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USAID launches support of Masaka Creamery Dairy Processing Facility

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Ambassador Peter H.Vrooman poses on equipment funded by USAID

Kigali: On June 18, 2018, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth Project (PSDAG), officially launched its partnership with Masaka Creamery, an American-owned company based in Rwanda that produces cultured dairy products (yogurt, cheese and butter).

Masaka Creamery used a 234 Million RWF grant from USAID to acquire new dairy processing equipment, cold storage equipment, and milk quality laboratory equipment. These investments will also increase the incomes of farmers who supply Masaka Creamery with milk and will help to meet market demand and quality requirements. The event took place at the new Masaka Creamery’s factory in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Gasabo District.

USAID support to Masaka Creamery has helped the company build and equip a new processing facility in Kigali SEZ, where the firm successfully transitioned equipment and operations from a previous factory in Masaka District. The new factory has an additional processing line, new packaging equipment, a laboratory to monitor and improve product quality and food hygiene, as well as ample room to grow with the company.

The investments made by Masaka Creamery with USAID support have boosted the company’s annual domestic sales by 200 percent, supported the development of eight new products (fresh cream, sour cream, butter, ghee, mascarpone, fruit yogurt, thick yogurt, ikivuguto), and contributed to local economic development by enabling an increase of income by 20 percent for 2,000 milk farmers in the Eastern and Northern Provinces.

The new products have received the Rwanda Standards Board quality standard certification and are currently being sold to high-end hotels, restaurants and retail markets. In addition, expansion of Masaka Creamery’s operations has helped create 11 new jobs for which nine of the new hires are persons with disabilities.

"We are grateful to Masaka Creamery for having particularly employed the youth regardless of their disability (hearing) status. This is a perfect example of social inclusion and we hope that other businesses will draw into your footprints," says Jean Damascene, a representative of disabled workers at Masaka Creamery.

Masaka Creamery, which sources milk directly from small family-owned dairy farms, cooperatives, and milk collection centers also provides extension services and training to farmers.

The company has established a new partnership with KOZAMGI milk cooperative located in Gicumbi District, which provides raw milk from 2,000 farmers, supplying between 6,000 - 7,000 liters per week to Masaka Creamery.

Masaka Creamery also has in place higher quality standards for the milk it uses, and as a result, pays a higher purchase price to the farmers for raw milk (currently RWF 250/L as opposed to the average price of RWF 200/L), which is also contributing to USAID’s goal to increase incomes of small-scale farmers.

"Working with Masaka Creamery is a relief to our cooperative. We can now invest in new projects, because we have a regular client who consistently pays us on a weekly basis," says Ntabanganyimana Rachid, the president of KOZAMGI milk cooperative.

The Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth (PSDAG) program is a five-year (2014-2019) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The goal of PSDAG is to increase smallholder farmers’ incomes by promoting private sector investment and to facilitate the transformation of agriculture into a market-oriented, competitive, and high-value sector. (End)

 

 

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