack of establishing and feeding legumes which are high in CP and can balance and add nutritional value of the forage. Legume supplementation also enhances the total DM intake of mixed forage rations which is the key technique for ensuring desired high levels of total nutrient intake and doing this in a cost effective manner;
For open grazing systems (eg in Eastern region), dependency on natural pastures which are poorly maintained. They are encroached by non-nutritious grass species and weeds or invaded by woody shrubs that are not useful to cattle (grazers) and further depress growth of the preferred under-storey herbaceous plants and grasses. A further constraint is lack of observance of proper carrying capacity for the area which leads to overgrazing and inadequate DM intake;
Lack of supplementation with concentrates denying lactating cows high nutrient density rations which even with small amounts fed, markedly increase the nutritional value of the total daily feed intake. The ideal concentrate is compounded dairy meal due to its well balanced nutrient composition, formulated specifically to supplement forage for high yielding cows. If unavailable or expensive, single feedstuff concentrates should be fed either separately or preferably in mixed rations ensuring inclusion of high energy and high protein ingredients. For all the cases above, multi-mineral blocks/supplements need to be made available at all times to ensure required intake and avoid deficiencies that may precipitate metabolic problems.
4.7.2 Data from Feed Survey Questionnaire
The following data summarises results of survey conducted using questionnaires for institutional stakeholders and farmer groups.
a) Institutional Stakeholders
Overview of status of livestock production ( all species) in general and animal nutrition in particular:
Livestock is important in Rwandese economy from family level to national level.
Performance is however poor due to neglect of proper animal nutrition.
Livestock development objectives: The sub-sector needs to promote animal production together with animal nutrition which is now recognized as deficient and a constraint to animal production.
Achievements: Some fodder research has been done and seeds multiplied at the district level. There is an on-going programme of increasing fodder seed multipliers at the district level. Some farmers have been trained in animal nutrition.
Strengths: Good rainfall patterns; Cattle breed improvement
Weaknesses: Low input in animal nutrition.
Opportunities: Good climate/weather.
Strategic issues to be addressed to create impact by 2012:
Fodder conservation; Pasture improvement; Quality concentrate feeds; Water availability.
b) Farmer Groups
Respondents: Co-operative group of farmers from Nyagatare, Eastern province
Average farm size, ownership and forage: 10 ha, with individual ownership; Natural pastures and small portions of Napier grass (about 1 ha).
Average number of animals reared: 12 dairy cows and 10 goats.
Production system: open grazing on natural pasture, supplementation with Napier grass or maize stovers at harvest time.
Cattle breed improvement and service: Natural service using improved bulls or AI.
Water sources: Valley dams are the main source of water. Farmers use buckets to fetch water and pour into troughs from where animals drink.
Dairy cattle feeding by farmers in the area: Proportion feeding silage is about 5%; Hay, 1%; Crop residues, 5 %. The crop residues are mainly maize stovers.
Reasons preventing farmers from making silage are: Lack of knowledge; Lack of fodder reserves due to overstocking; Expensive labour associated with lack of young people willing to do farm jobs cheaply.
Reasons for not using crop residues: Lack of awareness; Lack of cheap labour.
Average milk production: Pure breed, about 15 l/day; Cross breed, about 8 l/day.
Milk for sale, about 20-80l/day; for home consumption - 5l/day.
Milk price, about 130 FRW/ l
Average profit: Pure Friesian cow, about 600 FRW/cow/year
Animal nutrition and feeding knowledge: Farmers don’t know exactly what to feed their animals and how much.
Use of compounded feeds: Farmers mostly do not feed concentrates and are not satisfied with their quality.
Ways to increase production: Giving concentrates to animals; Training in animal feeding and husbandry.
Any training done: Some farmers have been trained once by nearby Umutara Polytechnic staff but more is needed and to cover more farmers.
Challenges of livestock farming: Diseases control; Lack of proper feeding.
The above data confirms that farmers and stakeholders appreciate the positive role played by proper nutrition and feeding on livestock productivity. They further recognise there are negative effects on animal performance when feeding is inadequate. With good feeding, milk production from pure breed Friesians would range between 20-40 litres but this is not the case with farmers from Eastern Province and most of the country.
The main constraints are: limited knowledge on proper feeding, lack of adequate fodder, lack of conserved feed for dry season feeding and poor quality compounded feeds. There is need for interventions mainly on extension in fodder production,
utilisation and conservation, provision of fodder seed and availability of quality compounded feed.
4.7.3 Fodder Quality and Quantity Improvement
All over the country, in all animal production systems, pasture and fodder supply are deficient in quantity and quality. For free grazing system on pasture, the tendency of overstocking though relatively decreased for the last two years, is still a problem in Eastern province as well as in Gishwati, in the West. The result is that quality of pastures gets poorer and poorer. The solution is to destock and match the number of animals to the land size. In PSTA I (2004), MINAGRI had estimated the carrying capacity of Rwanda was saturated with 500,000 head of cattle yet the current number is almost 1,200,000 head. Destocking of local animals should continue as the number of improved breeds increases. This action should go in tandem with pasture improvement through over-sowing with improved grass species and exercising proper grazing management.
There should be introduction of new improved grass species like Chloris gayana in the low land and Brachiaria spp in the highland, in addition to a variety of legumes. Napier grass is a good fodder despite its high soil nutrient depletion but is currently not well managed by farmers. Those interviewed responded they did not apply manure to the fodder plots but only to food crops. Under such conditions, Napier grass produces half of the dry matter yield obtained from well manured plots. The fodder crop is deprived of adequate nutrients for quick regeneration. It is important that farmers direct some of the manure from cattle sheds to fodder production and not just apply to food crops. Intercropping Napier grass with legumes further helps improve soil fertility through nitrogen fixation by bacteria (rhizobium spp) in the root nodules of the legumes.
The concept of soil fertility replenishment needs to be understood by farmers in regard to the positive impact on fodder production. Integrated crop-livestock production needs to be undertaken within the context of enhanced interactions
between both enterprises to maximise on associated nutrient cycling.
areas however, Napier grass might not be the best choice. It does not grow well in the very high altitude areas of Western province, such as Gishwati and Nyabihu due to cold. The choice should be for cold tolerant species. Research could test suitability of Brachiaria ssp due to its adaptability to acidic soils, good regeneration and substantial biomass.
Farmers on zero grazing tend to rely on Napier grass alone as fodder. Intensive extension work is needed to make them understand that this is not enough and should be accompanied by legumes like Mucuna, Lablab, Desmodium or agro forestry trees/shrubs like Calliandra, Leucaena, etc. This should be the work of sectorsâ€™ livestock officers and farmers cooperative representatives who have been trained in animal nutrition.
As improved dairy animals are now in all districts, Nyagatare having the highest number (13,441 pure breeds, 30,165 crosses) and Karongi the lowest (44 pure breed and 1,149 crosses) and genetic improvement is going on, it would be a loss not to exploit that genetic potential by using concentrates in dairy industry. The country is engaged in cereal production through farmer cooperatives. There should be encouragement of processing cereal grains at the district level so as to add value to feeds from by-products and allow the farmer to consume the refined product. This will avail cereal by products at the district level. Strengthening cooperatives for farmers and encouraging investment in the rural areas are the only ways to achieve this development. Infrastructure development in the rural areas is one of the most important aspects of that encouragement.
As stated earlier, animal feed producers get ingredients at high prices from neighbouring countries because of transport and taxes. Just like for other agricultural inputs, tax waiver for raw materials and VAT on finished feed should be granted to enhance access and affordability by farmers.
4.7.4 Fodder Seed Multiplication
Most of the farmers interviewed in four districts had not planted or used legumes to feed their dairy cattle and generally lamented on unavailability of fodder seed. It is expected under PSTA II that farmers growing fodder will increase from about 200 to 300 per year between 2009 and 2012. Growing of legumes in addition to grass fodder also needs emphasis to enhance livestock nutrition and productivity. The following information obtained from the seed multiplication unit at RADA, MINAGRI is indicative of the current position on fodder seed multiplication and distribution.
A one month training on animal nutrition and seed multiplication in Kenya was organized by PAPSTA for a few officers from RARDA, RADA and ISAR. The trained staff have organized to train others in Rwanda.
Magnitude of fodder seed multiplication is on low scale compared to the national requirement. Amounts of seed imported annually are: Mucuna - 30 tons; Lablab -10 tons; Desmodium - 1 ton; Trifolium spp. - 500kg. RARDA decides on amount to be imported or multiplied, PADEBL gives the funds and RADA handles all the procurement and multiplication issues.
More contracts for seed multiplication with PADEBL are needed. Seed for this purpose is procured from seed companies in the region or obtained from ISAR. The bulked seed from multipliers is given to RARDA for distribution. Farmers can also buy seed direct from RADA.
The few multiplication contracts by private persons (currently only one) are for easier legumes like Mucuna and Lablab. Small seeded species like Alfafa and Chloris gayana are difficult to multiply and their seed is expensive (alfafa – 16,000 FRW/kg). Seed for the latter species is therefore mainly imported from Kenya.
Distribution system in the country is not efficient. Input shops across the country sell other livestock inputs but not seed. The farmers are reluctant to buy due to the high cost.
Mucuna and Lablab are the cheap legumes that can relatively be afforded by farmers: Mucuna – 1,250 FRW/kg; Lablab - 1,500 FRW/kg.
A few contact farmers in the districts are given fodder seed free to multiply and train neighbours on the same skills. They get one kilogram of each species.
The PAPSTA project has trained some farmers on seed multiplication practices in the pilot districts.
From the vast national requirements for fodder seed, all the multiplication initiatives need to be up-scaled to cover more districts and more contracts secured with private multipliers. The distribution system needs to be improved to cover all parts of the country. The community fodder plots proposed in the strategic plan are expected to provide a major boost to seed multiplication and availability at community level.
4.7.5 Farmer Organisations
Among other handicaps for animal nutrition improvement in Rwanda is the poor organisation and co-ordination of farmers which is a pre-requisite to accessing farm inputs and increasing capacity for organised marketing of animal products. The right inputs are often not available or too expensive for the farmer. There are also challenges of accessing markets and market information, aggravated by poor infrastructure.
cooperatives based on their real problems and interests and enhance their access to information on production and marketing. Farmers should be trained and facilitated to access farm inputs at the beginning with the objective of increasing their capacity to pay fully as productivity increases.
Institutional and Legal Framework
5.1 Legal and Policy Framework
Laws and regulations concerning disease control are clear and elaborate, but not much has been done for animal nutrition. The RBS has however set standards for compounded feeds for dairy and poultry and booklets showing the actual feed specifications are available for purchase at their offices. The documents need to indicate the law governing development and regulation of these standards to make the mandate clear for all potential users.
MINAGRI is in charge of animal production as a whole while the department of planning is responsible for planning and evaluation of development of the sector. Policies and strategies set by this department are implemented by RARDA. This institution is also assisted by projects like PADEBL (Support project for development of dairy cattle). “Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Rwanda” ISAR, or Rwanda Institute of Agricultural Sciences, also under MINAGRI is in charge of research in Agriculture and livestock. Research is supposed to be demand driven, oriented to the needs of the farmer and for the development of the sector. It is done in research stations but also, it can be done on- farm with farmer’s participation.
RARDA is supposed to take the new technologies from research to the farmer in a form that is acceptable and usable by the farmer. RARDA does not directly and regularly work with the farmers. It is the role of the district and sector livestock officers to organize and assist farmers to receive new technologies and make use of them for improvement of animal production. About 90% of Rwandese farmers are small holders and lacking agricultural skills. They cannot develop individually because of lack of finance and skills; they need to be organized in cooperatives to be able to access inputs (improved animals, semen, fodder seeds, concentrates and training). Other stakeholders are also important in the rural area for animal production. These are local and international NGOs and other organizations involved in livestock development (HPI, Send a Cow, Lutheran World Federation, ICRAF, IAR). All these bodies are very useful for animal nutrition development but present
weaknesses that limit their impact on livestock development. Some of them are service providers for the PAPSTA project which is doing a good job it ne zones covered and its model can be replicated elsewhere especially in regard to extension methods used. However, even in this project animal nutrition and feeding is a challenge as the coordinator noted.
RARDA and ISAR are understaffed if they are to fulfil their respective roles in animal nutrition improvement. ISAR has similar problems: research stations have very limited number of scientists who are doing commendable work with on-farm research, introducing fodder grass and legumes. Every ecological zone should have a team doing the same work. What is unfortunate is that many of the scientists are still on training programs and others leave for other institutions because of higher pay. The government should find a system of incentives for researchers to retain them for long periods. For example, scientific work that is a solution to an economic problem should be rewarded in monetary terms.
The NGOs, HPl, ICRAF, and Technoserve are doing intensive intervention on integrated rural development and particularly on fodder development and farmer training, though on small scale in three districts of the eastern province (Nyagatare, Gatsibe and Rwamagana). These are like pilot sites that can be replicated elsewhere in the country.
The Ministry of Agriculture has invested in rural infrastructure with milk collection centres (MCCs), farmer training and cooperative formation and fodder seed distribution to these organisations. These cooperatives formed around MCCs should also be farmer training centres and the sector administration should avail a piece of land for fodder seed multiplication to be managed by the cooperative.
The other weakness of the MINAGRI institutions is a lack of efficient coordination, probably linked to understaffing. The situation of animal nutrition in districts is not reported to RARDA headquarters as if it is not a problem or it does not concern RARDA. Generally district officers report to their mayors who are their immediate
superiors. All the facilities available in RARDA are unknown by their end users who are district livestock officers. The link should be more direct, easy and fast.
The NGOs with their good work in rural areas, never report to the ministry or to RARDA except when they have signed an agreement and use the government fund. When the fund comes from abroad, then they report to foreign authorities on what is done to Rwandese farmers.
ISAR is busy trying new fodders with farmers but apparently RARDA is not informed on what is going on and therefore no synergy to enhance bigger impact on the farmers. It is hoped that with the new re-organization that will put all these bodies (RARDA, RADA and ISAR) under one umbrella (The Rwanda Agricultural Board), there will be more linkages and collaboration for better impact.
5.2 Extension, Information and Training
The mandate of providing extension services for animal production to end users is vested with RARDA, to implement this in collaboration with other MINAGRI agencies like ISAR and RADA and other stakeholders. Some of RARDAâ€™s objectives are: to provide improved technology and extension services to farmers in order to help them modernise their operations, increase marketing of products and raise their incomes; to train farmers so that they are able to play a more significant role in their profession and in national development; to coordinate the activities aimed at improving animal resources so that they can complement each other. To effectively accomplish these and their other objectives, RARDA needs to be have: a suitable organisational structure that is coherent particularly in terms of operations and responsibility hierarchy, to ensure the necessary designation downwards and reporting mechanisms upwards. The horizontal structures and linkages need to be clear also for easier coordination at each level, horizontally and vertically. Similarly, the scheme of service should follow the same structure so that staff knows about prospects for upward mobility when they perform according to expectations. These organisational and operational dimensions instil motivation to technical staff at all levels and ease
coordination, delegation, reporting mechanisms, monitoring and evaluation, when the structure is well streamlined and properly functioning.
Additionally, the other requirement for achieving results is appropriate staffing levels according to the set organisational structure, in terms of numbers and qualifications/expertise. To improve animal nutrition and feeding in the country, competent animal production/nutrition staff is required at all levels particularly at the higher levels that influence and implement extension policy. Livestock nutrition extension packages are developed at the top and rolled out countrywide and hence the need for skilled personnel in this field. The level of remuneration is accordingly important for motivation and retention of well qualified staff while operational resources for equipping staff and implementing planned activities are also critical. Strong collaboration with stakeholders is key in implementation of RARDAs mandate. The grass root mechanisms for reaching and training farmers must be strong, equipped and functional to achieve successful extension at the end user level which is primarily the extension objective. If the above requirements are met, RARDA institution is bound to meet its targets and overall objectives.
There appears to be many gaps at RARDA in terms of appropriate organisational structure, responsibility hierarchy and staffing levels to enable it effectively deliver on its extension mandate in regard to animal nutrition. Some linkages appear to be missing while others are not effectively functional. There is lack of proper structures and reporting mechanisms impeding the two way flow of information and hindering the process of monitoring and evaluation. Some key staff at various levels appear unequipped for animal nutrition extension especially at the front line. There is also lack of enough officers at the top specialised in animal nutrition who can roll out technical operations from the top downwards to the sector level. Some of the challenges encountered attest to some of these shortcomings as listed below: ď‚ˇ
Dissemination materials (simple illustrated pamphlets) on fodder production and utilisation found at RARDA meant for the field extension staff are not found in the field and district officers and farmers met were unaware of their existence.
District officers and their sector technician staff were not conversant with animal nutrition issues and were neglecting that component. The District officers were mainly agricultural officers who did not appear to be competent in this area or simply not interested in giving it priority. They were accused by the farmers together with their staff as being unavailable and not demonstrating on any animal nutrition activities, not even planting of legumes and other suitable fodder species.
Farmers met in some of the districts eg Nyanza, said there was no seed available for planting legumes and neither did they know the establishment, management and feeding techniques involved. Others like in Nyabihu said that Napier grass did not perform well in their high altitude zone and needed introduction of other suitable, high biomass fodder species.
Some data collection questionnaires given to the District officers during joint meetings with them and farmers on agreement to return them to the consultants at MINAGRI were not returned. Data was however obtained verbally during the long group discussions at the meetings. The farmer cooperative group at Nyagatare was an exception and returned the duly filled forms.
Part of the failure to respond was attributed to a flawed reporting mechanism where they report to to district mayors and not to RARDA hence important issues on the ground take a long time to ever reach the top.
New technologies developed at Rubona Research Station on management and feeding techniques for Calliandra were unknown by farmers and District and sector staff at Nyanza headquarters about 25 kilometres away. This demonstrated lack of ISAR-RARDA collaboration, failure of technologies in leaving research stations
and reaching end users, and non functional
Tracing some of the District officers on the ground despite prior appointments was difficult as they were probably attending to other things and some of the farmers were assembled in inappropriate venues away from any formal establishments.
It is notable that staff on the ground relegate animal nutrition to the periphery and currently do not have interest or much time for it. It will take a lot of sensitising to create the drive needed for comprehensive animal nutrition extension work to take off. Some of the proposals made in this area are:
The Frontline Extension Workers (FEWs) who constitute the operational level that delivers extension messages to end users should operate at the sector unit in a more focused manner, each being in charge of about 2-3 cells. Their training is at certificate level but like some of the other staff, will require equipping and retraining in animal nutrition. The FEWs should report to a technical officer (diploma level) in charge of the sector who will then be answerable to the District Animal Production Officer (degree level). This level will report to the Provincial Officers who will in turn report to the Officer at RARDA in charge of Animal Production Unit. The reporting mechanisms are shown in a later part of the document. The animal nutrition desk will need to be strengthened with two assistants, one in charge of nutrition and feeding of ruminant stock and the other one for non-ruminants. It is important that one of the officers at this level is a specialised livestock nutritionist to effectively deliver the required expertise in the section on nutrition, feed production and feed rationing, and make the desk effectively in control of overall planning and development in this area. Regular training should be organised to update extension officers and link them constantly with research for technology development and dissemination.
Participatory extension methods should be adopted to promote uptake, ownership and sustainability. A strong participatory approach is hence required where needs assessment, problem ranking and prioritising of required interventions should be done together with communities while action plans are developed together. This extension model is already in use by the PAPSTA project and the model can be adopted by RARDA in training their extension staff, particularly the FEWs. It is also important to encourage farmers to keep records at farm level which can enhance their management
and business skills, inform their decision making and ultimately assist with data collection and monitoring for extension staff and RARDA as a whole. This will ease out the current situation of lack of quantitative data for assessing performance at farm level.
Wider involvement of stakeholders in extension, both public and private should be encouraged. A major MINAGRI collaborator is ISAR and it is important to establish functional linkages between the two agencies and with the farmers. To streamline collaboration, it is important that all stakeholders get registered by RARDA and partnership agreements signed indicating the level and type of services rendered. This will streamline operational, reporting and evaluation mechanisms and enable the agency to establish an up-to-date data base for all partners and respective activities within their information desk.
In line with production intensification policy articulated in PSTA II, RARDA needs to focus on training farmers on proper farm layout for the crop, fodder and livestock enterprises and appropriate integration to enhance their interactions and nutrient cycling. These skills are intended to provide for mutual benefit and increased productivity of the different enterprises.
As emphasised earlier, it is essential for RARDA and extension partners to train farmers on fodder establishment, management, conservation and integrated feeding techniques combining fodder and concentrate feeds.
The strengthening of RARDA is key to implementation of this strategic plan and getting desired results. It is imperative that the regular budget for RARDA be increased to be consistent with its contribution to the agricultural GDP of about 30%. The current level of about 10 % funding relative to the agricultural budget needs to be improved with time, moving to 15% in the 2009-2010 period and about 25% of the agricultural budget by 2012.
5.3 Research System, Training and Development
ISAR is the only research institute for Agriculture and livestock in the country. Some studies on animal genetic improvement and nutrition have been conducted. In animal nutrition, forage species have been introduced since the seventies. The main grass species are:
Pennisetum purpureum: This grass has shown good results in biomass production of close to 200 tons fresh herbage (about 30 tons dry matter) per ha per year on rich soil and high rainfall that allows 8-9 cuts per year. The grass is well palatable for ruminants. It however gives little growth in dry or cold conditions.
Setaria spp has a better soil covering but with less palatability and less biomass. It has a relatively higher level of lignin and oxalates compared to Pennisetum spp.
Trypsacum laxum has a preference for deep soils with high reserve water like in Rusizi Nyamasheke districts where it can produce up to 110 tons of fresh herbage per year. This grass is not well adapted to dry areas of the Eastern province.
ISAR is also testing adaptability of Brachiaria spp for drier areas as in the Eastern Province and on acidic soils especially in the Southern region. In this regard, the researchers are also working with 30 farmers keeping dairy cattle under zerograzing. The results show that this fodder can be a good alternative to Pennisetum spp because it has a higher protein content (11% - 16 % CP), more palatable and a higher dry matter content (20-40%).
ISAR has undertaken research on the following legumes that should be supplemented to the dairy cattle diet to enhance production.
Desmodium intortum, Macrotyloma axillare, Mucuna, Lablab, etc. Lablab is a short lived perrenial crop which is fairly drought resistant. It is also cold tolerant and less prone to insect damage. Desmodium spp has been shown to adapt to acidic soils and to aluminium toxicity of the Congo - Nile mountain chain. It also combines well
with a number of grass species. Macrotyloma spp is a perennial herb with marked drought tolerance, lower palatability but combines well with tall growing grass species.
Agro forestry trees have also been tested like Calliandra and Leucaena and are used at the same time for prevention of soil erosion. The multi-purpose fodder trees are a good source of protein for animals especially under zero grazing system and for integration of livestock with crop production. PADEBL has done a lot in regard to dairy and fodder improvement and fodder technology transfer.
The above research findings have largely not been adopted by farmers because of the existing disconnect between research, extension and the farmer. The research agency ISAR admitted such linkages were weak and needed strengthening including those between the agencies and other stakeholders. MINAGRI through PSTA II proposes a working approach where all stakeholders participate in the whole process of technology transfer from identification of needs of farmers to adoption of intervention actions. Inter-relationships of the livestock nutrition improvement actors were expected to strengthen with implementation of the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) which would bring the agencies under the single Board.
Some of the strategies for research (and extension) for improved livestock nutrition should be:
To identify constraints and production priorities of the farmer. This has to be done with his participation. Participatory needs assessment undertaken jointly by facilitators and farmers increases ownership and adoption of interventions.
To find out through research the right solutions to the farmers’ problems and to implement findings with his participation on-farm. Participatory research development with the farmer and implementation has greater and more sustainable impact. The research findings should increase livestock productivity and the farm revenue and this further motivates widespread adoption by other farmers.
Research should focus on real problems of the farmer in all dimensions of animal nutrition particularly on pasture, fodder and concentrates. Currently, ISAR is not dealing with research on concentrate feeds and crop residues. It is crucial that the agency embarks on this type of research by virtue of its mandate for all livestock feed research. The agency needs to test existing and new types of cereals for their nutritional value and substitution effect and evaluate other non-conventional sources of energy and protein such as root tubers and legume pulses which are plentiful in Rwanda. Research on crop residues is needed this being an important feed resource across the country especially during the dry season. New and emerging global bio-technologies for enhancing feed utilisation also need to be evaluated for their efficacy and validity under the Rwandan conditions.
Regular training should be organized to update research and extension officers on new frontiers of knowledge and link them constantly with the farmer in addressing the animal nutrition issues at the farm level.
Implementation of the research mandate requires strengthening the technical capacity by recruiting well qualified researchers and acquiring appropriate facilities. There is need to hire animal nutrition researchers who will not only work on fodder production but also conduct feeding trials to evaluate different types of feedstuffs. Technology transfer to the farmer should cover integrated feeding techniques appropriate for his situation and not just fodder. This also creates the need to acquire feed analysis equipment for nutrient composition assays including testing for anti-nutritional factors that limit feed utilisation.
5.4 Technological and Financial Environment
One of the principles guiding the strategic orientation of animal production in Rwanda is to transform it in a professional, profitable activity that generates good revenues for the farmer. It is imperative therefore that the farmer understands that he has to incur expenses to access inputs and use them to boost his production. Most of the local farmers (85%) have no savings and have no habit of contracting loans. They don’t have collateral and even fear to give their land as a guarantee because of
lack of confidence in farming. The only solution is to be organized in cooperatives and access loans using solidarity guarantee (guarantie solidaire). Rwanda has two non – commercial banks that have been playing a big role in agricultural financing: these are Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) and Union des Banques Populaires du Rwanda (UBPR) or Rwanda people’s banks Union. BRD finances medium and long term investments in Agriculture and agro-industry. UBPR that has spread in all districts of the country with more than 150 branches gives medium, small and micro credit to its members. These banks are accessible to small farmers if they can formulate small livestock projects, especially for animal nutrition improvement such as fodder plantation or concentrate feed production or for purchase of dairy cattle, poultry and pigs.
Animal feed harvesting, conservation and efficient feeding needs some level of machinery like hand choppers, fodder balers, etc. Chaff cutters can be purchased in Kigali (Rwandex Shillington) or can be imported from Kenya or Uganda. Balers are not made in Rwanda. They can be purchased from abroad. There is a simple technology of using wooden boxes to bale a little amount of fodder for hay making at the farm. The above machines can be purchased with loans from banks and paid with money from animal product sales. The process of planting, harvesting, conserving of fodder, concentrate feeds and their distribution should be taught to farmers by local livestock officers.
In all districts visited (Nyanza, Nyagatare, Nyabihu), farmers are complaining of low milk prices (80 Frw to 120 Frw/litre), while concentrates are sold at around 200 Frw/Kg. The same farmers say there is no benefit of buying concentrates if milk prices remain constant.
Looking therefore at the socio- economic environment, it is important that farmers be facilitated in the following:
Organization in cooperatives so as to access inputs, training and credit.
Information to farmers on existence of credit facility and agricultural guarantee fund in the Central bank of Rwanda.
Availing small and easy loans to handle farm machinery through private businessmen
Extension of the programme of milk collection centres in all districts and improved marketing system. These collection centres should be training centres for farmers and selling points for inputs.
5.5 Socio-economic and Cultural Environment
Livestock (small and large animals) has been considered as a sort of bank account for Rwandan people. Animals are sold to get money and solve a specific family problem: a number of chickens are sold to get money for treatment of a sick child, a goat is sold to get school fees for a secondary school student, a bull is to finance renovation of a house, etc. That is the traditional way of seeing livestock in Rwanda that continues to dominate the minds of common farmers. It is such perception of the sector that limits the ambition of investing fully in livestock production to get maximum output. Only few farmers have understood that they can accumulate wealth just by improving livestock production. There are beneficiaries of “one cow one household programme” who received improved animals and have attended training in animal husbandry and who have now shifted to a higher social rank of rich people. They are in Rusizi, Rwamagana, Huye, Gicumbi etc. They have simply invested in animal nutrition by planting fodder grass and legumes, feed concentrates and have good market for milk. In cooperatives that have been formed, a new spirit of positive partnership for development is born to replace the bad souvenirs of war and genocide of last decades. There is a system of passing on the female calf to an eligible neighbour in “one cow one household programme” and in NGOs (HPI, Send A Cow, LWF, Action Nord – Sud) that distribute animals to poor families. That system also creates a positive social bond consistent with Rwandese tradition. The problem of land scarcity obliges the farmer to limit the size of his herd when traditionally; the big number was a sign of socio-economic class. The only way out is intensification of animal production that
implies investment in intensive nutrition for higher production to replace the herd size.
Changing the mentality of people is not done over night but this can be achieved through:
A long term program of training for farmers
Study visits to successful farmers be organized in different districts
Film shows can also be organized at the sector level
Radio transmission can have a good impact and a positive change
5. 6 Stakeholders and Collaboration
The main stakeholders in animal nutrition are the following:
Farmers and farmer’s cooperatives who are the most important for their role as producers.
Sector and district livestock officers are the extension officers who are the closest to the farmers. They are supposed to be sufficiently equipped in terms of knowledge and logistics and well motivated for the task they are assigned for.
Service providers like NGOs, professional organizations, private operators etc. These stakeholders have their own programmes with their sources of finance. They normally operate on a limited small zone.
Planners (planning unit-MINAGRI) and programme implementers (RARDA). They plan, monitor and evaluate development programmes in the subsector of livestock and link other stakeholders.
Researchers in ISAR are tasked to find technical solutions to farmer’s problems and present them in usable form. There has been a disconnect among stakeholders that hinders development of animal nutrition and thereby animal production.
Issues to be addressed:
The solution is to empower farmer’s cooperatives to the point that they can identify their problems and their solutions.
Districts and sector livestock officers are often ill equipped and not motivated. MINAGRI should find a way of motivating them with training, means of transport (motorcycles) in form of loans, promotion etc Also, there must be a serious monitoring and evaluation system (performance contract type).
Service providers should be ideally local professional organizations that are paid by the farmers themselves like it is in some commodity chains of crop production (rice, maize). NGOs are there just because farmers are too poor to pay for services. They are there for a limited time and space and are not
always efficient and cost effective. Their intervention can be used as a good experience.
The ministry should link the research (ISAR) to districts and vice versa. Both institutions should be well equipped in terms of personnel and funded enough to fulfil their duties.
RARDA should have at least 3 professionals in the desk of animal nutrition for the areas of fodder, pastures and concentrates.
ISAR needs also 3 scientists, 6 technicians for 3 ecological zones in which adapted fodder species have to be identified and disseminated. All types of animal feeds in the country should be researched on. There is need to know the composition of brewery and pyrethrum wastes, and how to process them in order to transform them into more palatable form.
5.7 Environmental and Gender Issues
MINAGRI has established that the carrying capacity of Rwanda is about 500,000 head of cattle. By the end of 2008, the cattle population was 1,194,895 head. It is therefore obvious that in some areas like Eastern province, there is overstocking that causes deterioration of pastures with disappearance of palatable species and progressive dominance of unpalatable species due to degradation. Efforts have been made to destock and improve breeds at the same time but it is not easy to go back to 500, 000 heads at the national level. The “one cow one household program”, is a way of implementing economic development and reduction of poverty and consists of buying heifers from the Eastern province and distributing them in the South, West and North where they are kept in zero grazing system. The system is easily integrated to crop production for it provides manure to fertilize soil and at the same time, the farmer plants fodder trees to stabilize terraces and to feed his animals.The recent history of war and genocide in Rwanda left the country with a big number of families headed by women and children. About 30% of beneficiaries of one cow one household programme are women. Another fact is that animals that are kept by women perform better than those kept by men (One cow one household programme,
Report 2007). They should be encouraged to play a bigger role in farmer’s cooperatives as well.
5.8 Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Strengths (SWOT) for Animal Nutrition Improvement
market with stability
can affect Rwanda
on animal nutrition
and peace in Great
Land scarcity and
health and AI
community, a good
regional source of
Local breeds with
feed raw materials
and market for
Availability of new
Risk of diseases
in animal nutrition
animal feeds and
‘One cow one
Lack of quality
Exchange of ideas
control for feed
and raw materials;
within the region on
prices of cereals
No data on feed
livestock and feed
millers & capacity
materials on fodder
qualified staff for
partners willing to
for market from
are available for
assist with growth of
release to farmers
Lack of credible
animal nutrition services by NGOs
Inadequate working tools Increasing market
Lack of effective
for animal products
especially in Kigali
community in Kigali
city and towns
creating demand for
and other livestock
pork and chicken Good climate with
2 wet seasons and in animal
public support and
Lack of enough
water for livestock
support for growth
prices fail to
of agriculture and
Farmers willing to
Old laws and
policies requiring review
products that can
export of products
be used AS feeds
hard to fulfil
eg molasses from
sugarcane processing Successful
Poor pasture and
Projects to act as
Strategic Issues, Objectives and Strategies
6.1 Fodder and Compounded Feed Requirements and Emerging Issues
The livestock sector in Rwanda is growing at a fast rate in line with recent development policies and plans. The number of improved livestock is increasing at an even higher rate especially dairy breeds owing to implementation of ambitious plans for genetic improvement and increased productivity. This development has not moved in tandem with the requisite animal nutrition improvement to meet the higher nutritional requirements and hence underpin and sustain this growth. The basic feed requirements for ruminant livestock are adequate forage either pastures or fodder grasses or browse for goats. The common feeding systems are either zero grazing based on feeding of Napier grass or open grazing on natural or improved pastures depending on the agro-ecological zone. It is therefore important that this primary aspect of animal nutrition be improved to meet the growing requirements as per the envisaged PSTA II targets for 2012. Improvement of feed resources needs to go hand in hand with water development for domestic and livestock use. It has earlier been shown that the water requirements are quite significant. About 53 litres per day is the direct requirement for a 600 kg cow producing 10 litres of milk, with similar intake provided by the water/moisture content of the feed.
Nationally, MINAGRI has a responsibility to ensure there are adequate forage and water resources for the increasing ruminant livestock population by implementing policies and plans to expand current capacity.
Attainment of self sufficiency in
quality forage/fodder in all parts of the country is a noble objective for growth of the livestock industry. Assessing the overall needs has to consider both quantitative and qualitative aspects. The current position is not favourable with main forage constraints related to shortage of land at farm level, ecological factors in different climatic zones and lack of knowledge by farmers on feeding and feed resources including conservation. It is imperative that the forage and water resources increase concomitantly with projected growth of livestock especially improved dairy cattle. It therefore follows that auditing feed/water requirements against available resources
nationally is an important undertaking. This objective can be met through the following actions:
Evaluate the forage and water needs nationally based on the ruminant livestock population and extrapolate the needs annually to 2012 at the projected growth rate of the animal population. The needs vary by species, breed, age and production status but such requirements are documented in feed/water nutrient specification tables. Special attention must be given to the improved dairy breeds to enhance current and future milk production already constrained by poor feeding. Basic information here is the annual forage requirement per cow estimated on basis of average daily requirements multiplied by 365 days.
The average figures to work with are: A cow of about 450 kg producing 10kg of milk daily from basal Napier or pasture grass diet and consuming 12 kg DM, equivalent to 60 kg fresh herbage daily. This translates to about 4.4 tons DM annually equivalent to about 22 tons of fresh herbage a year. The current improved dairy herd is about 273,000 head although not all animals are adult stock. The average annual requirements for the national improved herd in terms of fresh herbage can then be calculated by multiplying the two figures: 273,000 x 22 tons = 6 million tons. (A factor of about 0.7 can be used to multiply this figure with if necessary, to factor in the inclusion of immature stock). A similar method can be used for the water needs using the daily requirement figure (above) for one cow and the total livestock requirements assessed against expected water supply in the different regions. The feed and water data is just indicative, for the purpose of broad needs assessment.
On the supply side, most unimproved tropical grass pastures yield one ton DM per hectare annually way below the 4.4 tons requirement. Improved, seeded pastures yield about 4-5 tons annually which matches the requirements. Well managed Napier grass and irrigated improved pastures can yield 10-20 tons DM per hectare. This shows half a hectare of well managed Napier grass with good rainfall for much of the year can well meet the nutritional requirements for two cows and one follower. As stated earlier, higher milk yield must be supported by supplementation with legumes
and/or concentrates. Many livestock farmers in the country have not planted legumes and neither do they use concentrate feeds. The main challenge for most farmers in all the regions however, remains failure to maintain uniform fodder production (and feeding) throughout the year due to seasonality and lack of conservation practices for dry season feed.
The current recommendation that about 0.4 ha be reserved for fodder production by recipients of dairy cows is therefore valid. As stated above, one hectare of well managed Napier grass and good rainfall can produce over 20 tons DM hence support up to 3 cows and 2 followers at average milk production level of 10 litres per cow per day). Heavier cows and higher milk yield require higher intake and so only 2 cows and 1-2 followers would be supported by one hectare and additionally fed on legumes and/or concentrates. However, there are many farmers who do not meet the 0.4 ha requirement due to their small farm size yet keeping improved dairy stock of several animals. These are farmers who depend only on Napier grass available on their farms and who commonly responded during the interviews that they get an average of 6 litres per day. This category of farmers is in the majority in the Southern and Western regions where land sizes are small. They need to be supported through: extension training on best fodder/legume production and feeding practices; integrated feeding methods using crop by-products from the farm; and ultimately, national efforts of ensuring fodder availability at community level to bridge the requirement gap.
The above statistics depict that farm level and hence, national position in terms of annual basal forage production versus requirements is not currently adequate. Various strategies are required both at farm level and at national level to generate and maintain the desired levels for sustaining high milk production in the country throughout the year. The current position at the farm level projects insufficiency at the national level. Self sufficiency of forage stocks at the national level can only be assessed by the stocks available at farm level unless there are extra strategic reserves. There are obviously certain seasons or years when critical shortage of feed resources occurs due to unpredictable prolonged drought. A milk pricing policy for partially compensating farmers against expenses incurred from purchasing
expensive dry season feed particularly concentrates during such periods can be adopted. Even with dairy cattle as priority, it is important to note that small ruminants found in a majority of households share the same forage resources available on the farm.
Consideration of other livestock species mainly the mono-gastric animals goes hand in hand with the level of development of compounded animal feeds industry. The performance of the dairy industry is also adversely affected by non-performance of the latter sector owing to the large requirement for high quality dairy meal and other types of concentrate feeds. It is proposed that commercial and pig industries be promoted in the peri-urban areas with easy access to inputs and ready urban markets for the animal products. The earlier chapters have indicated various challenges in the compounded feeds sector and these require to be addressed comprehensively. The key factor affecting performance here is quality control in regard to compliance of specified feed standards. The mandate for regulation falls under RBS. It is imperative that the concerned institutions and stakeholders urgently consult and come up with comprehensive strategies of addressing the current challenges. Such action will not only restore sanity to the sector but more importantly, align it with respective development targets for the dairy, pig and poultry industries.
6.1.1 Importance of Intensification of Production
Improved pasture species and management of Napier grass fodder A major recommendation of PSTA II is the need for reorientation of crop and animal agriculture to intensification in order to enhance productivity per unit land. For livestock, this can be achieved through improvement of the breeds and corresponding improvement of the feed and fodder quality. The latter is the focus of this strategic plan on animal nutrition improvement. It is important for the country to move to intensive methods of fodder production which entail replacing most of the current low productivity natural pastures with improved grass species by reseeding or oversowing methods. Proper management of improved pastures and grazing control are essential and so is appropriate management of Napier grass fodder.
These changes are critical in a country where about 50% of the farms are below the size of 0.5 ha and thus need to produce as much forage dry matter as possible on the least land area. This dimension of intensification is demonstrated by the two tables and two figures below that relate amount of forage (dry matter) production to land area (or farm size) and the impact on land area reduction made by better fodder management or planting improved type of grass.
Table 4: Estimates of Pasture Area (ha) Required for Cattle1, 2008 and 2012 Type and Quality of Grass
DM Intake Animal
a) Unimproved grass pastures,
Unimproved grass pastures,
Average growth rate 4%
Figure 3: Area Comparison for Unimproved Natural Pastures with Improved Grass Pastures
Table 5: Estimates of Area (ha) Required for Poorly Managed and Well Managed Napier Grass, 2008 and 2012
Year Type and
Yield of /animal/year Numbers1 of grass Required
Head) 2008 Poor quality
Napier grass 2008 Well managed Napier grass 2012 Poor quality Napier grass 2012 Well managed Napier grass 1
Assumed growth rate of improved dairy cattle is 10% per year
Fig 4: Area (ha) Comparison for Poorly Managed and Well Managed Napier Grass
Table 4 and Figure 3 above illustrate the effect of replacing poor quality natural pastures with improved grass species on land area. The natural pastures have low dry matter yield hence amount needed to satisfy the cattle population occupies a much larger land area, about four times that of improved grass species. This demonstrates the need to reseed natural pastures in the Eastern Province with improved grasses like Chloris gayana or Setaria spp. to save on land requirement, in line with the planned intensification programme. The improved grass species have high productivity in terms of dry matter yield and are also ideal for making hay which can be used during the dry season.
Similarly, Table 5 and Figure 4 compare Napier grass which is well managed including addition of manure for soil nutrient replenishment, with poorly managed fodder of the same species. The former yields more than twice the dry matter of the latter, hence requiring half the land area and again illustrating the saving on land with proper fodder management. This confirms the need to educate farmers on importance of good management of fodder grass and enriching it with legumes, thus intensifying production. If the above practices are promoted by extension, the country will achieve intensification targets projected in PSTA II Plan by 2012. The provision of seed for improved pasture grasses (and legumes) to farmers should be enhanced by RARDA.
6.1.2 Compounded Feed Industry
Compounded Feed Production in Rwanda Data collected through interviews showed the feed milling companies in Rwanda were about ten and all located in and around Kigali City. The production capacity was small in the range of 0.5 â€“ 2 tons per day per mill. Low cost, locally fabricated equipment was used for grinding and mixing. Feeds produced were distributed to different parts of the country.
Maximum feed production was about 60 tons per month per mill giving a total production capacity of 600 tons per month. Types of compounded feed made were: Poultry feed (100% of mills), Dairy cattle feed (100% of mills), and Pig feed (20% of mills). Data further showed that the main constraint for all the millers (100%) was the high cost of raw materials. This was closely followed by the response (by 70% of millers) that farmers were not enlightened on importance of concentrates in livestock feeding, hence the low demand. Only 20% felt that the milk prices were low in relation to the cost of feeding concentrates. On what needed to be done to improve production and quality of compounded feeds, 80% of the millers responded that this would be achieved through expanding the poultry feeds market while the second strategy (70% of millers) would be removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) from raw materials and compounded feed. Half of the respondents thought availability of the Agricultural Guarantee Fund was a good opportunity for facilitating investment in the animal feed industry.
Regarding feed quality, 80% of millers responded that they were not aware about issues of quality control. However, 100% responded they had never been visited or inspected by RBS staff. For other types of concentrates, some farmers fed maize bran to the dairy cows as a cheaper substitute for dairy meal. There were about 20 maize grain millers each with a turnover of about 40 tons of maize per month. The bran made up about 30% of the maize grain, hence an estimated monthly total production of 240 tons. This amount was either taken up for feed compounding by feed millers or bought directly by farmers for feeding cattle on ‘as is basis’ or mixing own concentrates on the farm.
A number of action points are derived from the above information:
The need to lower the cost of raw materials. The most effective way is through removal of VAT from both raw materials and compounded feed to facilitate reduction of cost by feed millers and affordability by farmers.
It is important for MINAGRI to put pressure on RBS to play its part through consultation meetings initiated by RARDA, out of concern on performance of
the livestock industry. The law is clear that RBS should regulate the standards of all manufactured products including animal feeds and animal products. The RBS has not played its due role and needs to urgently direct its efforts to enforcement of quality control in the feed industry.
There is lack of knowledge by farmers on importance of feeding concentrates to dairy cows. This clearly demonstrates the need for extension to train farmers on different aspects of feeds and feeding. The cost-benefit analysis (sec 6.1.3) for milk production on different feeding regimes evidently indicated that the highest financial returns are obtained from feeding fodder with legumes and concentrates.
Majority of the feed millers consider expansion of the poultry industry essential for promotion of the compounded feed industry. This can start with initial focus on peri-urban areas. It is important to initiate consultations with RADA on the need for intensification and increasing of yields in cereal production to propel growth of the feed sub-sector. An additional factor is deliberate introduction of low tannin sorghum varieties favourable for compounded feeds to increasingly replace the widely prevalent high tannin red seeded varieties.
Compounded Feed Requirements Versus Production The amount of compounded feed required can be determined using the following formula (Mbugua, P.N., 1999):
= (p x a x b x c)/1000
= Dairy meal requirement per year in tons
= Number of dairy cattle (in Rwanda)
= Proportion of cows in the population (Assume 50%)
= Proportion of cows lactating (Assume 60%)
= Dairy meal fed to each lactating animal per year (Assume 2
Assuming the rate of feeding concentrates is 2 kg per cow per day, the amount required per cow per year with standard 305 day lactation length is 610 kg. Using the above formula at the given assumptions and the population of improved dairy cattle at 273,000 (2008), amount of feed needed in Rwanda currently is:
= 273,000 x 0.50 x 0.60 x 610 = 49,959 tons 1,000
= 4,163 tons per month
The projected amount of compounded feed for improved dairy cattle in 2012 for a population of 400,000 (growth rate of 10% per year) will be:
= 400,000 x 0.50 x 0.60 x 610 = 73,200 tons 1,000
= 6,100 tons per month
The current estimate for compounded feed produced in Rwanda (sec. 126.96.36.199) is 600 tons per month. This translates to about 14% of the total current requirement (above). A similar method is used to compute the needs for 2012 based on 10%
growth rate for improved dairy cattle per year. The deficit will be even greater if there is no urgent intervention to increase this production rate. It is assumed that out of the 14%, dairy cattle feed is about 80% of the total while the rest is for poultry. This indicates only a paltry amount (11%) of dairy meal is available in the country compared to the national requirement. It therefore justifies why Government should be duty bound to intervene to facilitate growth of the animal feed industry which will in turn enhance milk and egg production. This demonstrates the need for incentives like tax waiver for imported raw materials and removal of VAT on compounded feed, to facilitate expansion of the industry and reduction in price of feeds. The tax tariff currently stands at 5% for oil-seed cakes and cereal milling by-products and 30% for maize grain. The high tariff for maize is meant to promote higher in-country production, discourage imports and reduce competition for the grain between human and animal consumption. A slightly lower tariff for maize can be considered especially for second (feed) grade grain. More imports of oil-seed cakes and milling by-products from neighbouring countries like Tanzania where the feedstuffs are plenty and prices reasonable should be encouraged.
The formulation for dairy meal requires about 70% milling by-products, 10% maize grain and 15% oil seed cakes. For all the improved cows (2008 population), the current maize grain requirement nationally translates to about 5,000 tons a year based on above annual compounded feed estimate of 50,000 tons. The area under maize nationally is about l40,000 ha (PSTA II). At an average annual yield of 2 tons per ha, the total grain yield for human consumption is 280,000 tons. The animal requirements hence translate to about 1.8% of the total yield while the maize milling by-products also go to feed milling. Use of this small percentage of maize grain in making of compounded feed or facilitating its importation, would greatly enhance feed quality.
According to PSTA II, production of cereals covers approximately 342,009 ha with sorghum leading at 159,670 ha. Yields for all cereals in Rwanda are low due to limited use of improved seeds (12% of households) and lack of fertilizer inputs, with maize yields at about 1000 kg/ha per season. The yield potential is about 4 times higher going by on-station production. There is need to boost cereal production to
jump start the compounded feed industry which mainly requires milling by-products and a small percentage of whole grain. The latter can largely be obtained from low tannin sorghum varieties as they offer less competition between human and livestock feeding compared to maize grain. There is need for introduction and growing of such varieties which are more palatable and nutritious for both humans and livestock. Production of soya-beans also needs to be stepped up, currently at about 55,423 ha. Processed soya bean has the best essential amino acid composition for monogastric animal feeds (except for low methionine content) and increased local production can create surplus for this use.
Compounded Feed Quality Control The existence of feeding standards nutrient specification booklets at the RBS offices is a major step in quality assurance of compounded feeds. The different specifications were written in 2007 with reference to the East African, Kenyan and Zimbabwean Standards. The cattle feed standards booklet however needs revision to include the actual nutrient specifications erroneously omitted. The next step for RBS is regulation of the industry and quality control. The RBS has the mandate to regulate and ensure standards of manufactured products (animal feeds included) under Law No. 43/2006 of 05/10/2006, article 3. It is important to ensure that feed manufacturers use the right formulations for the different feeds to meet the specified standards. This can only be possible if there is a rule for manufacturers to engage qualified animal nutritionists for the purpose of developing formulations and ensuring they are followed during the milling operations. Secondly, the RBS requires appropriate facilities and competent technologists to effectively analyse samples collected from the feed mills. A field inspection team is needed for sampling and certifying adherence to the established code of practice. These measures will keep the millers and stipulated feed quality in check and ensure quality assurance to consumers, the farmers.
6.1.3 Cost Benefit Analysis for Dairy Production on Different Feeds
The table below serves to amplify on the benefits of supplementing grass fodder with legumes and additionally with concentrates.
Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) for milk production under different feed rations (2009)1 Gross Margin (TRTC)2
Fodder Grass Only
Fodder Grass + Legume
Detailed table and analysis in Annex 12; 2TR – Total Revenue; TC – Total Costs
The Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) measures the return to investment. The BCR values for fodder grass only, fodder and legume, and fodder, legume and concentrates are: 0.11, 0.35 and 0.49 respectively. This implies that for every unit of Rwandan franc spent on grass fodder, fodder and legume, and on fodder, legume and concentrates, the value of the returns decreases by 11%, increases by 35% and by 49%, respectively. This strongly justifies in economic terms the feeding of legumes and concentrates as both feed supplementation regimes are more profitable than grass fodder ration alone. There is need for extension service to explain this to farmers who think supplementation is expensive, as this was one of the responses during interviews with farmers. It is also important to train and encourage farmers in keeping farm records to enable them to compute profitability of the different feeding regimes.
6.1.4 Seed Multiplication Initiatives
Fodder seed is expensive and especially the small seeded legumes like Desmodium and Medicago sativa (alfafa or lucerne) and Chloris gayana grass, all of which are difficult to multiply. There has been lack of willingness by private persons to take up seed multiplication contracts with PADEBL (on behalf of RARDA). This justifies consideration of further incentives to motivate additional entrepreneurs in this
venture. Farmers lack access to fodder seed and the high cost makes it unaffordable.
6.1.5 Feed Conservation (Hay and Silage) and Dry Season Preparedness
Conserving feed in times of wet season surplus for use in times of dry season scarcity is an important practice that helps even out feed availability throughout the year. The simplest method is hay making where forage is allowed to dry in the sun, hence preserving it for future use. The use of good quality hay has many advantages because of less bulk and easier transportation. This makes for easy movement of hay for sale around the country particularly during the dry season. The amount needed for daily feed is about one third of fresh herbage yet providing similar nutritional value. This can also be mixed with legume hay. The labour involved is much lower compared to that of ‘cut and carry’ for fresh herbage. More water is needed by animals fed on dry feeds.
Large scale making of hay should be encouraged in Rwanda, with grass cut at early flowering stage. Standing hay left in the field has a much lower nutritional value due to maturity of the grass that causes a drop in crude protein content and an increase in lignin that lowers digestibility. A pre-requisite for increasing the country’s capacity for hay making is the planting of improved, high yielding grass species such as Chloris gayana and Setaria spp. More farmers’ co-operatives need to be encouraged and facilitated to make hay on large scale using appropriate machinery. This can further be enhanced by use of fodder reserve plots for the same activity at sector level.
Silage making preserves forage through microbial production of lactic acid and small amounts of other organic acids, lowering the pH of the feed to less than 4.0 and hence the preservation. The process is easy when there is adequate source of soluble sugars for microbial fermentation as in using entire forage maize at developing grain stage. However, most tropical forages including Napier grass need an extra supply of soluble sugars in order to make successful silage. This is achieved through addition of molasses to speed up microbial fermentation. The
grass should be chopped and well compacted to ensure anaerobic conditions and avert spoilage through putrefaction. Successful silage making thus requires more skills, minimum exposure during feeding and not easy to transport since it is a heavy, succulent and bulky feed. Without the necessary skills, heavy losses can occur in terms of dry matter, nutrient composition, digestibility or low palatability associated with formation of more acetic acid instead of lactic acid. Farmers need the necessary training in silage making for on-farm production when there is surplus forage in the wet season, for use in the dry season.
The costs of fodder conservation especially if using mechanisation can be significant and need to be considered relative to return on investment. More emphasis in a high rainfall country like Rwanda should be on increasing forage supply during deficit periods by planting better fodder species, use of fertilizers or supplementation with non-protein nitrogen.
Crop Residues and Fodder Trees Crop residues and by-products mainly cereal straws and stovers, are handy feeds during the dry season despite their low nutritional value. They have high fibre and low crude protein contents and low digestibility, usually below 40%. If these feeds are fed with cheap protein and energy supplements (urea and molasses), the animals perform adequately. Alternatively, treatment of crop residues with urea or alkali improves digestibility to about 55% thus increasing the feeding value. Farmers in Rwanda need to be encouraged to offer these low quality feeds together with suitable supplements. The residues for animal feeding should not be left standing in the field after crop harvest as currently practised since this causes further deterioration in quality.
Fodder trees and shrubs have multi-purpose use and serve as a good source of dry season feeding. The browse trees serve an important role especially for goat feeding and in areas with longer dry season like Eastern Province. Many of the browse species are legumes and their forage is rich in crude protein. Some of the browse shrubs have anti-nutritional factors like tannins or mimosine in Leucaena spp. which inhibit feed utilisation and limit acceptable feeding levels in the diet. Training on
feeding methods and limitations of the different species is required. These multipurpose trees and shrubs are not only useful for their drought resistance and feeding value but also for several other environmental and household uses. Farmers need to be encouraged to plant them, seed availed and the necessary training undertaken as is the case with several projects including PAPSTA and EADD/ICRAF Rwanda project.
6.1.6 Priority Areas for Development of Different Livestock
Improved Cattle The leading districts in regard to numbers of dairy crosses in 2008 (annexe 11) are: Nyagatare: 30,165; Nyabihu: 18,965; Nyanza: 15,216.
The following districts lead in pure dairy cattle (head): Nyagatare: 13,441; Kicukiro: 5829; Nyabihu: 5573.
The high population of dairy cattle in above districts indicates the need for more attention in nutrition and feeding to improve on the current low productivity. The leading district in improved dairy breeds is Nyagatare. As earlier mentioned, dairy production system in the district is mainly open grazing. During the field visits, farmers in Nyagatare appeared to be more conversant with feeding of legumes than other districts visited. They however complained about unavailability of compounded feed, poor quality and high cost.
The key actions required for this area are:
Over sowing pastures with improved grass species like Chloris gayana and Setaria spp.. Both grasses are also very good for hay making. Conserving forage as hay needs to be promoted in this lower rainfall region to meet dry season deficit and possibly for sale in other areas.
Better management of pastures and proper grazing control adhering to appropriate carrying capacity.
compounded/concentrate feeds. Nyabihu is the second leading district in numbers of dairy crosses and 3rd in pure bred dairy cattle. The production system is both open grazing and zero grazing. Pastures mainly consist of Kikuyu grass and Trifolium semipilosum (white clover) legume. The key actions needed are: introduction of high biomass fodder species suited to cold high altitude areas where Napier grass does not perform well. Research system is conducting trials on different brachiaria spp relatively high in biomass. There is also need for other legume species that combine well with brachiaria grass and suited to the area. For Nyanza, the 3rd leading district in dairy crosses, zero grazing is the choice production system relying mainly on Napier grass. The requirement here is to promote growing of legumes especially through provision of seed and training farmers on establishment and feeding techniques. There is also need to avail and train on feeding of concentrates.
Kicukiro district within Kigali Municipality is second in population of pure breed dairy cattle. This demonstrates the impact of ready milk market in Kigali city on livestock development in the peri-urban areas. This goes along with easy access to all types of feedstuffs including compounded feeds, since most of the manufacturers are in the city. It is the best example for illustrating that all types of commercial livestock easily thrive in peri-urban areas due to high urban demand for animal products and easy access to all types of feed and other inputs. Efforts should be stepped up to promote commercial production of mono-gastric livestock in such areas.
Other Livestock Species Table 6 below presents the leading districts and respective provinces in regard to numbers of different livestock species.
Table 6: Leading Districts in Numbers of Different Livestock Species
(WP): 44,082 (SP): 42,097
Gakenke (NP): 97,305
Key: EP - Eastern Province; WP - Western Province; NP - Northern Province; SP Southern Province.
The livestock concentration on district basis (Annex 10) can further be analysed in relation to distribution by province shown in Figure 2 and discussed in Section 4. The eastern province also alluded to in Section 4.1, is an expansive, low human population density region with large farm sizes of 5 to 10 ha. This is consistent with the cattle population data showing it is the leading province and animals reared on open grazing systems. Similarly, two of its districts have the highest goat population, browsing/grazing together with cattle. Three districts in the southern province have the highest pig population while two in Northern Province are leading in poultry.
In developing the various livestock industries, the leading districts for each species should receive more attention as they enjoy a comparative advantage that can be easily exploited for enhanced productivity. The priority should be in upgrading of
livestock from indigenous to improved commercial breeds, improvement of feeds and feeding consistent with needs for commercial breeds, and improving on overall husbandry practices. It is easier in terms of policy, to strengthen production in areas where farmers are already keeping similar livestock species. Accordingly, marketing and value addition of products need to be considered as part of the strategy and enhancing access to proper feeds and other production inputs.
6.2 Strategic Issues and Actions, Priority Programme Actions and Budgets
This section articulates the strategic issues that MINAGRI and its stakeholders need to address in order to improve the status of animal nutrition in Rwanda. The issues are derived from analysis of the current status of animal nutrition and feeding in the country and the challenges faced. The pertinent basic information is presented in the preceding chapters.
The strategic actions are categorised into: i) Priority programme actions ii) Overall broad framework strategies to comprehensively address all areas of animal nutrition improvement iii) Immediate, quick actions
6.2.1 Priority Programmes
Specific programmes can be designed to fulfil the major objectives of the strategic plan. The priority programme actions would entail strengthening the following key areas:
1. Production, utilization and conservation of fodder and other forage feedstuffs RARDA to: ď‚ˇ
Enhance production and multiplication of forage/fodder seed (improved grasses and legumes) by RADA and transfer to end users for establishment
Encourage local, on-farm or other initiatives for seed production or planting materials
Improve distribution network for seed
Train farmers on establishment, utilization and conservation
Train farmers on integrated feeding techniques of available feed resources and water intake
Strengthen technical staff for these roles
2. Research capacity to effectively deliver in production of multispecies fodder and dissemination on establishment and utilization ISAR to:
Increase production capacity for appropriate grass/legume fodder species, in liaison with RARDA, RADA and related stakeholders
Enhance dissemination on establishment, management, utilization and conservation techniques
Strengthen technical staff for these roles at all levels
3. Capacity for effective extension service delivery in animal nutrition to end users RARDA to:
feeding/rationing techniques (including water) to end users, in liaison with relevant stakeholders
Strengthen grass root mechanisms for dissemination to end users including modalities for working with farmer organizations
Enhance technical staff capacity
Improve vertical hierarchy responsibility and reporting mechanisms for efficient operations and M&E
4. Development of commercial poultry and pig industries for increased supply of products and to synergise on growth of animal feed industry for compounded feed
Strengthen desks for poultry and pig production for purpose of promoting commercial operations
Encourage in liaison with relevant stake-holders liberalization of hatcheries and acquisition of improved breeding stock for commercial pig keeping
Create enabling environment for these commercial initiatives
5. Production, availability and utilization of non-forage (concentrate) feedstuffs RARDA to:
Liaise with concerned stakeholders to ensure availability and improved distribution of non-forage feeds, e.g., single feedstuff concentrates from agro-processing (energy, protein, minerals), etc. Examples are: Cereal milling by-products, oil seed cakes, molasses, urea, pyemac, brewers grain, mineral blocks, etc
Train farmers on integrated feeding/rationing techniques
6. Production, distribution and utilization of high quality compounded feed RARDA to:
Liaise with RBS to encourage production and availability of high quality compounded feeds in all parts of the country
Disseminate to farmers on integrated feeding /rationing techniques
Register all feed millers, their capacities, types of feed and distribution, sources of raw materials, prices, etc
Sensitize feed millers on importance of compliance to feed standards and train them in liaison with RBS.
Make it mandatory for feed millers to engage nutritionists for feed formulation, display composition of feed on container and observe the entire RBS code of practice.
Budgetary and technical support for implementation of above programmes especially the first four could significantly enhance performance in animal nutrition. However, it is important to address the overall strategic plan for comprehensive attainment of all
objectives. It is notable that the central player in the network is RARDA, being responsible for three and initiating liaison for two while ISAR is responsible for one. Support for the four RARDA and ISAR programmes is urgent and will set the pace for the others. The rationale for support of the programme areas is mainly the creation of enabling environment for farmers to use improved grass/legume forage and attain daily milk yield of minimum 10 litres per cow, using the most cost effective feeding methods. The major responsibility of ensuring that the farmer acquires the planting materials and the knowledge to utilise them for improved feeding and productivity rests with RARDA. This role can only be successfully accomplished with involvement of other key players like ISAR and RADA. Proposals for strengthening capacities for RARDA and ISAR to effectively play their multi-roles in the network are given below.
6.2.2 Overall Strategic Plan
The second category is that of overall strategic plan that incorporates the above priority programme actions and comprehensively shows the detailed actions. These are presented below together with estimated consolidated budgets.
1. Forages/fodder and feed development 2. Compounded feed industry and quality assurance 3. Water development 4. Research, training and development 5. Extension, training and information 6. Institutional, policy and legal framework 7. Technological, financial, marketing and socio-economic environment
1. Forages/Fodder and Feed Development: Production, Utilization & Conservation of Fodder Strategic objective Develop capacity at national level for self sufficiency in forage/fodder and other feed resources, both quantitatively and qualitatively
Assess current and future fodder requirements and availability based on ruminant livestock population and factoring in farm situations and climatic patterns.
Acquire fodder production units at community (sector) level dedicated to growing multi-species fodder crops, conserving and making forage available to farmers at all times. These will act like fodder reserve units for local areas and model units for training and extension
Support initial development of the fodder reserve units through provision of requisite inputs and later, monitored self-regulation
Promote organisation of cooperatives at sector level to oversee production, management and supply of the fodder resources in addition to use for training /extension
Produce adequate seed material for development of suitable forage/fodder for different agro-ecological zones
Strengthen liaison of RARDA –ISAR in development and dissemination of fodder/feed production, utilization, conservation and feeding technologies and RARDA-RBS liaison on feed development including agro-industrial processing feedstuffs
Organise for milk collection centres to be the focal points for co-operative activities on livestock extension and training, particularly animal nutrition and feeding.
Encourage efforts for individuals and groups wishing to invest in commercial forage and feed production
inventory for forage/fodder and feed resources, attributes and
Increase budgets for research (ISAR) and extension (RARDA) to build capacity and improve performance
Monitor performance of above systems on regular basis and intervene accordingly
2. Development of Feed Industry for Compounded and Concentrate Feeds and Quality Assurance Strategic Objective To promote and support adequate production of high quality compounded and concentrate feeds for the livestock industry
Assess the overall livestock feed requirements for concentrate feeds and their availability
Develop a vibrant feeds industry for quality feeds that are accessible, sufficient, sustainable and cost-effective
Liaise with RBS and stakeholders to ensure quality assurance: regulation and compliance of feeding standards
Develop appropriate database for concentrate feeds to update national data on operators, capacities, types of feeds, prices, distribution, etc
Monitor performance on regular basis and intervene accordingly
Develop commercial poultry and pig industries to stimulate growth of the animal feed industry
Institute in liaison with relevant agencies mechanisms for liberalizing, licensing and operating of hatcheries
3. Water Development Strategic Objective To ensure adequate provision of water for livestock nationally and at farm level
Assess and project on overall water requirements for all livestock
Liaise with concerned Government agencies on adequate provision of water for livestock and ways of accessing this resource
Educate on appropriate practices for harnessing and providing water for livestock at farm level
Encourage observance of environmental regulations in watering animals and making use of available water sources
4. Research, Training and Development Strategic Objective To strengthen research, development and dissemination of appropriate feed resources and feeding technologies
Strengthen capacity for adaptive research and dissemination of technologies in terms of financial, technical and material requirements
Undertake fodder/animal feeding trials research in at least one station per agro ecological zone
Facilitate participatory on-farm research for validation of technologies and based on agro-ecological diversity
Strengthen multidisciplinary research and liaise with RARDA/ stakeholders to develop and disseminate integrated fodder/feeding technologies
Improve remuneration for researchers to attract and retain qualified staff
Evaluate in liaison with stakeholders before adoption of new global biotechnologies in feed production and utilisation
Monitor and evaluate performance and review accordingly
5. Extension, Training and Information Strategic Objective To strengthen national extension framework for improved animal nutrition and feeding service delivery
Strengthen capacity for extension in animal nutrition service delivery to end user in terms of financial, human, technical and material requirements
Apply participatory extension methods for fodder production, management, conservation and feeding technologies, to foster ownership and sustainability
Enhance dissemination mechanisms with use of different media including electronic, print (manuals, pamphlets, etc), use of model farms, exchange visits, etc
Improve organizational system for responsibility/reporting mechanisms in extension hierarchy
Collaborate with ISAR and other stakeholders on training and extension
Ensure maintenance of functional research-extension-farmer linkages
Enhance capacity for production of fodder and legume seed by RADA and access by farmers
Strengthen modalities for working with farmer co-operatives for effective reach to farmers, for purpose of extension, access to inputs and market
Promote in collaboration with stakeholders establishment and use of innovation centres for access to technological and market information
Review in liaison with stakeholders and advise on break even prices for animal products
Train on: integrated feeding techniques, proper farm layout for enhanced crop-livestock interactions, soil nutrient replenishment for adequate fodder production
Monitor and evaluate performance and review accordingly
6. Institutional, Policy and Legal Framework
Strategic Objective To promote review of institutional, legal and policy framework to adapt it to current and future needs of the livestock and feed sectors.
Assess and encourage review of laws and policies to render them responsive to current and future needs of the livestock and feeds sectors
Encourage efficient and targeted implementation of relevant laws, policies, objectives and action plans
Accelerate issuance of land contract documents for security of tenure
7. Technological, Financial, Marketing and Socio-economic Environment Strategic Objective To create enabling environment responsive to technological, financial, marketing and socio-economic requirements of livestock and feeds sector
Create frameworks for enabling farmers access credit to cater for appropriate technological/ mechanization needs.
Encourage and advise farmers on best ways of acquiring and utilising credit and appropriate technology particularly through farmer organisations
Promote organisation of farmer co-operatives and support mobilisation of farmers to take advantage of membership benefits
Adapt technical information, technological and financial arrangements to prevailing socio-economic and cultural environment
Endeavour to use positive indigenous knowledge to advantage to enhance acceptance and adoption of technologies
Address cultural barriers to pigs and poultry keeping
6.2.3 Immediate Quick Actions
The immediate simple actions listed require minimum resources yet can have significant impact on animal nutrition improvement and implementation can start immediately. The actions are:
1. Dissemination on: simple feeding technologies, livestock water intake requirements and domestic water harvesting from roofs as done by some projects 2. Conducting practical demonstrations for farmers on: fodder production, management and conservation; integrated feeding and rationing techniques for different livestock species 3. Increase seed availability for legumes (all areas) and improved pasture grasses mainly for Eastern Province 4. Work through farmer co-operatives for implementation of the above activities. 5. Sensitize feed millers in liaison with RBS on existence of feeding standards, need to comply, consequences of non-compliance, etc. 6. Start registration of feed millers to have their data on: Location and address, installed and operational capacities, types and quantities of feed made, distribution network in the country, sources and amounts of raw materials, prices of ingredients and feeds made. 7. Organise in liaison with RBS for training of feed millers on feed standards and ration formulation. It should be made mandatory for every operator to engage a qualified nutritionist to develop formulations for different types of feed made, review regularly with change of raw materials, check on quality of batches produced and review accordingly. 8. Lobby for tax waiver on raw materials for compounded feeds to facilitate price reduction of feeds and enhanced affordability by farmers. Such incentives and training are expected to facilitate: expansion of the industry, increase in production capacity, motivation of millers to invest and acquire appropriate equipment, and compliance of quality standards. The waiver would be in line with similar incentives granted for other agricultural inputs.
It is proposed that RARDA initiates and takes charge of the above actions.
Proposed Programme Actions for Strengthening Institutional Capacity
For the time being in RARDA, there is a desk for animal nutrition that is manned by one animal scientist. The person deals with all matters pertaining to animal nutrition and for all species, training farmers, improvement of fodder etc. One person cannot efficiently deal with the broad field of animal nutrition especially in view of enhanced activities for improvement.
2 animal nutrition/animal production specialists to assist the officer in-charge of the desk are proposed, to specifically deal with areas below:
Fodder development section
Duties: Assessment of fodder requirements, availability and actions required -
Crop residues and by products
Non conventional feed stuffs
Liaise with RADA& ISAR for seed production, multiplication and extension
Develop practices for establishment, utilization, management and conservation of fodder
Formulate integrated feeding techniques for dissemination
Non-Forage feed resources Inventory
Forage/Fodder feed reserves and resources inventory.
Animal feeds development section
To develop national concentrate feed requirements
Agro-Industrial processing (eg oil seed cakes, brewer’s waste, pyemac, molasses)
Cereal milling by-products (bran, germ, middlings, gluten feed, pollard, etc)
Compounded feeds and formulation of integrated feeding rations
Development of different feed rations and feeding methods
Liaise with RBS on regulation of feed industry and training of feed millers
Establish a feed resource inventory.
Develop a data base for all types of animal feeds and feed manufacturers – (capacities, types of feeds, location, distribution, sources of raw materials, etc)
Pig and poultry development Desk/ Non ruminant desk
Liberalisation/Privatization of National Hatchery
Introduction and improvement of breeding stock for Pigs (Large White and Land race boars)
Create environment for putting up a modern abattoir for pigs and a processing plant for broilers.
Organize feed lot for beef production.
Marketing and Information management desk
Gather information on animal products and processing/value addition, inputs and availability, markets and prices and disseminate to relevant groups (clients, farmers, stakeholders, etc).
Training and extension desk
Establishment of inventory on training needs: -
Prepare training manuals /materials and a variety of dissemination methods/media
Training district & sector livestock officers and model farmers (Training of
Organize study tours and exchange visits for farmers to successful farms;
Use different media, print, electronic, audio-visual, including radio and T.V to raise awareness on animal nutrition.
Reinforcement of the district and sector extension capacity
The prevailing situation is that very few districts have trained livestock officers. Their role is played by the district agricultural officer who is not trained in animal husbandry and too busy with crop production and soil conservation issues. To develop animal nutrition, there is need for: -
One livestock officer (BSc) at district level
Three extension technicians at sector level instead of one, as currently done. The 3 will comprise: one diploma holder (livestock technical officer) to be in charge, and 2 certificate holder technicians. One of the latter will be the technician already in place who is basically an inseminator but will also be assigned some livestock nutrition activities. The three technicians will effectively take care of animal production and nutrition in the entire sector but with allocation of specific cells for which they will be responsible and accountable. They should be equipped with the necessary skills and other instruments required for livestock extension and means of transport.
With an efficient monitoring and evaluation system, the grass root extension workers (including other extension stakeholders) will improve animal nutrition and animal production as a whole.
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
i) Monitoring and Evaluation at RARDA A desk for M&E at RARDA should be established to ensure performance of the strategic plan
through planned evaluation and monitoring mechanisms, and in
liaison with the Animal Nutrition Desk and the MINAGRI M&E unit.
ii) Reporting Mechanisms Technicians at the cell level need to report weekly to the sector livestock technical officer (diploma level technician) who in turn will report every two weeks to the district livestock officer. The district livestock officer will report monthly to the provincial livestock officer. The latter will compile the report on livestock performance in the province and send it to the Director General of RARDA who will hand it over to the Officer in Charge of Animal Production Unit. This will suffice for normal situations. With deviations from the normal situation concerning fodder or concentrate feed supply, or any other abnormal event in animal nutrition,
RARDA/MINAGRI for fast response and the provincial livestock officer accordingly informed.
Extension Budget: This currently stands at about 10% of the Agricultural budget though livestock subsector contributes about 30% of Agricultural budget. The budget needs to be increased to 15% by 2010, 20% by 2011 and 25% by 2012.
There is need to strengthen capacity for fodder/feed research and animal feeding trials in 3 research stations, one in each agro-ecological zone. This requires capacity building through recruiting and training of well qualified researchers in animal nutrition and provision of the necessary fodder/feed research facilities. The latter include farms with different species of livestock and various types of feedstuffs and modern well equipped analytical laboratories. The technical staff requirements per station are:
One PhD level researcher in charge of animal nutrition studies and fodder/feed research
Two MSc scientists for fodder research and integrated feeding research.
Three BSc scientists (Research Assistants) to assist with trials and dissemination of research technologies and liaising with animal production officers.
Five Diploma Technicians for dissemination and assisting with data collection on-station and on-farm
The ministry should adopt a policy of retaining scientists through incentives such as rewarding staff for exemplary work done in monetary terms. There is need to develop a suitable scheme of service for adequate remuneration for researchers.
Recruiting and training of researchers to PhD and MSc levels as shown is proposed.
Technical staff for animal feeds quality control and training
Technical staff to coordinate development of other feed standards (eg pig feeds) and to make correction on the current cattle feeds specification (RS 204:2007) which has serious omission of the dairy feed specification
Several laboratory analysts for feed chemical composition analysis
Laboratory analytical facilities
Field team for : i) Regulatory, inspection and sampling roles ii) Training of feed millers
Liaison officer with RARDA on animal feed development and quality assurance.
7.1 Time Frame for Strategic Actions
Assess current and future
national fodder requirements versus availability and plan on meeting deficit Acquire plots at community level
for fodder growing and
conservation and facilitate initial development Promote farmers’ co-operatives
for fodder development and management Strengthen collaboration of
extension and research for
fodder development and technology transfer Promote use of fodder reserve
plots as model for extension and training Promote milk collection centres
as focal points for co-operatives’ extension activities in animal nutrition Encourage private investment in
Increase distribution of
affordable fodder seed
e 2. Compounded feed industry Encourage investment in feed
production Liaise with RBS on quality
Register, train and monitor feed
Evaluate and recommend non-
conventional ingredients and feedstuffs Develop commercial poultry and
pig industries 3. Water Development Assess overall livestock water
requirements Increase boreholes and
household water harvesting
4. Research and development Enhance capacity for adaptive
research and foster inter-
agency-farmer linkages Generate and disseminate
fodder technologies for
production, utilisation and conservation, for all climatic zones Evaluate (feeding trials) and
recommend local and introduced
non-conventional feedstuffs and new bio-technologies Strengthen capacity for technical
research staff and research
facilities; Enhance budget for research 5. Extension, training and information Extend fodder production,
utilization and conservation technologies for all zones using community participatory methods: Train on integrated feeding techniques and feed rationing Strengthen research-extension-
farmer linkages and stakeholder
partnerships Strengthen technical staff
capacity and reporting/evaluation MINAGRI mechanisms Enhance budget for staff
recruitment, extension and
training activities 6.Institutional, policy and legal framework Review current institutional, legal MINAGRI and policy frameworks to adapt
to current and future needs 7. Technological, financial and market environment
Enhance farmers access to
credit for fodder/feed production and technological needs Promote co-operatives and
mobilise farmers to join and make use of facilities
7.2 Budget for Strategic Actions
1. Forage and fodder
development 2. Compounded
and quality assurance 3. Water development 4. Research, training and
development 5. Extension, training and
information 6. Institution, policy and legal
framework 7. Technological, financial,
marketing and socio-economic environment.
a) Computation Method
Fodder development, FRW 631,800,000: The costs are for development of community sites for fodder production, conservation and seed multiplication. The plots will act as fodder reserves and provide facilities for extension training. The proposal is to have 10 ha per sector and every sector needs 200Kg of mixed fodder seeds.
The cost of seed is 1200 FRW per kg of Mucuna and 15,000 FRW per kg of Desmodium or alfafa.
Cost of seeds Mucuna
Amount (FRW) 100kg @ 1200 FRW per kg
Desmodium /alfafa 100kg @ 15,000 FRW per kg Total cost of seeds
Average 13 sectors for 30 districts, total 390 sectors;
Land is provided free by the district and RARDA provides the technical expertise.
Manpower for establishment of the site is provided by the Cooperatives that are beneficiaries of the fodder production units.
Compounded feed industry and quality control: It is estimated that 2,000.000 FRW is enough to organize and conduct one day training for feed millers and for associated liaison activities with RBS.
Water development: The 20,000.000 FRW will be used to organize visits for farmers to see examples of rain water harvesting systems in different project areas, especially in Eastern Province where they are common.
Research, training and development: The salaries for new recruited researchers in each of three research stations undertaking animal nutrition work i.e. 1PhD; 2MSc; 3 BSc and 5 Technicians (per station), are proposed as follows:
Salary FRW/month Total per station
Total for 3 stations
p.a. With PhD
Total Salaries for Research, training and development FRW 102,600,000
Extension, training and Information: The amount used is 138,000,000 FRW for annual training and additional staff recruited for head office and sub-district/sector level.
i) Salaries for new staff in extension, training and information Staff No.
Amount p.a. FRW
Sub- total annual salaries
ii) Field Officers training, 5 groups 2 times p.a. at 2,500,000 per training, 25,000,000 FRW
iii) Farmers training, 8 groups 2 times p.a. at 1,800,000 per session, 28,800,000 FRW
Total annual budget for extension, i) + ii) + iii) above 138,400,000 FRW
Institutional, policy and legal framework: The sum of 10,000,000 FRW shown is for consultancy work and liaison activities.
Technological financial, marketing and Socio- economic environment: The sum of 10,000,000 FRW is for consultancy work and liaison activities.
The consultancy work entails organizational and liaison activities with other institutions and stakeholders and figures shown are cost estimates.
Forage and fodder development
1. For every sector; a piece of land of about 10ha will be provided by the district administration to farmerâ€™s cooperative. 2. RARDA will provide inputs (fodder seeds and fertilizers) and expertise (technicians) to initiate development of the fodder plots. 3. Man power for land preparation will be provided by local community (cooperatives) to ensure ownership and sustainability. 4. The costs are just for initial inputs while the recovered money from harvested seeds and fodder will be used by the cooperative to plough back and sustain the activities of fodder development.
5. The costs will be for training feed millers the first year only, inorder to set the pace for feed quality improvement.
6. RARDA will provide information on feed resources, feed rations and formulation, and will liaise with RBS for information on feed standards and compliance.
7. There are good initiatives to emulate: - Valley dams, bore holes, rain water harvesting technologies, etc, in different districts of Eastern and Southern provinces. The cost is for study tours by farmers to these districts. 8. The ministry of infrastructure and the department in charge of water will provide information on which initiatives are best to replicate in different areas.
Research, training and development
9. The costs are for staff salaries for ISAR only.
Extension, training and information
10. Sector livestock officers and model farmers will be trained in different sessions by RARDA staff every year.
11. RARDA will be reinforced with: 2 new sections and 3 additional professionals; 1 technical officer (Diploma level) in charge of each sector and two technicians (Certificate level) per sector including current staff. The cost shown is for annual salaries for additional staff.
12. Institutional, policy and legal framework: The cost shown is for technical support by experts and liaison activities.
13. Technological, financial, marketing and socio-economic environment: The cost is for technical support by experts and liaison activities.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The strategic plan for animal nutrition improvement in Rwanda has addressed a major component of livestock production and development in the country. This area had previously received little attention. The plan has indicated the strategic areas that need to be addressed and the overall actions required. The most critical factor is production and availability of animal feed for all the species to meet the nutrient requirements throughout the year. The more enhanced the genetic potential, the higher the feed requirements. Failure to meet the nutrient requirements results in reduced performance especially for dairy cows where less milk is produced. The benefits of proper feeding are many particularly in regard to improved animal performance, higher income for the farmer and better quality of life. Proper feeding husbandry constitutes a major task for the farmer throughout the year, and more so under zero grazing production system. The role of MINAGRI is to facilitate the farmer to produce more fodder/feed, generate adequate income for purchasing feed supplements and apply the right knowledge in animal feeding. The role is mainly achieved through effective research and extension, working in collaboration with other stakeholders. Proposals are made for boosting national forage resources through fodder reserves in each administrative sector, to be managed by farmer cooperatives.
The key recommendations of the strategic plan are:
MINAGRI to acquire and develop fodder plots in each sector for fodder production, conservation and seed production. These will serve as fodder reserves for farmers and sites for extension and training activities.
Information dissemination should be given more impetus on integrated feeding techniques, proper feed rations, water requirements, fodder production, utilisation and conservation. It is notable that this information is lacking, not only with farmers but also with the field extension officers.
Training of the field extension team is crucial for success of animal nutrition improvement in the country. The extension workers can only deliver on what
they know. Organising specific programmes for their training is a priority so as to increase their confidence in this area, and instil enthusiasm to deliver on nutrition and feeding management.
Monitoring and evaluation targeted at performance of animal nutrition and feeding will enhance efficiency in service delivery, identification of constraints, and timely intervention and review.
Good management of Napier grass is required in regard to nutrient replenishment, frequency of cutting and stage of growth at feeding. Some of the manure from zero-grazing units needs to be re-directed to fodder plots and not just to food crops as currently done. Napier grass, a high biomass content fodder depletes soil nutrients quickly and these need replacement to hasten regeneration.
Sound management of pastures in Eastern province and reseeding or over-sowing with improved grass species (and legumes where possible) would improve pasture productivity by about 4 times. This would not only significantly increase milk production but also reduce the amount of land needed per animal. This would facilitate intensification, but has to go along with proper grazing management according to the carrying capacity of the area. Bush encroachment needs to be controlled as it leads to suppression of the desired under-storey herbaceous layer which is more preferable for the grazers (cattle) and more nutritious.
Promotion of planting and feeding legumes in all areas should be a priority to ensure lactating cows increase their dry matter intake and get enough crude protein for higher milk production above 8-10 litres.
Feeding concentrates in dairy production is highly beneficial and yields higher benefit to cost ratio than feeding grass fodder with legumes or grass fodder alone.
Promotion of commercial poultry should be done for peri- urban areas where there is ready market for products and easy access to inputs
Incentives particularly in regard to tax waiver for imported raw materials for compounded feed industry will facilitate feed millers to lower the cost of production,
Mobilization of the feed millers group or association should be supported to allow them articulate on issues of the industry and areas of need for support by government.
Change of current red seeded sorghum variety currently grown in many areas to white seeded low tannin variety can significantly reduce the deficit of cereal grain required for the feed industry.
There is great need for research using animal feeding trials to evaluate new feedstuffs like crop residues, concentrate feeds, integrated rations, nonconventional feedstuffs and new bio-technologies used elsewhere in the world.
Farmers need to be organized in cooperatives at the sector level so as to get training easily and access credit that is facilitated by the Government of Rwanda through Agricultural Guarantee Fund.
Incentives are needed to attract more private seed multipliers in order to enhance seed availability and lowering of costs.
The programme for mechanization of agriculture and irrigation should be extended to fodder crop production where possible, especially in fodder conservation
There should be a clear legal framework for animal nutrition harmonized with other East African countries to promote use of good quality feeds and easy access to raw materials within the region.
9.1 Logical Framework
impact on food
and incomes of poor
Enhanced levels of
To create positive
sale of livestock
products Overall Objective
Improved contribution (%) of
livestock to GDP
To enhance livestock
for surveys and
nutrition and feeding
More litres of milk
Policy documents livestock
produced per year to Stakeholders annual reports 2012
Higher off-take (%) of animals sold annually especially small stock
More Kg of meat sold and consumed annually
More farms and hectares under improved fodder each year
Higher amounts of concentrates fed to livestock each year
Strategy 1: Develop self sufficiency in fodder resources
Action 1: Assess current and future fodder requirements versus availability
No of hectares of
fodder required per
year to 2012
No of hectares of
fodder available per
year to 2012
No of hectares of
fodder required to
meet deficit each
Additional hectares to put under fodder each year and mechanisms Human and
Data from annual
requirements based on
Materials and equipment
populations and future projections
Estimate current fodder availability
District and Local
to 2012 based on
land size under
plots (10 ha
each) per sector for fodder
Identify gaps and No. of community
plots acquired in all
districts for fodder
Action 2: Develop
fodder plots at
No. of developed
plots with on-going
fodder operations from 2009 to 2010
Community fodder production Inputs
Initial development of
fodder units facilitated through
Fodder seed (grass and legume) and fertilizers MINAGRI Reports Annual Reports
Funds, land, seed
and other inputs
willing to take up
multiplication 1OO% increase in
inputs for initial
seed available in
by 2012 by
More private seed
Action 3: Generate
multipliers in 2009-
2010 to double
current output from
private sector by 2012
100 % increase in Kg of seed
farmers by 2012
RADA and private multipliers enhanced
Private initiatives for seed
Financial, material and
Seed distribution to all regions enhanced
Increase seed multiplication
Enough staff and
seed to all
No. and types of fodder species
No. and types of technologies
Action 4: Develop suitable fodder
species for different zones and
No of consultative
No. of multi-sectoral
teams and projects
Generation of suitable fodder
Human, financial and
Researchextension linkages enhanced for fodder development and
fodder species and technologies for their
Human and material
researchextension linkages for technology transfer on fodder development
Action 5: Establish inventory for fodder resources, attributes and utilisation
Fodder inventory for all local fodder
Identify all local fodder resources, attributes, availability, feeding techniques, and limitations.
Strategy 2: Improve the compounded
feeds industry and quality control
Action 1: Assess national concentrate feed requirements and availability
Tons of additional
feeds to be
Inputs Activities Human, financial, and
Relevant data sets
requirements based on livestock populations and future projections to 2012
feed availability and projections to 2012 based on current
Identify gaps and
Laws and regulations on tax
consult and act
Action 2: Promote
waiver rules for raw
joint action by
production of high
of needs and
Clear laws and
feed regulation and
No. of consultative meetings held with
Incentives like tax
RBS and plan of
and private investments in feed production enhanced
Scope of needs for quality
regulation established and
Data records on feeds
Liaison with RBS
and feed operators
for quality assurance and active regulation of feed standards undertaken
Reports and data
production and lobby for tax waiver on raw materials
Establish scope of
types of operations
needs for regulation of
No of operators and
industry, the bottlenecks and intervention points
RBS for enforcement
Human and financial
Data records on feed
inspection and industry prosecution if needed
Action 3: Develop
ruminant ventures Willing
for hatcheries No barriers to pig
Operators and types of
No of identified areas
Records of promotion
No. of operating
Identify operators and types of
operations Collate data and
Human and material inputs
Laws and data on hatcheries
Action 4: Promote
Data on market
and pig production
in peri-urban areas
commercial nonruminant animal products
Areas for commercial poultry and pig keeping identified and mechanisms in place for promoting investors
Criteria developed and hatcheries licensed
Identify favourable areas for promotion of commercial poultry and pig production and required needs
and licence private hatcheries
Strategy 3: Promote adequate provision of water to livestock
Number of water
action by actors
provision of water
in water supply
Quantities of water
Improved availability and
given to livestock
Action plans on
No of inter-sectoral
from intersectoral meetings Inputs Activities
Human and financial resources
Estimate livestock water needs based on livestock
numbers and distribution
Consult with concerned agencies on ways of meeting the needs
Educate farmers on livestock water needs and ways of domestic water harvesting
Strategy 4: Strengthen capacity for adaptive research on fodder and feed production, utilisation and conservation
Action 1: Upscale research on fodder/feed production and utilisation and
evaluation of bio-
staff and types of
research in terms
of climate, funds,
No. and location of
and feeding trials
Number and types
of new bio-
in one station per
evaluated and under
No of stakeholders
fodder research and
Stronger collaboration in
Human and financial
resources Animals and modern facilities for research Seed and material
resources Research information,
local and global sources
adaptive fodder research in terms of technical staff, facilities and funds
Undertake fodder/animal feeding trials
ecological zone and disseminate findings
No of stakeholders
research teams and
Consultative and liaison forums with
Action 2: Enhance
research linkages with extension service providers
and end users Human, financial and Outputs
material resources Modern research
functional linkages with extension, stakeholders and
end users on fodder and feed research and technology transfer
Increase collaboration with extension service providers and end users on production and dissemination of research technologies
Strategy 5: Strengthen extension service delivery for animal nutrition and feeding
Action 1: Strengthen capacity for extension service delivery in terms of technical staff,
No. and positions of
funds and other
terms of climate,
community meetings Reports
staff and in-
No of media,
Desk for animal
No. of training
No of feeding
equipped staff on feeding and rationing techniques. Feed rations developed.
Participatory and practical
demonstration methods applied
Human and financial
Efficient dissemination media developed
Increase technical staff and enhance inservice training in animal nutrition,
Apply participatory and practical
and feeding to
willing to sign
No of extension
No of Frontline
Prepare staff on
Develop effective dissemination
No of farmer groups
No of collaborative extension projects
No of partnership agreements
Action 2: Improve
No and types of
and info sources
stakeholders in extension delivery
Human and financial
Material inputs like
More front line extension workers and farmer cooperatives undertaking fodder/feed extension
Increased sources and access to extension and markets information
research and extension service providers on fodder and feeding technologies extension and sign partnership agreements
Enhance front line extension service and work with farmer Cooperatives for farmer reach on fodder/feeding
Facilitate establishment of extension information centres
Strategy 6: Promote review of institutional, legal and policy framework to enhance livestock/feed production and feed quality
No of new and
No of land contracts
review by actors
Laws of Rwanda document
Reviewed policies and laws in line with livestock development needs
Land contracts obtained for
secure investments in
Undertake review of laws and policies to respond to current and future needs of livestock and feed sectors
Accelerate issuance of land contract
documents to enhance security of tenure and encourage investments in animal nutrition
Strategy 7: Support technological, financial and marketing requirements for animal feeds and products, in line with socioeconomic environment
Reduced risks for
No. of farmers and
willing to invest in
for animal feeds
for animal feed
Easy access to
No. of financial
Prices of animal
feed /fodder and livestock production
Human, Institutional, Technological and Activities
Promote credit access for technological needs in fodder development in line with socioeconomic environment
suitable prices for feed and animal products
livestock farming and
9.2 Institutional Framework
Organisations/Persons Fodder Development
Assessment of current and RARDA; Animal nutrition
Base on current and projected
future fodder and feed
livestock populations for all
RARDA District and
RARDA fodder team to work on
sector livestock officers
identification and acquisition of
community fodder plots
land for fodder development in liaison with sector land committees. RARDA Extension Desk
and District Cooperative
Mobilise, organise and train
for fodder plots
cooperatives on development
and management of fodder
plots, fodder supply and
Initiate consultations and
linking up of the agencies and
stakeholders for concerted
extension and other
efforts in dissemination on
stakeholders on fodder
fodder/feed and feeding
production and utilisation
RARDA District and
Sector livestock officers Promoting use of fodder
Cooperatives to establish
plots by communities for
systems for managing fodder
training. Using milk
plots and use/sales.
collection centres (MCC)
Avail rooms at MCCs for
for extension work.
RARDA District and
meetings and for storage/sale
Sector livestock officers;
of fodder seed.
sector to invest in
Cooperative Unit in
Prepare and present business
commercial forage and
Ministry of Commerce
plan on animal feed production
at stakeholder workshop and MINAGRI planning unit
expound on possible
RARDA M &E desk
institutional and financial
Monitoring and evaluating
RARDA Provincial, District and Sector
Field visits and evaluation of
reports. Interviews with RARDA, District and Sector Livestock officers, Cooperative officials and farmers Use of questionnaires.
Assessment of national
RARDA animal nutrition team
to estimate needs versus
needs for compounded
supply for compounded feeds
feed versus supply and
and ways of meeting deficit
meeting deficit RARDA to liaise with RBS on Ensuring quality control for
urgent need for feed quality
compounded feeds in
compliance with specified
RBS to establish efficient feed
quality control system and
enforce compliance through field inspection
Registration and training
RARDA and RBS to register
of feed millers
feed millers, organize for
Supporting initiatives for
training and inform on sources
local feed production.
of raw materials RARDA to facilitate feed production initiatives, inform on raw materials and advocate for VAT/tax waivers
Assessing livestock water
Construction of bore holes and
valley dams, reticulation and
and implementing systems stakeholders;
for domestic and
Training on domestic water
community water supply to
harvesting technologies and
cater for different needs
organising visits to areas practising such methods
Training farmers on livestock water intake requirements
RARDA to train farmers on livestock water requirements and provision
Research and Development ISAR
ISAR to undertake on-station
Enhancing capacity for
and on-farm research on feed
and fodder production,
research in animal
utilisation, conservation and
nutrition and fodder/feed
animal feeding trials
development ISAR to evaluate and Generation and transfer of
disseminate on new
technologies in animal nutrition,
feeds and feeding
and conservation. Evaluation of new technologies.
ISAR and RARDA to strengthen their linkages and
with farmers on feed
technology development and
extension, farmers and
Extension, training and information
Organise training seminars
assisted by RARDA,
Distribute fodder seeds and
conservation of improved
District and Sector
extension materials for fodder
fodder and pastures by
production and feeding
Follow up on planting,
Appropriate feeds and
managing, conservation and
feeding of different
livestock District and Sector
Teach farmers through
Training farmers on farm
livestock officers assisted
Cooperatives how to do farm
layout, farm business
layout, farm business
management and keeping
RARDA and DLO Preparation of inventory of
Conduct national survey on
feed resources and
feed resources. District and
Sector livestock officers to report on crop residues and other feeds stuffs in their areas RARDA
Training on crop-livestock
District and Sector
integration and use of crop livestock officers; Co-
Train farmers on use of crop
residues and other
residues, supplements and
other feedstuffs. RARDA and DLO
Development of feed
Train farmers on feed
concentrates and feeding
formulation, feeding techniques , and use of compounded feeds
Facilitation of access to quality compounded feeds
Ensure effective distribution of quality compounded feeds and RARDA
Enhancement of access to Stakeholders information
access by farmers across the country
animal Development partners
nutrition, production inputs
Increase channels and centres
farmers and stakeholders on animal nutrition and production, farm inputs and marketing
Institutional and legal framework; Technological and
Review of legal, policy and MINAGRI
Hold consultative stakeholder
institutional framework to
meetings for planning on
adapt to prevailing needs
review of identified laws and policies
Creation of enabling environment for
Liaising with stakeholders on
creation of enabling
environment for accessing
credit and technological needs by farmers; Also facilitation for value addition and marketing.
MINAGRI to spearhead liaison and organisation of consultative meetings and play facilitatory role for all actions
Notes on Institutional Framework and Implementation of Strategic Plan 1. RARDA
strengthened Animal Nutrition Desk. Additionally, to establish a desk for M&E which will in liaison with the Animal Nutrition desk, receive reports from the provinces and evaluate accordingly. The department will put in place effective instruments for this activity and co-ordinate with MINAGRI Planning and M&E unit. 2. Assessment of annual and future fodder requirements based on ruminant livestock population. This is the duty of RARDA, Animal Production Unit (APU) basing on reports coming from districts on farm capacity, and livestock populations and distribution.
3. Acquisition and delineation of areas at community level for growing multispecies fodder crops. The areas will be identified by the sector livestock officers, and the land released to the farmer’s cooperative by district authority. 4. RARDA will provide the necessary technical and material inputs to facilitate the development of the fodder reserve units especially at the inception stage. These units will later be self sustaining under the management of the farmer’s cooperative. 5. The Cooperatives will be promoted by the reinforced staff of the districts and sectors. 6. MINAGRI department of planning and RARDA Extension Desk (proposed) will facilitate linkages between research and extension services on production and dissemination
management and conservation techniques. 7. The ministry will also encourage use of community fodder reserves as model units for training, research and extension. 8. RARDA will mobilise and organize Cooperatives around milk collection centres (MCCs). These will be the focal points for training activities on fodder production, management, feeds and feeding practices, etc. 9. RARDA will encourage the private sector (including cooperatives) to invest in commercial forage and feed production by providing the necessary information. 10. MINAGRI/ Department of planning will monitor and evaluate overall performance of the above systems on annual basis, intervening as need arises.
Annexe 1: Terms of Reference (ToR)
DEVELOPMENT OF A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR ANIMAL NUTRITION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME IN RWANDA
Introduction The mission of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, (MINAGRI) in Rwanda is to lead national efforts in initiating, developing and managing suitable programmes for the transformation and modernization of agriculture and livestock sectors in order to fight hunger and ensure food security, contribute to the national economy and generally enhance livelihoods.
In Rwanda, agricultural development is considered to be one of the key pillars for economic growth, poverty reduction and national development as articulated in the national development strategy “Vision 2020”, Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) of 2002, and the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) policy documents. Agricultural development which includes the livestock sub-sector is also key for achievement of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The livestock sub-sector in the country is currently driven mainly by smallholder traditional producers and over the years there have generally been only low increases in the volume of livestock products and insufficient improvements in quality. This calls for a transformation and modernization of the livestock sub-sector that will ensure every household’s food security and lay the foundation for sustainable development that combines economic growth with poverty reduction and protection of the environment. In the transformation process, livestock production will shift from being dominated by subsistence-oriented traditional farmers / pastoralists towards more specialized production with a market orientation.
Towards this end, the Strategic Plan for Agricultural Transformation (PSTA) was adopted by the Government in January 2005 and provides a comprehensive
framework for the operationalisation of the National Agricultural Policy (NAP) of 2004. A second phase of the strategy PSTA II has been developed in 2008 and reemphasizes the importance of the development of the livestock sub-sector under Programme 1 – Physical resources and food production: intensification and development of sustainable production systems, more particularly Sub-Programme 1.2: Integrated development and intensification of crops and livestock.
The planned transformation and modernization of the livestock sub-sector in the PSTA programme is firmly based on the premise that the GoR through MINAGRI will only play a facilitating role in the development of a sustainable and technically efficient livestock industry run and managed by the private sector, involving and impacting as many beneficiaries / stakeholders as possible along the different livestock products’ value chains. The end result will be a productive high-value and market-oriented livestock industry as part of the strategy to transform agriculture in Rwanda.
The Government of Rwanda (GoR) is moving towards the development of the agriculture in general and animal resources in particular. The EDPRS maps out the critical areas in which development is most needed and indicates the targets that must be reached in those areas by 2012. The Government of Rwanda has made some key investments in the animal resources sector which include programmes like One Cow per Poor Family, UBUDEHE, and others where livestock are distributed to poor families as a means to improve their income and to reduce on the levels of poverty.
Animal nutrition is one of the areas that is considered particularly weak in the livestock resource sub-sector and needs a strategy to clearly map out the way forward and how it is to be implemented.
Background With a human population of over 10 million people, the diversity of livestock resources in Rwanda comprise of about 1 (one) million cattle, 1.3 million goats, 0.3 million pigs, 0.7 million sheep, over 2.8 million chickens and 0.6 million rabbits. The
majority of the animals are indigenous breeds kept by smallholder traditional farmers. The livestock sector provides meat, milk, eggs, hides and skins, manure and generates employment opportunities and income among rural people. The socio-economic importance of these animals can therefore not be over-emphasized as they act as banks and an important source of funds for rural people.
But productivity of livestock in the traditional sector in particular is constrained by several factors including low genetic potential of the indigenous breeds, poor nutrition, poor husbandry practices and occurrence of various endemic and epidemic animal diseases. Of these limiting factors poor animal nutrition is considered one of the most important and needs to be urgently addressed.
The state of animal nutrition in qualitative and quantitative terms is not adequate due to a shortage in available farm land and insufficient and poor quality (non-controlled) commercial feeds. In addition, the limited use of agricultural by-products in animal feeding also lowers the level of animal production. For grazing animals, the availability of feeding varies according to season and becomes critical during the dry season. The pastures at this time are low in nutrients and if not supplemented lead to low productivity. In addition, there is a general lack of other pasture species like legumes which are important in providing protein that is necessary for growth and production of animals. One of the issues for grazing animals is shortage of grazing land. The total area available for grazing in all the agro climatic zones across Rwanda is 830,431 ha. Which is mainly distributed around specific areas in the country (Lake Kivu, Congo Nile crescent, Buberuka, Central Plateau, Eastern Plateau, Eastern savannah, and Mayaga-Bugesera). This grazing area is able to support 614,000 Tropical Livestock Units (TLU). A TLU is equivalent to or 250 kg Ankole cow, 11 sheep or goats â€“ meaning there is serious overgrazing in certain areas. Feed for non-grazing animals like pigs and poultry that are maize dependent are also affected by season. When the maize supply is low, the availability of maize bran that constitutes 70% of the ingredients for feed is poor and this affects animal production. Furthermore, because of lack of standards in the quality of feeds, imported feeds from neighbouring countries may lack important nutrients but farmers continue using them all the same as there are no alternative options.
Water is an important component in the general animal physiology and production. The availability of water to the animals in the country is limited and this affects their productivity especially during the dry season. The question of water for livestock is particularly important in the dry cattle belts of this country like Umutara and Bugesera, and this has an impact on animal production. The lack of water especially to pastoralists may force them to migrate into areas that are not gazetted for grazing like National Parks further complicating the disease situation.
Minerals are vital in the diet of animals. Some may be available in the soil and feed while others are given as supplements. Mineral deficiencies lower production and slow the growth of animals. It is known for example that pigs need a lot of iron supplements because of low trans-placental transfer of iron to the foetus. Alternatively, pigs may obtain sufficient iron by just licking soil. This may explain why there are few pigs in certain areas of Ruhengeri between Ruhondo and Burrera lakes because the soils in that zone are deficient in iron.
The Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA) has the mandate for improving the productivity of the livestock sub-sector, and a programme to improve the nutrition of animals covering the following aspects: (a) pasture improvement, (b) intensive production of fodder (grass and legumes), (c) promotion of technologies for feed conservation, (d) development of water harvesting technologies, (e) encourage the use of crop residues in animal feeding, and (f) liaise with Rwanda Agency for Quality Control (RAAQC) to ensure good quality of commercial feeds. Furthermore, ISAR has a small programme on fodder production improvement
programmes, but this needs to be expanded and further integrated. Both RARDA and ISAR need to work more closely on all aspects of research and development, including technology transfer for animal nutrition for all categories of livestock. There are also a number of projects which focus on livestock improvement including: Dairy Cattle Development Support Project (PADEBL), Study on Sustainable and Rural Development in Bugesera District, Eastern Province, Republic of Rwanda (JICA
Bugesera), Project to Support the Strategic Plan for Transformation of the Agriculture Sector (PAPSTA), and One Cow Programme.
Purpose of Assignment The main task of the consultancy is to assist MINAGRI in developing a plan aimed at improving the quality and availability of animal feeds and fodder for enhanced productivity in the livestock sub-sector. The improvements to the livestock nutrition implementation plan has to be in line with the sub-sector’s higher level objectives as stated in the National Agricultural Policy of 2004 as well as the operational priorities and targets of the PSTA II and EDPRS programmes which include intensification and integration of livestock into the crop production systems with particular emphasis on the One Cow Programme, small ruminants and where applicable fish development. The expected comprehensive final document must also address all the issues related to animal feed requirements that are specific to the different individual species of animals, production systems and the different commodity value chains as prioritized in the above mentioned policy documents.
The major objective of the consultancy is therefore, to prepare a comprehensive strategic animal nutrition improvement plan showing the approach of execution, strategies and actions which should be undertaken by MINIAGRI and its various implementation agencies such as RARDA, ISAR and other stakeholders in order to produce more productive livestock and increase the supply of livestock species, breeds and products that can be marketed in- and outside the country. The strategic plan should aim at improving the efficiency/productivity of the livestock sub-sector in a sustainable manner, promote public health and support marketing of both livestock and livestock products to contribute to the national efforts in poverty reduction, improved food security and income to the satisfaction of the expectations of key and subsidiary stakeholders.
The strategic plan to be developed must lead to progressive reorientation of the livestock development services, education and research in the country so as to ensure an integrated approach to improved nutrition of all animal species, leading to
the improvement of animal productivity and in the preparation of animal products. An important part of the plan will include strategies for the enhancement of the availability of water to livestock in grazing areas and in intensive production systems through water harvesting and other initiatives. It will be important here to link with other MINAGRI initiatives in SWC and watershed management.
In view of the above, MINAGRI would like to hire an individual consultant to make extensive consultation with all the relevant stakeholders in the livestock sub-sector in order to develop an animal nutrition improvement implementation plan including species-specific practical strategies and actions. Among the important stakeholders in this endeavor are the different livestock farmers’ categories in different production systems and their supporting structures including farmers associations, professional organizations, traders, processors and consumers of different livestock products. In this respect the close involvement of the private sector will be essential.
The specific objectives of the assignment include the following:
Improvement of pastures and fodder for all agro-ecological zones, and water availability while for the latter putting special emphasis on regions those are prone to water stress/drought.
Exploring known scientific methods for conservation of forages and adapting them to suit Rwandan farmers’ needs.
Promote adaptive research and extension recommendations in improved fodder/feed production systems for all categories of livestock, and the use of crop/food/industrial by-products as ingredients’ in animal feed.
Improve access to well-formulated and well-balanced animal feed that has all the required nutrients for the particular species for which it is formulated, according to international standards.
Development of standards for commercially produced animal feeds and supplements (locally produced and imported) for different animal species and propose a way that they can be monitored.
The specific expected outputs for the Consultant are to:
Collect and review all available secondary data pertaining to the status of animal nutrition in the country and identify major constraints and opportunities;
Identify the existence (or non-existence) and adequacy of important policies, legislations, regulations and by-laws regarding animal feeds and fodder standards, safety/ traceability and inspection of animal feeds, and develop/ adapt standards for commercially formulated animal feeds based on international standards;
Identify capacity building needs for the standards agency and the animal resources agency in terms of improving the standards and educating farmers on animal nutrition;
Review the current institutional arrangements, human resources, and regulatory and policy environment for developing sustainable livestock production and trading at the national, provincial, district, and village levels in order to identify appropriate improvement measures;
Establish the current dimensions of animal nutrition and water availability across the country and for the individual species of livestock in Rwanda, and consider the implications of the traditional systems of land ownership on livestock production in Rwanda;
Establish the type of animal extension service issues related to animal nutrition that different stakeholders are involved/ concerned with including the major constraints for production system and environment/ agroecological zone;
Identify, quantify and prioritise animal nutrition issues at national, institutional and local levels in view of their position (competition or complementarity) with other production goals for agricultural households, and propose possible elements of a strategy for the public sector to assist in addressing these;
Establish important indigenous knowledge of farmers for the different livestock feeding systems, communities or environment as well as important cultural and socio-economic factors as regards animal nutrition;
Compile and evaluate detailed inventories of physical and human resources
education/training as related to animal nutrition; x)
Suggest feasible technical interventions and modalities for a participatory extension system, capacity building and relevant research issues that will improve the efficiency of animal nutrition service delivery;
Formulate a practical plan, strategies and operations/actions (including a logical framework) for attaining the set goals for the 2009-12 planning period, which are closely linked with the aims and objectives of PSTA II, and focus on issues related to livestock feeds, fodder and water availability;
Review the respective roles, responsibilities and interrelationships between different stakeholders in the national organizational structure for efficient implementation of improved animal nutrition service delivery plan and strategy;
Prepare one end of assignment comprehensive report constituting an animal nutrition service delivery implementation strategy, including a roadmap for the way forward and possible project/programme design, for submission, presentation and further discussion among stakeholders at an end of mission workshop.
On-the-job Training in Animal Nutrition Improvement: This is to be an important part of the assignment and would involve concerned staff of MINAGRI and the concerned Agencies (RARDA, RADA and ISAR) and other key stakeholders (Projects, Farmer organisations, private sector, etc.).
Draft Report: The major outcome of this assignment will be the preparation of a Draft Report entitled Strategic Plan for Animal Nutrition Improvement Programme in Rwanda.
Workshop: A workshop during which key stakeholders from both public and private sectors of society will evaluate the Draft Report and make comments and recommend changes where necessary.
Final Report: A Final Report including comments from the stakeholder workshop. The final report shall be written in English. Note that the findings of this assignment will link closely with PSTA II and the Agriculture SWAp. The report produced is to be of a high quality acceptable to the client MINAGRI.
Time Frame Planned start date for this assignment is the end of November 2008 and the duration will be for 2 calendar months with a total of 45 paid days. An initial meeting to review the scope of the ToR will be held during the first week of December 2008. Submission of the Draft Report will be at the third week of January 2009, the Stakeholder Workshop will take place one week after that, and the final Report submitted to MINAGRI in at the end of January 2009.
Working Methodology The consultant will work with the TA team providing support to the Institutional Component of PAPSTA under the supervision of the Team Leader. The consultant will report on animal nutrition improvement to a team headed by the Permanent Secretary of MINAGRI and comprising key stakeholders including RARDA, Girinka Program, concerned Ministries, farmers, private sector and NGOs.
During the course of this assignment, the consultant is required to use existing sources of information wherever available. The consultant shall have access to any information, persons and departments deemed necessary and useful for the purpose of assignment. It should be noted that a thorough understanding of animal nutrition improvement, uses of agricultural products and legumes in formulation of animal food is vital for the exercise. Visits to selected Districts will be an essential part of assignment in order to get firsthand knowledge of the work related to agriculture development in general and livestock in particularly.
Key Skills Required It is proposed that consultant will undertake this work over a period of 2 months. It is expected that the consultant will have the following skills and experience:
Possess at least an advanced degree in either Animal Production, Livestock development, Animal Nutrition, Animal Science or Veterinary Medicine.
Have at least 10 years of relevant experience at senior management or consultancy level, some of which focusing on work livestock and rural development sectors.
Have experience in livestock production more particularly animal nutrition with an in-depth understanding of livestock feed standards and quality control at international level.
Excellent team working and communication skills in English, the ability to communicate in French would be an asset.
Experience of having worked in the Great Lakes region of Africa will be an advantage.
Annexe 2: Inception Report
Introduction This consultancy has been commissioned by the client Ministry of Agriculture and Animal resources (MINAGRI) Rwanda, for the purpose of developing a ‘Strategic Plan for Animal Nutrition Improvement Programme’ in the country. The assignment is anchored on the revised Strategic Plan for Agricultural Transformation (PSTA II) of 2008 which re-emphasises the importance of the development of the livestock subsector under Programme 1 and particularly sub-programme 1.2 on “Integrated development and intensification of crops and livestock”. The PSTA II strategy is refocused to be consistent with other recent government initiatives for national development such as EDPRS and Vision 2020. Within the broad context of transforming agriculture in PSTA II nationally, lie similar objectives of transforming and modernizing the livestock sub-sector.
Although there are broad guidelines and defined targets for livestock development in PAPSTA II and the National Agricultural Policy (NAP, 2004), a detailed strategy and implementation framework for the subsector is lacking. This could be attributed to the enormous scope for the entire agricultural sector which does not provide much room to amplify some of the subsectors, livestock included. This has created the need to separately highlight the strategic issues of livestock development particularly the crucial component of nutrition. Animal nutrition and feeding primarily drive livestock productivity, influencing growth, reproduction and generation of all the products of economic importance. Underfeeding leads to waste of valued genetic potential that goes unexploited in improved breeds and translated as loss of production and income, in addition to adverse effects on health and performance.
Purpose of assignment According to the ToR, animal nutrition is one of the areas considered particularly weak in the livestock resource subsector in Rwanda, both in qualitative and quantitative terms. Much of this is attributed to a shortage of available farm land that limits fodder production, low utilization of crop residues and industrial by-products,
lack of information on conservation technologies especially for provision of dry season feed, and insufficient yet poor quality commercial feeds. The main task of the consultancy is to assist MINAGRI develop a plan on improving availability and quality of animal feeds and fodder, particularly intervening on the current constraints to enhance productivity in the livestock sub-sector. The plan has to be in line with the sub-sectorâ€™s objectives as stated in the National Agricultural Policy of 2004 as well as the operational priorities and targets of the PSTA II and EDPRS programmes. The document must also address all the issues related to animal feed requirements that are specific to the different individual species of animals, production systems and the different commodity value chains as prioritized in the above mentioned policy documents.
Broad Objective The overall objective of the assignment indicated in the ToR is to prepare a comprehensive strategic animal nutrition improvement plan showing the approach of execution, strategies and actions which should be undertaken by MINAGRI and its relevant organs in this area. The strategic plan must lead to progressive reorientation of the livestock development services, education and research in the country so as to ensure an integrated approach to improved nutrition of all animal species, leading to improvement of animal productivity and animal products. The specific objectives of the assignment in the ToR and as understood by the consultants are discussed later in this report.
Understanding of the Terms of Reference The foregoing preamble lays the ground regarding the purpose, objective and main task for the consultancy assignment. It is important to harmonise the understanding of the ToR by the consultants with the expectations of the client. The consultants herewith attempt to set the broad context and framework for assessment of the animal nutrition situation in Rwanda and the general approach and methodology for formulating the strategic plan.
Overview of context and assessment framework
1. Planning is a process that begins with today’s realities but focuses on future priorities and opportunities. The need for strategic planning usually stems from strategic thinking and insights that often give rise to new vision and mission. Developing a strategic plan for animal nutrition improvement programme in Rwanda is therefore based on the premise that the current position is considered inadequate hence the need to address it through a comprehensive, subsector-specific but all inclusive strategy. The plan will provide a road map for animal nutrition improvement in the country in the 2009-2012 planning period. It is further intended to represent a paradigm shift from the way things are done currently and bring about transformational change in this subsector that will positively impact the livestock producers locally and spur economic growth nationally. The plan needs to be harmonized
especially PSTA 1 & II and the National Agricultural Development Policy. The strategy will have inputs from all the relevant stakeholders particularly the line ministry MINAGRI and its related agencies. Both primary and secondary data will be collected and analysed leading to results and proposals that will constitute the basis of the strategy. 2. It is clear that improved cattle population is steadily increasing in Rwanda yet the producers are losing out on the full benefits of this potential due to poor animal nutrition and feeding. One of the key initiatives in this area is ‘the one cow per family’ which has facilitated a significant proportion of the farming community to acquire a cow, oftentimes of improved dairy breeds. To fully realize and harness the benefits of this enhanced genetic potential calls for a radical shift in management of these animals especially feeding to fulfil the higher nutritional requirements. The shift is critical at the farmer level where satisfying the elevated feed requirements is a daily reality. The position in Rwanda is further compounded by the changes in land policy where majority of farmers have to do this from their small parcel of land, with no external sources of feed. This calls for intensification of production systems and prudent utilization of resources including maximum integration of farm enterprises to harness benefits of crop-livestock interactions and nutrient cycling.
A major strength of Rwanda is the endowment with high annual
rainfall (above 1000mm) in most of the country providing great potential for arable and livestock farming, and forage production in particular. However, some of the farms are located in agro-ecological zones with a longer dry season especially the Eastern region where in the absence of conserved forage, the animals are likely to face a shortage of feed with concomitant loss in production. Feed conservation is considered a priority and a prudent management practice for all the dairy farms regardless of where they are located in the country. 3. It is at the farm level where comprehensive assessment of the feed requirements versus availability and production targets starts. The data collected will be extrapolated on spatial and temporal scales where applicable using secondary data on animal/cattle population, types and breeds, forage, water and other nutritional requirements, and all this in relation to production potential and targets (particularly milk) and other associated parameters. The approach will be used across the species. Characterizing the various agroecological zones, the production systems thereof and the trends in feed and water requirements and supply will be done while specific strategies for addressing the pertinent issues will be proposed. 4. For the non-ruminant species especially commercial poultry and pigs, requirements will be estimated based on current and projected animal populations with growth of the industry versus the current capacity to supply the needs qualitatively and quantitatively. It is assumed these two industries are not currently well developed but availability of quality feed could spur further growth especially with recently resumed operations of the National Hatchery. Indigenous poultry will feature, considering that production with existing genotypes can be greatly enhanced if feed supplementation is cheaply availed on-farm. 5. The scope and capacity for production of high quality compound/concentrate feeds will be assessed. While production of such feeds is essential for commercial poultry and pigs, quality is even more crucial for maximum animal performance. Similarly, nutrient requirements for high yielding dairy breeds alluded to earlier can only be fulfilled with provision of supplemental, high nutrient density feeds and thus the importance of compound feeds. For cattle,
cereal milling byproducts and oil seed cakes if available, and supply of critical minerals can partially satisfy the nutritional needs. The disease quality control unit at RARDA has indicated prevalence of metabolic diseases across the species. This confirms the urgency of sustainable supply of high quality feeds. The segment on feed quality control especially for concentrate feeds will be assessed
international/national feed standards by feed millers, availability of high quality raw materials and other requisite ingredients. 6. The farmer will ordinarily use the skills and knowledge he has to produce. Indigenous knowledge contributes to the skills base of the farmer. Without further information and training, production levels stagnate especially where the farmer has to deal with improved breeds and types of livestock. Information so far obtained indicates weaknesses in husbandry practices especially regarding feeding improved dairy cattle and fodder production, management and utilization. Education and training is therefore crucial for the farmer to increase productivity through better management practices. Many farmers fail to diversify the feed base for their dairy cows out of lack of knowledge, feeding them almost entirely on Pennisetum purpureum sp. (napier grass) and feeding it at the wrong stage of growth. This practice will never satisfy the nutritional requirements of high yielding dairy breeds, hence the common substandard milk production. The means by which government ensures the farmer is trained or accesses information is through the extension network service delivery if effective, whether undertaken by government or other stakeholder/private sector initiatives . The extension access, capacity and performance including staff training will be considered. 7. Research generates information on appropriate technologies to be delivered to farmers. If this component is well functional including its linkages with extension and the farmer, information flow and dissemination is effective. Adaptive research takes cognizance of the respective on-farm factors to ensure high adoption rates. Technologies are required to promote not only production but also value addition. This sector will also be evaluated in this regard, especially capacity to meet expected national targets in the area of animal nutrition.
8. Institutional arrangements and capacity to deliver on respective mandates is crucial. The legal and policy frameworks guide, facilitate and regulate operations of various industry players. These will be scrutinized in the livestock/nutrition subsector context to assess scope, effectiveness, validity and coverage. Capacity will be examined in relation to enhancing service delivery impacting animal nutrition and especially the extension and research organs. Interrelationships within and across the various players will be examined to identify gaps hindering capacity, initiative and efficiency and propose appropriate improvements. 9. The overall issues impacting the livestock sector including the value chain in marketing and processing of products will be generally considered especially interplay with animal nutrition issues. Water availability and supply for livestock and domestic use will be examined. Animal health and disease control issues especially in relation to incidence of metabolic disorders from poor nutrition will be analysed versus capacity of relevant organs charged with service delivery in this area. 10. From the initial meetings with stakeholders in the livestock subsector, sentiments have been expressed on lack of stakeholder forums to engage on livestock development issues and to know the roles and performance of the different organs. This has created a scenario that impedes information exchange and flow on the different pieces of the livestock development puzzle, leaving gaps and overlaps on stakeholder roles and performance. There is an urgent need to harness and coordinate subsector wide efforts to help monitor progress, identify gaps and overlaps and chart new directions that will synergise the various inputs and initiatives. The stakeholder forum to discuss the draft report of this work can be used to deliberate on the aspect.
Specific Objectives It is the considered opinion of the consultants that undertaking the assignment in accordance with methodology here below and activities thereof will adequately translate to attainment of the specific objectives and stipulated outputs in the ToR. The overview on assessment framework above will guide the process for establishing the current scenario and future trends on these strategic areas and
inform the way forward on requisite interventions and improvement. The consultants will endeavour to focus the specific activities as closely as possible with the expected outputs as expressly stated in the ToR.
Item 1. The first part of objective 1 regarding pasture improvement looks okay. However, the latter part on improvement of water availability in drought prone regions is tricky as this lies under the mandate of various players in government and non governmental bodies. The relevant areas regarding livestock water requirements and availability including initiatives by government and others in this area will be covered. The consultants will attempt to point a way forward on filling the gaps and enhancing future capacity against a scenario of increasing requirements by 2012 as the human and livestock populations increase.
Item 2. The second objective is okay. Some information is available under ISAR on efforts in this direction and that can be a place to start in terms of data collection. Obviously the magnitude of requirements in this area is enormous considering the limitations of land size, lack of dry season feeding and low access by farmers to information and training on technologies on feed conservation. The diversity in agroecological zones, production systems, availability of technologies and equipment and any other pertinent factors will be considered.
Item 3. This objective shares some of the aspects with objective 2. Again, the scope regarding utilization of crop residues and byproducts is large and very pertinent with mixed
development of simple feeding technologies and dissemination of the same to farmers, issues touching on research and extension. Similarly, many by-products of the agro-processing industry have a reasonable nutritional value and can often be fed on ‘as is basis’ taking precautions on acceptable feeding levels. These can either be utilized on-farm or used as raw materials for the feed industry. For all the feed resources, it is important to provide information on nutritional value, constraints and feeding methods regarding an assortment of feedstuffs generated from farms in different agro climatic zones and the benefits in improved production. All the issues on this objective will be duly addressed.
Item 4. This objective needs to be addressed at two levels: the farmer and the feed manufacturer. Feed formulation to enhance productivity in ruminant animals is simple and easily done at farm level where farmers have knowledge and skills. Access to information on such technologies at farm level needs to be enhanced to promote usage. The mandate of formulating feeding standards and adapting international to local context lies with the Rwanda Bureau of standards and assisted to fulfill this role by technical committees comprising persons from research, extension, livestock industry, etc. The bureau needs to facilitate access to feeding standards by feed millers, trainers, research, farmers and other interested parties. The enforcing and regulatory roles belong to the bureau, hence the need for capacity in all the areas. The level of operation, capacity to deliver and overall performance of the bureau regarding animal nutrition and feeding standards will be assessed and proposals made on improvement.
Item 5. This objective ties up with objective 5, hence activities to cover this will be done collectively. Recommendations will be made in this area on both the feeding standards and monitoring mechanisms.
Methodology: The approach and methodology in undertaking the work will entail: 1. Desk study and review of literature. The consultants will review the key documents regarding national development in Rwanda particularly in the area of agriculture and livestock development and with specific focus on livestock nutrition. Some of the important documents are those mentioned in the foregoing sections especially, PSTA I and II, EDPRS, Vision 2020, National Agricultural Policy 2004, related legal instruments and other relevant policy documents. Other secondary data sources related to this area will be reviewed particularly those of the line ministries (MINAGRI, water and irrigation, cooperatives, etc) and their agencies/projects key ones being RARDA, ISAR, RADA and PADEBL. Other documents will be sourced from Rwanda Bureau of Standards, NGOS, CBOs, farmer organizations, milk processors, abbatoirs, National Hatchery, agro-processing industry, etc.
2. The consultants will obtain information through consultations and conducting interviews with all the relevant stakeholders in the livestock industry including farmers, to establish the current status of the subsector in general and animal nutrition in particular, identify the major issues, indicate opportunities that can be exploited and propose strategies to address the issues for enhanced performance. 3. Field visits will be made to selected districts to meet farmers and other players on the ground and assess the prevailing production environment â€“ biophysical, production, marketing, socio-economic and entire operational environment. Observations will be made on the production systems and general condition of farms and livestock, feed resources, availability, feeding methods and technologies, and water supply for livestock and domestic consumption. Focus group discussions (FGDs) will be held to assess the community needs and elicit other pertinent qualitative information using an already prepared checklist to guide the exercise. Data will also be collected from the farmer organizations especially co-operatives and other common interest groups. Additionally, interviews will be conducted with the District Animal Production Officers on all matters pertaining to animal nutrition in particular and livestock development in general. 4. The consultants will overall establish the current situation on animal production and animal nutrition in particular. Data collected from above activities will be analysed to show trends in animal nutrition and production and provide benchmarks for the current position. The data will accordingly be extrapolated to indicate future trends and evaluated against projections and targets in the policy documents especially in PSTA II for the period 20092012. 5. Analysis of the data will further help indicate the gaps and weak areas that merit intervention and more focused attention in the strategic plan. 6. To fully derive and present the current scenario from above data, a situational analysis will be undertaken to highlight the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) in this context, using the conventional SWOT analysis instruments. The exercise will accordingly draw from results of all activities above. During this analytical exercise, the goals and strategic
objectives in animal nutrition improvement will be spelt out to provide the expected targets and any other performance benchmarks. Strategic and intervention initiatives to address results of all analytical activities above and aimed at meeting the set targets will be developed. 7. A framework for implementation of the strategies will be formulated, complete with respective action plans to operationalise it at various levels and to ensure that the goals and objectives will be practically realised. The plan implementation will accordingly be costed to reflect the financial reality for success and in the context of PSTA II. Guidance on budgets might be needed by consultants to ensure consistency with existing or other related budgetary framework. 8. A participatory monitoring and evaluation framework will be developed using relevant instruments to be applied over the implementation period and indicate levels of performance against the expected targets. 9. A draft report will be prepared on the “Strategic Plan for Animal Nutrition Improvement in Rwanda” representing the road map for transformation in animal nutrition and production by year 2012, complete with a logical framework and in conformity with the relevant policy documents, and objectives of the consultancy assignment in the ToR . 10. The draft report will be discussed by stakeholders in a workshop to elicit feedback and help make any necessary changes. The forum will provide for crucial stakeholder engagement to deliberate on the draft strategic plan, generate comments, validate data and content and generally give necessary ownership. The final report will be submitted to the client at the end of the assignment period.
Deliverables Inception Report: This output was not included in the ToR document. However, it is a useful requirement to demonstrate the understanding of the ToR by the consultants, indicate the approach and methodology of implementation to realize the stated outputs and provide the earliest opportunity for the client and consultants to re-focus the ToR as necessary. Some slight changes have already been made in expected outputs and have been factored in, in the methodology. The consultants
are expected to submit the report at the end of the first week. The lead consultant was joined by a local counterpart after 3 days but both will endeavour to submit the report at the requested time. On-the-job training: It has generally been agreed between the client and the consultants that no formal or specialized training on the job will be done and this actually is not part of the ToR activities/outputs. However, informal learning will take place as the consultants undertake the job through constant interaction with various players. Draft Report: The consultants will submit to the client a draft report on “Strategic Plan for Animal Nutrition Improvement in Rwanda” by end of the fifth week. The draft will then be discussed on the sixth week at a “Stakeholder Workshop”. Workshop:
The consultants will present the draft report at a “Stakeholder
Workshop” for discussion and evaluation and any changes will be made accordingly. Final Report: The consultants will deliver a high quality report to the client at the end of the assignment having taken note of all given considerations. Work Schedule. The consultants have developed the following tentative work schedule to fit in with the 45-day period of consultancy on a 6- day week basis for the lead consultant which translates to seven weeks.
1. Arrival of the consultant in Rwanda
1st Week Briefings
Project 15/1/09- 17/1/09 Done
MINAGRI, Minister of State, Permanent Secretary, Director of planning, Co-ordinator of PAPSTA Project, Meetings
Development Authority (RARDA), Deputy DG ISAR,
Researcher coordinating Karama Research Station.
Visits to Rwanda Agricultural Development Authority
(RADA) and to the National (State Owned) Hatchery.
Documentation/Literature review Preparation of Inception Report. 2nd week
Field data collection from stakeholders around Kigali. Field visits and
data collection from each of the 4 27/31/09
Annexe 3: List of Persons Met
Position and Organisation
Barongo M. Angelique
Send a Cow Rwanda
In Charge of Fodder Research, ISAR Rubona Station
Dr Elyse Amahoro
In charge of Animal Nutrition, RARDA
Dr Jean Bosco
National Hatchery, RARDA
Dr Karibata Agnes
Minister of State, MINAGRI
Dr Kimonyo Anastase
Dr Mugabe Jonas
Deputy D.G, ISAR
Dr Ngarambe Michel
Nshimirimana Director, Animal Production Unit,
Dr Rhoda Rubaiza
Vet., Aquaculture, Planning Unit,
Rutagwenda D.G. RARDA
Director, Planning Unit, MINAGRI
Animal Production, Planning Unit, MINAGRI
Co-ordinator, PAPSTA Project,
MINAGRI Hodari Juma
RADA ,Seed Development Unit
Nyanza farmer, Chair, District
Farmers’ Cooperative Katabarwa Augustin
Kigali City farmers (Dairy
and Commercial Poultry, Kicukiro) Lecturer
Polytechnic Mazina Jean
Researcher, ISAR Karama Station
RBS., Head Animal Products
Musanze District Farmers (25),
Cooperative Musiime U. Florence
Certification Mutesa Jean Pierre
Nyanza District Livestock Officer
Nyabihu District Livestock Officer Nyabihu District Farmers (22) PAPSTA Project Review Team
Providers Philomene U
Musanze District Livestock Officer
MD, SOPAR Agro-industries
Nyanza farmer, Vice Chair, District
Farmers’ Cooperative Ruzindaza Ernest
Fodder Seed Multiplier, Kicukiro
Vet Technician attached to
Annexe 4: Checklist for Institutional Stakeholder Interviews
CHECKLIST FOR INSTITUTIONAL STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEWS (Please fill)
1. Overview on status of livestock production (all species) in general and livestock nutrition in particular
2. Overview of organization objectives/mandate and role/contribution in the livestock sector in general and livestock nutrition in particular
3. Current activities/operations and achievements of organization for improvement of animal nutrition, production and value chain
4. Situational analysis of organization: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in regard to animal nutrition
5. Major /strategic issues that must be addressed to create impact by 2012 and beyond
6. Propose strategies/actions to address them, by whom, how and timelines
7. Budgetary provisions/requirements and resource mobilization
8. Monitoring and evaluation mechanism
9. Collaboration initiatives with other stakeholders, forums and if adequate
10. Any other comments/suggestions.
Annex 5: Questionnaire for Farmers CHECKLIST FOR FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSIONS WITH FARMER GROUPS – (Please Fill)
Identifying Characteristics: Province__________________
1. Overview on status of agricultural/livestock production (all species) on your farm Rainfall__________ Seasons___________________ Vegetation type______________________
Average farm size(ha)____________________ Ownership/tenure_____________________ Crops (types & ha)
Fodder 2. Livestock production systems Species, Breeds/Types, Average Numbers per Farm, Purpose, Rearing system Species/ Breed
range/Confined/Semi confined Cows Heifers Female calves
Sheep and goats
3. Source of improved cattle:
Breeding Management for
4. Natural pasture (ha) Planted Pasture (ha) Main Fodder types Fodder (ha) _____________
5. Feeding methods for cattle, sheep and goats (grazing, hay, silage, whole or chopped, other) 6. If grazing, rotational, continuous or zero-grazing? Grass pasture Elephant grass (Pennisetum spp.)
7. Other feeds given to cattle and sheep/goats and feeding methods Feed/concentrates
Amount & Feeding method
of feed cost/unit
8. What proportion of farmers make/feed silage?
9. Reasons for not making/feeding silage?
10. What proportion gives maize stover and other crop residues?
11. Reasons for not feeding these feedstuffs?
12. What do you need to start feeding above feedstuffs?
13. Average milk production (litres) per cow per day?
Any records? Pure breed (specify) Cross breed
Milk sold (L/cow/yr):
Milk for home consumption (L/cow/yr)
For the calf (L/cow)?
Pure breed Cross breed
Age at weaning calf (months): pure breed:
Lactation length (months): pure breed
Age at first calving (years): Pure breed
Calving interval: Pure breed
Average profit: Fr/cow/year? Pure breed:
Price of in-calf heifer:Pure breed:
14. Feeds given to poultry
method of feeding
Eggs/hen/yr or Bwt/7 wks Layers Broilers Local poultry
15. Feeds given to pigs
method of feeding
Bwt & age at market
16. Are you satisfied with the commercial feeds you use, and what do you do if not satisfied? 17. Do you know feed requirements for your animals – which, amounts, quality, identify problems, etc?
18. Are you satisfied with current level of milk production?
And performance of
19. Ways to increase production:
20. Any metabolic diseases from poor nutrition?
21. Do you get trained on husbandry practices?
Is it adequate?
Other sources of information:
22. What are the main challenges of livestock farming?
23. How can these be addressed and by whom?
24. Benefits of being a member of your farmers cooperative:
25. Sources of funds for your farming:
26. Any other suggestions?
Annex 6: Energy and Protein Requirements for Lactating Cows and Fattening Cattle
Milk yield: 5
(600 kg BWT)
20 ‘’ Fattening cattle (150 kg BWT)
Annex 7: Dry Matter Intake of Lactating Cows (kg DM/day)
Dry Matter Intake (kg DM/day)
Weight (kg) Milk Yield (kg)
Dry Matter Intake of Lactating Cows
Annex 8: Nutrient Content of Feedstuffs for Ruminants
Pasture grasses Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum)
Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) Young, leafy
Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) Young, leafy
Star grass (Cynodon spp) Young leafy
Pasture legumes Lucerne (Medicago sativa)
Cereal grains Maize grains
Meat and bone 900 meal
Concentrates Groundnut cake Soya meal
Conserved forages Maize silage
Cereal by-products Maize stover
Sorghum straw 850
Oil seed residues Soya
straw Groundnut tops Cowpea straw
Root crop residues Cassava tops Sweet
vines Sugar residues Sugar tops Bagasse
Annexe 9: Feeding Technologies
There are many feeding technologies that farmers in Rwanda can adopt to enhance livestock performance and new bio-technologies used elsewhere that the Research agency can evaluate and recommend. Below is a list of some of the feeding techniques that can be successfully used and at reasonable cost.
1. Feeding high quality Napier grass elicits about 8-10 litres of milk and few additional litres when legumes are added. This diet needs to be supplemented with single-feedstuff concentrates (normally cheap), which can be almost just as good as the more expensive compounded concentrates. These are high energy density and high protein density feedstuffs with less bulk and less moisture to ensure adequate DM and adequate nutrient intake. This entails supplementation of Napier/legume with grain milling by-products or molasses for energy, and oil seed cakes or urea for protein, depending on availability and cost. A little amount of ordinary fish meal can be added to raise the protein quality particularly because this feedstuff it is not easily degraded in the rumen (good UDP/by-pass protein), hence retains its high essential amino acid composition. The dietary inclusion level should be low to avoid off flavours/taint in milk (or meat for broiler chicken). 2. Napier grass + legumes + simple cheap concentrates1 1
Mix 1-2 litres molasses with 100 g urea and 0.5-1 litre of water for 1 animal
and mix with chopped Napier grass or chopped crop residues, mainly cereal straws/stover. Use 1 litre molasses if Napier grass is high quality during wet season and right stage of growth (1 m high or 6-8 weeks growing period) and 2 litres during dry season or for crop residues. Use 20 litres for mixing (1 jerry can) if drinking direct. Note that urea should never exceed 5% of total DM intake of animal. Molasses provides ready source of fermentable energy while urea, a 46% N compound provides NPN quickly converted to microbial protein, hence made available as protein to the animal.
3. Blocks of molasses and urea mixture can be made as cattle licks using : Molasses-50%, Urea-10%, Wheat bran-25%, Salt-5%, Lime-5%, Cement (for binding) – 5%. The licks are good supplements for cereal straws (crop residues)
4. Treatment of crop residues with urea to release ammonia (40g of urea in 200ml water poured on stack of straw and left for 2 weeks in sealed plastic sheeting). 5. Agro industrial processing by-products like brewers grain/waste from breweries are very popular dairy cattle feed due to the high protein content (18% CP). 6. Other agro-industrial by-products like baggase from sugar cane processing which is a high fibre, low protein, low digestibility roughage. If steam treated for about 10 minutes, digestibility doubles from 28% to 56% and very suitable if mixed with urea. Whole sugar cane can be fed or derinded. Chop whole sugar cane into 10cm pieces for cattle. Good source of sucrose (readily fermentable energy) and roughage. 7. Cereal grains are very high in energy including sorghum. Low tannin sorghum varieties (white seeded) have higher nutritional value. Can consider growing these instead of red/brown seeded, high tannin varieties. Cereal milling byproducts eg bran, un-extracted germ and middlings (pollard) from maize, wheat, rice, etc, are high in energy and a good substitute for cereals in dairy diets to supplement forage. Maize gluten feed and extracted maize germ are high in protein and minerals. 8. Forage sorghum is drought tolerant, provides good fodder and is even more palatable as silage. 9. Oil seed cakes are very rich in protein especially soya bean cake which provides an excellent source of essential amino acids and very suitable for poultry feeding. Cotton seed cake and sunflower cake are high in protein though the former has traces of gossypol which can be toxic for poultry
beyond certain limits while the latter is high in crude fibre which is indigestible by poultry. The two cakes are however great protein supplements for dairy, are plentiful in Tanzania and reasonably priced. Importation can be facilitated. 10. Mixing poultry waste (manure) from commercial layer chicken or broiler chicken houses with chopped Napier grass and feeding dairy cattle. Poultry waste is a high protein (20-22%) feedstuff for cattle, well palatable due to spilt compounded feed from the chicken house, undigested fibre from by poultry and uric acid content (NPN) converted to microbial protein in the ruminant animal. The waste can also be used together with molasses during ensiling of Napier grass. Sieving can be done to throw out most of unbroken wood shavings used as poultry house litter. 11. Using dry Calliandra as tested and recommended by ISAR Researcher at Rubona research station where feeding of 3 kg of dry Calliandra leaves is equivalent to 1 kg of concentrate feed. The stem is cut and left to dry then the leaves harvested. Leucaena is a high protein legume and good for UDP, but should not be fed at high levels due to its mimosine content and possible milk taint. Leucaena triandra has less mimosine and lower polyphenolic compounds content. 12. Use of good quality hay has many advantages because of less bulk and easier transportation. This makes for easy movement of hay for sale around the country especially during the dry season. Amount needed for daily feed is about one third of fresh herbage ie instead of about 30-40 kg of fresh herbage for a dairy cow, only 10-13 kg is needed and provides similar nutritional value. This can also be mixed with legume hay. More water is needed by animals fed on dry feeds. Large scale making of hay should be encouraged, with grass cut at early flowering stage. Standing hay left in the field has a much lower value due to maturity of the grass. 13. Natural sources of minerals and salt which are sometimes fed provide only some of the mineral requirements mostly sodium and iron. Multi mineral licks/blocks should be offered as they are well balanced.
14. New technologies using microbial mixtures, now commonly used elsewhere to increase digestibility and improve nutritional value of poor quality roughages and crop residues. These are mostly coming from China where they feed a lot of crop residues especially rice straw and with good results. Other bio-technologies entail use of enzymes and probiotics for commercial poultry and pig feeding to enhance efficiency of feed utilisation, improve digestibility and increase growth rate. 15. For most plant proteins, awareness on presence (and levels) of anti-nutritional factors is important as a guide on maximum dietary inclusion levels. This is critical for non-ruminant feeding. Farmers making own feed need to be sensitised on these aspects of ingredients. 16. Finally, farmers making feed on-farm under damp and dirty conditions need guidance on maintenance of hygiene in premises used for mixing and storing feedstuffs to avoid risks of contamination by mycotoxins, especially aflatoxin which can be lethal depending on concentrations.
Annexe 10: Local and Dairy Cattle Numbers by Districts, 2008
RUSIZI RUTSIRO RWAMAGANA TOTAL
Annexe 11: Livestock Numbers by Districts and Provinces in Rwanda
Annexe 12: Cost-Benefit Analysis for Dairy Production on Different Feeds
Benefit-Cost Ratio for Different Feed Rations Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a technique of evaluating the desirability of a given investment to gauge the efficiency of the intervention relative to the status quo. The process compares economic benefits with economic costs of the activity. There are several variations on the basic benefit-cost rules used to compare benefit and costs of investment decisions. Some of the commonly used techniques are Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Net Present Value (NPV), Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR), etc.. The accuracy of the outcome of either CBA rule depends on how accurately costs and benefits are estimated. Inaccurate CBA may be a source of investment risk because the estimates may lead to inefficient decision. Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) The benefit-cost ratio (BCR) is calculated as the net present value of benefits divided by the net present value of the costs. BCR is formally used to help appraise different projects or proposals and informally used to make decisions on the most profitable option. If the ratio exceeds one, then the project might be a good candidate for acceptance. On the other hand, among competing approaches, the higher the ratio the better the approach. The current analysis follows a BCR approach to weigh the total expected costs against the expected benefits of three different feed rations. A 20 dairy animal herd is fed on either of the following ration options: i) Napier/elephant grass (pennisetum purpureum) fodder alone; ii) Same grass fodder with additional legume feed; iii) Same grass fodder, same additional legume and some concentrates. The aim is to assess which of the three rations leads to higher milk production and translates
to higher returns and profits. The assumptions here in computation of the BCR for the 3 approaches are that the milk output market is acceptable and there exists a minimum milk price, below which the marginal cost of the factor input will be higher. Further it is assumed there exists a maximum price of concentrates beyond which it will not be possible to break-even. The computation for the BCR for the different rations is as follows: BCR
Returns = Gross Margins = Total Revenue (TR) – Total Cost (TC) TR
= Sale of Milk and Manure outputs
= Total Fixed Cost (TFC) + Total Variable Costs (TVC)
The various costs and revenues are given below.
Grass & Legume Grass,
Pregnant Heifers (20)
Spade & Hoe
Total Fixed Cost TFC (5 21,650,000
Years) Total Fixed Cost TFC (1 4,330,000 Year)
Weeding & Fertilizer
Total Variable Cost TVC (1 5,483,000 Year) Total Cost (TFC + TVC) 1 9,813,000 Year
Returns Milk Sale1
Returns (Total Revenue - -1,113,000 Total Cost) Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR)
Assumption on milk sale: 20 lactating cows; Lactation length – 300 days; Price of
milk – 200 FRW/litre; Milk yield per day: option i) - 6 litres, option ii) – 10 litres, option iii) – 20 litres. The implications of the BCR are that, it’s not worthwhile to invest/feed the dairy herd on fodder grass only as this does not translate to returns that can break-even. Moreover, the investment in legume and concentrate additives is responsive to giving positive returns. Thus, every extra unit of FRW spent on legumes and concentrate additives results to an increase of output values by 35 and 49%, respectively.
Annexe 13: References
Agricultural policy note, 2005
Chesworth, J, 1992: Ruminant nutrition. The Tropical Agriculturalist, CTA, MacMillan. Ed. A.J. Smith.
EADD/ICRAF, 2008. Rwanda Annual Report, 2008
Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS)
ISAR 2008: Promotion of Agro-forestry fodder trees for Livestock feeds in Rwanda
Matthewman, R.W; 1993: Dairying. The tropical Agriculturalist, CTA, MacMillan. Ed A.J.Smith.
Mbugua, P.N., 1999: production and use of concentrates in the smallholders dairy subsector in Kenya small holder dairy project, Ministry of Agriculture/KARI/ILRI McDonald et al, 1981. Animal Nutrition 3rd Edition. ELBS/Longman
MINAGRI, 2005: A proposal to distribute one cow to every poor family in Rwanda
MINAGRI Website, 2009.
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