A smart farmer is managing the health and performance of his over 100 rabbits remotely thanks to a web and mobile based tool that he has created and which enables him track the animals’ progress, from weaning, kindling or nesting relieving him from every time personalised attention to rabbits.
Dubbed Rabbitiq, the platform also provides a round the clock veterinary support and connecting the farmer to ready markets.
“This service is helping me address my major challenge of trying to give personalised attention to rabbits. I got into this commercially so it meant I wanted to make the most out of it. But I couldn’t keep up with managing all of them. Paper work was so cumbersome, and I could see I was losing a lot,” said Derrick Muturi.
How it works
A farmer registers his rabbits’ details online at www.rabbitiq.com, and key in all details of each of their rabbit including location of the farm, age of the rabbit, breed, when the rabbits will deliver, if they are expectant and when they are due for sale.
Upon registration, the platform generates a unique code for each rabbit which the farmer then inserts as an ear tag to each rabbit. This then generates updates and alert to the farmer through the SMS.
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It is open for use to other farmers
Already Muturi has registered other 24 farmers spanning Nairobi, Busia, Mombasa and Nyeri who are also using the platform.
Rabbitiq is also addressing a major concern for rabbit farmers, that of effectively managing rabbit diseases which are contagious and spread fast due to rearing of the rabbits in close proximity to each other.
“When farmers key in the details of the rabbit, they create a profile of the rabbit meaning important practices like when the rabbit should be dewormed or when a veterinarian is needed are not skipped,” Muturi said.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture currently there are 600,000 rabbits being reared in the country, majority for commercial purposes, a departure from tradition where rabbit rearing was treated as a hobby for teenage boys.
The growing local and international market for rabbit, due to its nutritional value, high in protein and low in fat, compared to other meat has inspired a fanatical rearing. The fur is also highly valued in the textile industry and especially for making garments for people with joint diseases like arthritis.
It’s rearing has become particularly key in the recent past, as vagaries in weather takes a toll on traditional animal rearing and crop production. The rabbits also occupy little space compared to other animals and their manure is superior in nourishing crops compared to manure from other animals.
“Demand for the rabbit meat and fur is global and companies are pitching tent in the country to encourage farmers and offering them a ready market. The catch therefore is effective management of each rabbit,” said Muturi.
Interested farmers can register their rabbit details by visiting www.rabbitiq.com.