A new program dubbed Cow in the Car will add more value to cow products after innovators will be supported to use science and technology to produce diverse products from parts of the cow that would otherwise be thrown away.
The program, launched on Tuesday is one of the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA)’s Open Calls to boost competitiveness and productivity in a given value chain.
According to Kampeta Sayinzoga the Director-General for NIRDA that the aim is to use science and technology to add value to cow products and make products to be used by industries.
This, according to Kampeta is to ensure the cow has it value and respect it has in Rwanda society even after life.
The aim is to use passion for science and passion for livestock and for cows.
“After this launch, we will have particular sessions with young innovators from the university of Rwanda and Rwanda Polytechnic to encourage young innovators to apply for this Cow in the Cow open calls,” she said.
“We’re not targeting a particular target we want to stretch the mind of innovators to match them with science and technology and to encourage them to apply for this call,”
Cow in the Car program will be implemented by NIRDA with support from Eastern and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank (TDB), and the OCP Group, a Moroccan fertiliser manufacturing company.
It is a competition after the team will have analyzed all the projects from proposal NIRDA will support the selected ones with interest free loans to acquire upgraded equipment to implement their innovative projects.
“NIRDA will also provide free technical and commercial advisory services and we hope that the project will help support the emergence of new industries, and make farmers understand the value of the cow beyond the meat.”she said.
More products expected
The idea, according to officials is to maximise a number of products along the cow business value chain.
Products like car seats that can be fitted in Volkswagen cars will be developed after hides of the cow bred will be developed, according to officials.
Cow body parts can be processed to produce medical insulin while cow’s pancreas can provide insulin (medication) for people with diabetes
“And there is a large number of people who are diabetic not only in Rwanda but across Africa and the world over, yet there is a shortage of insulin around the world,” Frannie Léautier, an executive from TDB.
The Minister for Trade and Industry (MINICOM) Soraya Hakuziyaremye, who launched the program welcomed the move, describing it as a step forward in the country’s industrialisation journey.
She added that the program would boost made in Rwanda program contribute to the imports drop and bosting economy.
Applicants should be those who have been in cow value chain business for at least three years or young innovators with innovative ideas and have been in business for at least one year.
The application is done via NIRDA’s website: www.nirda.gov.rw and applicants are encouraged to submit their project proposals by February 10, 2020.