Moses Mutua, founder and owner of Rabbit Republic Ltd holding a rabbit at his Kamulu farm. Photo, scoopernews.com.
Rabbit Republic Ltd, a company which deals in rabbit farming and products in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda is contracting willing farmers in Kenya to rear and supply it with rabbits three years after it exited Kenya due to financial challenges.
The company which was previously between 2010 and 2012 known as Aqua Farm Consultant Ltd and later rebranded to Rabbit Republic Ltd in 2012 in a bid to abandon fish farming to rabbit rearing has a demand of over four tonnes from various five star hotels in Kenya and selected retail stores to meet.
“I have realized that there is high demand of rabbit meat in Kenya against a low supply since we exited the country in 2016 to start operating from Tanzania where the cost of production is low,” said Moses Mutua, founder and owner of Rabbit Republic Ltd.
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The company had built rabbit slaughter house at Kamulu, a small town located roughly 40 Kilometers from Nairobi City centre. It also ventured into production of other products such as burgers and sausages to supply to their customers.
The investment which did not go well in 2016 due to high production costs and a loan decline from a bank which promised to render support is now back with heavy investment in feeds and drugs as one way of lowering costs.
“We have decided to venture into our own feeds production this time round and we are willing to teach our farmers on how to make their own quality feeds to reduce production costs,” said Mutua.
The preferable rabbit breeds for Rabbit Republic include Kenyan dutch, California white, Newzealand white, Checkered giant, chinchilla and Giant Flemish. These breeds according to Mutua if well fed and taken care of can attain four kilos of meat in five months.
“All we need is our farmers to rear quality rabbits which is our key principle. We therefore visit and inspect their farms to recommend the best breeds, advice on the right cages and feeding among others,” he said.
The aim is to give farmers ready market for their mature animals and produce enough for the increasing market demand.
Already there are breeding centres set in Machakos County and Karen in Nairobi Couty.
Before exiting the country, Rabbit Republic had a network of over 1,000 rabbit farmers in Kenya who were receiving free training and support.
Mutua is hopeful to develop a huge rabbit farmer network that spans across East, Central and West Africa.