UF-Supported Student Recognized for Work in Rwanda’s Milk Production Practices

Jean Baptiste Ndahetuye, of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems at the University of Florida/IFAS, is the 2019 recipient of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) Student Researcher Award for Scientific Excellence in a Feed the Future Innovation Lab.

The BIFAD annually recognizes student and senior researchers for significant achievements under U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Feed the Future Innovation Labs. Award selection criteria include scientific merit; relevance to country priorities; potential for broader impact at scale; and evidence of commitment to inclusive development and local capacity development.

Ndahetuye is recognized for his research on milk production practices and udder health – both of which have impact on milk quality, safety and processability in Rwanda. Ndahetuye’s research has informed the Rwandan national mastitis control program and has included the development and dissemination to farmers and milk collection centers of materials on mastitis prevention and control during milking.

“The BIFAD is extremely pleased to recognize the accomplishments of this talented student awardee, whose research results are already informing policy in the dairy sector in Rwanda,” said Dr. Mark Keenum, chair of BIFAD.

Ndahetuye is a lecturer at the University of Rwanda and is completing a doctoral degree from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Ndahetuye also led an advanced training program on udder health and milk quality for veterinarians, extension specialists, and students in the departments of veterinary medicine, animal production, and food science at the University of Rwanda. He led the development of good practice training materials for more than 200 farmers on mastitis prevention and control; shed management to maximize hygiene and cow comfort; post-harvest milk handling, including sanitation and appropriate milk storage methods; milk safety, including preventing potential pathogen contamination; and the role of milk in human nutrition.

“This award recognizes Mr. Ndahetuye’s exemplary work ethic, positive attitude and devotion to his research on improving the production, safety and quality of milk in Rwanda,” said Gbola Adesogan, director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems at the University of Florida.

Ndahetuye presented his research findings and was honored at an October 15 ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa, during World Food Prize Week.

The BIFAD is a presidentially appointed federal advisory committee to the U.S. Agency for International Development authorized under Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended. The BIFAD’s main purpose is to bring the assets of U.S. higher education institutions to bear on development challenges in agriculture and food security.

Photo above: Mr. Jean Baptiste Ndahetuye trains farmers in Nyagatare, Rwanda, on mastitis diagnosis and prevention. Credit: Jean Baptiste Ndahetuye, 2018

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