Government to cut loan rates on loans to poultry and pig farmers | New times

The government is preparing to launch a new financing program to lower interest rates for pig and poultry producers as well as feed producers in need of bank loans.

The new program was designed to cut interest rates on loans to pig and poultry farmers as well as other value chain players by up to 8%, according to a government official.

Solange Uwituze, Deputy Director General for Animal Resources Research and Technology Transfer at Rwanda Agricultural and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) said New times that the government could pay for beneficiaries up to interest rates totaling up to Rwf100 million.

“This means that a farmer or a feed producer has to make sure that he applies for a loan that will not exceed the interest rate valued at RWF 100 million,” she said. revealed.

This means, for example, that she illustrated that if a bank calculates that you have to pay Rwf 350 million in interest rate on a loan you have acquired, we will only pay Rwf 100 million for you.

At least RWF 2 billion, she said, will be channeled through the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) which will work with commercial banks to lend it to beneficiaries.

She revealed that funding will begin this month.

The move is part of the move to increase the share of bank lending to the agricultural sector, which has stagnated at around 5 percent of total lending to the economy.

With lower interest rates, the government hopes to attract more investment into the industry to increase production of poultry and pork products.

It will also increase the country’s chances of meeting its food demand in 2035 and 2050.

Rwanda’s population is expected to increase by 18 million people by 2035 and 22 million by 2050, increasing the country’s food demand.

“Arable land is limited and that is why we have to practice agriculture in a professional and modern way,” she noted.

Increase animal food reserves

The government also hopes that low interest rates will stimulate investment in animal production to strengthen the feed balance sheet.

“The alternative, for example, includes breeding flies known as ‘black soldier flies’ which have qualities similar to soybeans,” Uwituze said, revealing that the government had hired researchers to assess the viability. of this type of animal feed.

The results of the project are expected by the end of the year.

These flies, she said, feed on wastes or leftovers such as fruit and food and then lay large amounts of eggs which are dried and processed into feed for pigs, poultry and fish.

She added that three feed factories are working with government institutions in charge of food standards for black soldier flies, which are considered an inexpensive and sustainable source of feed.

Research is also being done on sweet potato vines to be mixed with other ingredients such as black soldier flies to make quality animal feed.

Farmers, feed producers speak out

According to Steven Mufafiri, the poultry and pig farmer who also owns Walker Animal Feed Factory, animal feed is still expensive because the raw materials are expensive. Production is also low, he says.

“We need funding and subsidies to increase the production of feed for poultry and pigs and this could also lower the price of feed,” he said, adding that if the farmers in association come together, they can be made easier to buy food at an affordable price. good price from the factory without relying on middlemen.

Jean Claude Shirimpumu, president of the Rwanda Pig Breeders Association, said the association has put in place rules that will guide it in reorganizing the sector and exploiting new opportunities.

At least 10 improved pig slaughterhouses across the country are due to be built before the end of the current fiscal year, according to RAB, indicating that there are also two large modern pig slaughterhouses and processing plants planned by 2023.

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