Animal and Fisheries Sector Profile

Animal and Fisheries sector under agriculture with animals contributing over 8.8% to the economic growth of the country. The current animal population consists of 991.697 cattle, 518,458 sheep, 1,278,227 goats, 332,257 pigs, 449,263 rabbits and 2,904,074 chickens 2010. The fishery has not yet contributed much to Rwanda’s GDP. This is due to inadequate replenishing of fish in the lakes and a resultant low output. Fishing is conducted by various cooperatives and associations.

Characteristics of the sector


  • Rwanda Fishing is mostly practiced in Lake Kivu
  • Small lakes that are present in the extreme interior part of the country include Lake Muhazi and Lake Mugesara
  • Fishing in most cases is for the purpose of self consumption
  • Government introduced the ban on small fishing nets to allow fish to grow and increase national fish production
  • Fishery contribution to the GDP of the country is still insignificant.


  • The sector is characterised by the extensive type of animal husbandry
  • There are three provinces having the largest number of cattle are Umutara, Gitarama and Kigali
  • Rising of goats is more concentrated inthe provinces of Kigali, Byumba and Kibuye
  • Pigs are raised mainly in the provinces of Gitaramaand Butare. Bee-keeping is wide-spread in the provinces of Kibungo, Byumba and Gitarama.
  • Production systems are essentially of the traditional

Demand and Supply

Animal products consumption in Rwanda is 12 litres of milk and 4.8 Kg of meat per person per year and yet the Production is estimated at 403,325 litres of milk, 61,979 tons of meat, 19,531 tons of eggs in 2010 which is not enough for to satisfy the demand.


National fish demand
The level of per capita fish consumption in Rwanda estimated at 1.5 kg is the lowest in East Africa and falls far below the Sub Sahara Africa and global level estimated at 6.7.

Strategies for developing animal production

The following strategies have been identified in Rwanda for developing animal production sub sector;

  • Decentralisation of service delivery to Umurenge level with appropriate human capacity and deployment in areas with livestock activities to improve delivery of veterinary services.
  • Encouragement of the formation of a national farmers association (union) and promoting multi-species systems that speed the transformation of agriculture.
  • Creating an enabling environment for private investment in livestock industry including microfinance that encourages modern farming and processing.
  • Improving Animal Health through capacity building for service providers and strengthening the National Veterinary laboratory that boosts animal production.
  • Improving the performance of local breeds by strengthening the CNIA and the national hatchery, the feeding base of the animals by improvement of pastures and water provision to increase animal production.
  • Increasing the linkage between training, research and extension to farmers in order to equip farmers with improving farming methods. .

Opportunities for the sector


  • Invest in cheese processing
  • Introduce bulk transporters of livestock
  • Building of milk kiosks in the country
  • Introduce milk and meat processors
  • Opportunities for the private sector investment


  • Fish processing
  • Local and Regional Cold Distribution Chain
  • Identifying buyers and negotiating favourable sales terms
  • Invest in drying equipments
  • Special spicing and cold smoking of fish

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