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Project in Rwanda

Milk Production Practices, Udder Health and Their Impact on Milk Quality, Safety and Processability in Rwanda

Timeframe: October 2016 - December 2018

Funding: USAID

Principal investigator (PI) and lead institution

Jean Baptiste Ndahetuye, University of Rwanda

Co-PI and collaborator institutions


This video, featuring an interview with Jean-Baptiste Ndahetuye, is on YouTube at (footage courtesy of the University of Florida Foundation).

Project Plan

Government of Rwanda initiatives such as Girinka have increased milk production from 185,000 tons in 2007 to 445,000 tons in 2013 and the annual milk production was projected to reach 650,000 tons by 2017. However, there are limitations in achieving the vision of high quality milk production. These include the lack of service providers and lack of research at different levels of the milk chain. Lack of research on dairy animal health and milk pre-and post-harvest best practices lead to significant qualitative and quantitative losses of milk. Lack of good quality milk hampers the efforts to fight malnutrition and can lead to public health hazards. The overall objective of the current project is to develop best practices that enhance dairy cow’s health and milk quality in the Rwandan dairy chain. Specific objectives include the following:

  1. Evaluate udder health, risk factors and impact of subclinical mastitis on dairy productivity in Rwanda;
  2. Evaluate microbiological and chemical quality of raw milk in Rwanda by evaluation of the prevalence of zoonotic bacteria, their antimicrobial resistance and the antimicrobial residues in milk at different sites of the milk chain in Rwanda; and
  3. Train dairy farmers, MCCs managers/technicians, IAKIB’s extension officer/veterinarians, district’s veterinarians and students in best practices for good udder health and best milk production practices. The research site will be the Gicumbi District in Northern Rwanda.

More Information

 October 2020 research update NDAHETUYE VGM (Virtual General Meeting)

Related work by PI

Ndahetuye, J.B., Persson, Y., Nyman, AK. et al. 2019. Aetiology and prevalence of subclinical mastitis in dairy herds in peri-urban areas of Kigali in Rwanda. Trop Anim Health Prod 51, 2037–2044.

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems is part of Feed the Future

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This work was funded in whole or part by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Food Security under Agreement # AID-OAA-L-15-00003 as part of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. Additional funding was received from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors alone.