Samuel Karisa, 46, is a modern farmer in Karangazi sector who has set his eyes on the chances of improving his livestock business once a modern veterinary laboratory is constructed in Nyagatare district, Eastern Province.
He says that when opened, the laboratory would be of great importance to livelihoods of communities, which largely depends on cattle for income.
“Any scientific approach to modern farming close to farmers is vital. We are normally hit by diseases unknowingly. Foot and mouth, anthrax etc, have all killed our animals. Hopefully, with a lab, diseases will be detected too early,” he said.
Karisa expectation come after the Deputy Director General in charge of Livestock in Rwanda Agriculture Board, Dr. Christine Kanyandekwe, while addressing farmers and local leaders revealed the government has plans to boost the province’s livestock sector.
The proposed lab will be as part of Government’s plan to enhance, detect and respond to diseases that can affect the livestock sector and the lab will, among other things, allow for the certification for export.
According to Dr. Kanyandekwe, the process has been moving at a reasonable pace to develop and further modify the country’s animal health system to meet international standards.
“Lab equipment are in place and will be installed soon,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of Nyagatare district, Sabiti Atuhe applauded the Ministry of Agriculture’s support to farmers saying that the veterinary lab of meat products is expected to supply the demand internationally and emphasis should be placed on genetics and improvements in breeds in the livestock sector.
Atuhe said the Ministry had helped farmers to diversify and further provide value-added commodities for markets, adding that the process reduced dependency on one source of livelihood.
He said “promoting integrated farming systems would provide more employment opportunities, especially in rural areas. The lab will also allow for the certification for export. Our district hopes to become a major exporter”