RWANDA – Rwanda is witnessing a transformative leap forward in its pork industry with the inauguration of state-of-the-art pig abattoirs strategically located across the country.

These cutting-edge facilities not only signify an important investment in the nation’s agriculture sector but also herald a new era of enhanced food safety standards and quality assurance.

The New Times reports that the recent establishment of multiple pig abattoirs in various districts of Rwanda marks a milestone in the country’s quest for elevated food safety protocols.

With each facility equipped to handle up to 50 pigs per day, Rwanda is poised to raise the bar in meat processing practices, ensuring that every step of the production chain adheres to rigorous hygiene and quality control standards.

Fabrice Ndayisenga, Head of the Department of Animal Resources Innovation and Technology Transfer at Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Board (RAB), affirms that these modern abattoirs will transform the pork industry.

By leveraging advanced technology and stringent protocols, Rwanda aims to deliver meat products of unparalleled quality, meeting the expectations of both domestic and international consumers.

The strategic placement of these abattoirs serves a dual purpose: empowering local pig farmers while safeguarding consumer health.

With an investment of approximately Rwf1.3 billion (US$ 1.006 million) in constructing these facilities, Rwanda demonstrates its commitment to supporting small-scale livestock farming and ensuring access to safe, healthy meat products for its citizens.

Boosting confidence and market access

Aphrodis Hakizimana, a pork dealer in Huye District, attests to the newfound confidence instilled by these modern slaughterhouses. With increased trust in pork safety and quality, businesses are thriving, attracting customers not only locally but also from urban centers like Kigali.

“The facilities built in this area are boosting our business because clients have trust in it given that we slaughter pigs that are not sick, thus ensuring pork safety. We are receiving customers from Kigali too because the pork has quality and has been tested for consumption,” he said.

Moreover, Joseph Uzaribara, a pig farmer and dealer, highlights the shift from unregulated slaughtering practices to standardized procedures, ensuring the integrity of the meat supply chain.

“We used to slaughter pigs in undesignated places, without knowing the health situation of the pig. Currently, at the slaughterhouse, we first test the pig, keep it for a day, and pick the meat the next day,” he explained.”

“If the animal is sick, they do not slaughter it. They bury it in a designated place a distance away from the slaughtering zone.”

Beyond domestic consumption, Rwanda’s investment in modern abattoirs is poised to catapult its meat exports to new heights.

According to the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), Rwanda’s meat exports have witnessed a significant uptick, reaching US$22.3 million in 2022/23. Thus, Rwanda has emerged as a formidable player in the global meat market.

Pork and beef remain the primary exports, with neighboring African countries like the DR Congo being key destinations, alongside emerging markets in North America and Europe.

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