The government has found a buyer for Burera Dairy Limited to ensure it is more productive and well managed by a private investor.
The facility was handed over to its new owners on Tuesday 14 January 2020 in Burera in the presence of the acting Director General of NIRDA, Claire Mukeshimana who represented the government.
Other officials present were from Business and Development Fund (BDF), officials from MINAFGRI and MINICOM, district officials among others.
The government held 98.03 per cent stake in the firm that was established in 2016.
Government stake was last week sold to African Solutions Private Ltd (Afrisol), a Zimbabwean firm which has been investing in the country over the past two years.
The new owners say that they intend to boost the milk-processing industry and buy milk from farmers, train them on best practices, as well as work with farmers in availing animal, feeds to boost productivity in both quality and quantity.
"Over the next five years, we intend to inject Rwf1.6bn which will be split between capital expenditure to increase capacity and introduce new products into the market as well as working capital to secure raw materials and supporting farmers" Afrisol Chief Executive, Ruvimbo Chikwava during the hand over ceremony.
Afrisol already has a presence in Rwanda based in Rwamagana Industrial Park and has been involved in animal feed production and technical farmer support and training.
The firm said that the services and products will be extended to farmers in Burera District.
Ruvimbo said that going forward, they will be involved in training farmers on aspects such as the best ways to take care of their cows, best ways to milk and handle milk among other ways.
Considering that they already have investments in animal feed production, he said that they will avail feeds to farmers upfront to increase the productivity and quality of their produce.
With six milk collection centres in the area, the firm said that they will prioritise produce from the area before buying from other parts of the country.
Operations are expected to begin in February with some products expected to hit the market thereafter. More products are expected to debut the market over time. The firm’s products will be traded under ‘Burera Diary’ brand name.
The acquisition is a huge relief to farmers in the area as farmers will have the bigger market to sell of milk productions at a better price.
Claire Mukeshimana, the acting Director-General of NIRDA, said that the government’s expectations are that the company will boost the milk processing industry and create more jobs. She said that the move to privatise the facility is aimed at improving efficiency and productivity
“We expect that the new company will boost milk processing industry, create more jobs to locals as well as improving smallholder farmers’ lives as sit will be buying milk production at a better price,” she said.