Misson and purpose of one cow per poor family program
The Girinka Program was initiated in 2006 by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Rwanda; Paul KAGAME. The objectives of the Girinka program include: reducing poverty through dairy cattle farming; improving livelihoods through increased milk consumption and income generation; participation in decision making, environment protection, improving agricultural productivity through the use of manure as fertilizer and promoting unity and reconciliation among Rwandans based on the cultural principle that if a cow is given from one person to another, it establishes trust and respect between the giver and the beneficiary.
Girinka Program is therefore part of the implementation measures of the Vision 2020; the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS); the Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation (PSTA) and the Integrated Development Programme (IDP).
Major program component
ü Selection of beneficiaries at grassroots level by the farming community leaded by Girinka Committee following defined criteria as stipulated in Girinka Guidelines (No 0001/2016 of 25/02/2016);
ü Training of beneficiaries before giving cows;
ü Heifers screened for diseases and healthy before they are given to vulnerable families;
ü Daily follow up of the program across the country
ü Follow up of Girinka decentralization
ü Accompanying measures (package of artificial insemination inputs, feeds, health, training farmers, Organization in cooperatives and linking beneficiaries to Milk collection centers)
üEncouraging/mobilizing different partners’ groups and local initiatives (e.g. Girinka week, local fundraising, etc) to support the Program
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Rwanda Agriculture Board started One Cup of Milk per Child Program in May 2010 as an implementation of the outcomes of the IDP (Integrated Development Program) meeting held at MINALOC on 23/04/2010, the resolution that authorized MINAGRI to start the implementation of “One Cup of Milk per Child Program”. At first, the program started being piloted in 6 Districts of Bugesera, Kamonyi, Nyanza, Karongi, Gakenke and Ngororero districts . After a trial period of one year and half that showed that it is possible to run a school milk program in our country, the scaling up was approved in the meeting chaired by Right Honourable Prime Minister on 22/07/2011 and started being implemented in October 2011.
In the upsaid meeting, MINAGRI was recommended to scale up the program to other Districts and Schools and to increase the number of children beneficiaries from 21,300 to 100,000. MINEDUC and MINISANTE was also requested to assist to identify the needy Districts and Schools. After different concertration meetings of the three concerned Ministries plus MINALOC, eight (8) new Districts of Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru, Gisagara, Huye, Nyamasheke, Rubavu, Rutsiro, Ngoma and Ngororero was retained to enter in the scaling up of the program. Ngororero District was in the pilot phase with 5 schools and 5 new schools were retained in the scaling up of the program.A part from the new districts which were scaled up to be in the program,some other new schools from existing Districts were also added by the year 2013 and among them six schools were from Nyanza, two from Ruhango and four new schools from Gisagara. Currently, the program is being implemented in 112 schools from fifteen Districts and eight three thousand and five hundred and seventh five (83,575) pupils are on the program.
The selection criteria of those Districts was based on the 2010 report on malnutrition status in our Country especially among children. The number of schools retained by District was also based on the malnutrition rate in each District as the priority is given to the neediest as compared to the allocated budget.
The pupils are given milk of standard quality from Rwandan recognized dairies namely INYANGE INDUSTRIES and AGRO PROCESSING INDUSTRIES (API) and they take half liter twice a week which makes whole liter per week.