Underway strategies to increase Rwanda meat export

On 22nd February 2017, a meeting with Rwandan livestock farmers, public and private economic cluster and government officials convened in Kigali to discuss strategies that can reverse the trend of livestock exports in meat exports. This comes after the report on Rwanda Livestock and Meat Export to DRC (MINEACOM: July 2016) revealed that there are abattoirs that have the capacity to uptake livestock currently being exported to external markets by boosting meat production for Rwanda domestic market as well as export to DRC and other regional and international markets.   

Hon. François Kanimba, the Minister of Trade, Industry and East African Community Affairs (MINEACOM) who officiated this meeting said that both government and private sector are keen to merge efforts to reduce the trade imbalance still interrupting the economy of the country. “Rwanda livestock production is sufficient to cater the meat production. This is the right time to embrace modern abattoirs and if need be, ban completely cattle export. We know that exporting livestock instead of meat hinders the domestic market revenues.” Hon. Kanimba stated.

The report indicates that the current livestock population is commensurate with figures foreseen as necessary for supporting a vibrant meat industry in the country. According to this report, the meat industry was expected by 2017 to be producing meat for Rwanda domestic market as well as export. The reality today, is that despite the country having largely achieved the target of livestock production, the meat industry has not lived up to the expectations.

Evidence in that report is that, export data from Rwanda livestock markets shows that every month, DRC receives more than 30,000 cows, yet, available abattoirs’ installed capacity is sufficient to slaughter all cows being exported.

Among recommendations of the meeting, it was agreed that, if Rwanda’s abattoirs are to supply meat in the Rwanda hospitality industry and to the fast growing middle and upper income class, they need to embrace business model that moves away from slaughter services to production of value added meat and meat products.

Per every 1Kg of meat exported, the country would gain 7 USD more comparing to the livestock export.

Published on 23rd February, 2017

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