The Rabbit Breeders Association of Kenya (RABAK) is looking for farmers to rear rabbits and in turn would provide market by buying the animals from contracted farmers.
“At the moment we supply Uchumi supermarket with at least two tonnes of rabbit meat but we are facing a shortage and that’s why we are training and recruiting farmers on rearing of rabbits,” said Peter Waiganjo, the chairperson of RABAK.
The Thika based association is buying rabbit meat at Sh400 per kilo from small scale farmers all over the country.
To curb the deficit, RABAK is conducting a series of trainings aimed at educating prospective farmers on the best breeds, slaughtering procedures and value addition.
So far, the association has conducted four trainings this year as from March to June 2018. It is set to conduct training on Friday 11th July 2018 from 9am to 2pm.
Interested farmers will be charged Sh2000 for the training to be conducted in Thika at the Christian Industrial College, Makongeni area.
After the training, farmers will be awarded with certificates endorsing them to rear rabbits. Rabbit meat is used to make sausages and samosas.
Kisii University scholar moving to rabbit urine harvesting for profits
Steps to follow when slaughtering a rabbit for human consumption
RABAK’s farmers training calendar. Photo: http://rabak.or.ke/
According to the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization, 84.8 per cent of rabbit production in the country is done by small scale farmers. The sector has been growing steadily over the last five years.
The main breeds kept are New Zealand white (29 per cent), crossbreeds (24 per cent), Californian white (12 per cent), Chinchilla (11.5 per cent), Dutch (eight per cent), Flemish giant (5.5 per cent) and French Lop (4 per cent).
Rabbits grow fast and reach slaughter weight at three months and full maturity at five months.
The animals derive their feed requirements entirely from greens and each female can reproduce four times a year with an average of eight kits per kindling.
Rabbit meat is recommended for a variety of health specific specialty diets such as diabetes, gouts and hypertension amongst others.
Farmers using rabbit urine in production save on pesticide and fertiliser costs as the liquid offer major nutrients required by crops.
Organic fertiliser companies and few rabbit farmers are turning the urine into a business venture.
The cost of raw rabbit urine is between Sh400 and Sh500, according to Brian Otwori, a former Kisii University Animal Production student.
Peter Waiganjo can be reached on +254 721 21 90 92