Early this year, Rwanda began delivering swine semen through the use of drones to facilitate access to improved breed and boost farmers’ incomes under the Livestock Master Plan launched in 2017.
The pig industry is expected to be a major contributor to Rwanda’s meat production. According to the Rwanda Livestock Master Plan, the overall target was to raise pig meat production from 19,945 tonnes in 2016/17 to 67,076 tonnes by 2021/22, an increase of 239 percent. The Agricultural Household Survey of 2020 put the pig population in the country at 1.2 million.
The semen distribution is done through a partnership between Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB), and Zipline, a medical product delivery company. Swine semen is used in artificial insemination to improve pig production. How it works Currently, Zipline works with more than 100 veterinarians across the country to help these services reach the farmer in an effective way. One dose of semen costs between Rwf3000-6,500 at the collection centres. Pig farmers across the country through their veterinarians place an order from RAB on which kind of breed they need. After confirming the location, the Zipline is then given the final order to put in their system for delivery.