Rwanda Bans Skyrocketing Raw Milk Sales

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The days of receiving cheaply priced raw milk in your home; from that vendor with a can or diary kiosk around the corner are over. Rwanda’s ministry of agriculture has banned sale of unprocessed milk as part of efforts geared at modernizing the sector’s value chain

This shocking development appears to be in response to an enormous and rapid surge in the sales of unpasteurized dairy across the country.

“No raw milk should cross the country’s borders without added value anymore,”  Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, the minister of agriculture and animal resources told dairy farmers, MCC managers, milk transporters and processors during a stakeholder’s meeting that took place in Rubavu District.

Mukeshimana said that milk should be collected, transported to MMCs for value addition before selling it.

The ministerial order dated 10/02/2016 regulating the collection, transportation and selling of milk says milk shall be collected at a milk collection center where it shall be tested for quality before sale.

In a statement released by the ministry of agriculture and animal resources urges dairy farmers to modernize their activities in a bid to increase the quality of their milk produce.

With this ban, government hopes to ensure that milk on the market is processed. Industry experts are now pointing to the adulteration of milk as the central reason why this ban ought to be effected.

Milk transporters have been urged to form a cooperative in order to enhance milk collection and transportation in line with the regulations in place.

Mukeshimana noted that when raw milk is taken out to the consumer in cans, jerry cans that are easily and often open and closed during the supply process, it becomes vulnerable to contamination by foreign elements, whether intentionally or accidentally, and is thus adulterated.

Much as this move will advantage the consumer by ensuring their health is put first, it will also set in motion events that will leave many that have been selling raw milk jobless and the consumer that has drinking it helpless.

Another ministry senior official from the minister of agriculture and animal resources intimated to Rwanda Eye said that milk vendors occasionally even dip their hands into the milk when scooping it with their cups, jugs or whatever they use. And this begs the question on hygiene because these same hands have been elsewhere, and this is just one of the many other ways it can be contaminated.”

Since the post Genocide period, Rwanda has known a tremendous rise in milk production, due to numerous developments programs namely one cow per poor family, intensive breeding and Zero grazing program.

 

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