Photo: EPA
INTERNATIONAL – Rwanda is looking to the poultry industry to boost food security and economic growth, an official said on Wednesday.

The government of Rwanda has elaborated a livestock master plan that identified poultry as one of the avenues to contribute to national food and nutrition security, income generation, job creation as well as economic growth, Rwandan agriculture minister Geraldine Mukeshimana said while officially opening a three-day Poultry Africa 2019 Exposition and Conference in Rwanda's capital Kigali.

The vision of the poultry industry in Rwanda is to transform the largely subsistence to a more knowledge-intensive and market-oriented sub-sector, adding value to poultry products, said Mukeshimana.

Rwanda's livestock master plan envisages an increase of 124 percent in chicken meat and 110 percent in egg production in the next five years, she said.

The poultry population of Rwanda has been growing at an average annual rate of 9 percent over the past 7 years from 3.5 million in 2010 to 7.6 million in 2018, with 69 percent of the population being local breeds while 31 percent are raised in commercial poultry farms with exotic breeds, according to her.