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Kiambu contractor is offering farmers ready rabbit market

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PHOTO: Rab­bit Mil­lion­aire Pro­ject breeder James Mwangi holds one of his farm rab­bit dur­ing the Nairobi In­ter­na­tional Ag­ri­cul­tural So­ci­ety of Kenya on Oc­to­ber 8, 2016. Rab­bit Mil­lion­aires Pro­ject is con­tact­ing farm­ers to sup­ply it with rab­bits . PHOTO BY LABAN ROBERT.

One ag­ribusi­ness or­gan­iz­a­tion is look­ing to con­tact­ing more than 10,000 famers, who will be sup­ply­ing it with rab­bits for meat ex­port.

In the con­tract­ing pro­cess, farm­ers enter an agree­ment with the Rab­bit Mil­lion­aires Pro­ject to buy preg­nant rab­bits, and they sell back the bun­nies when they are four months old.

Ag­ribusi­ness is emer­ging as the op­tion to job­less­ness. But farm­ers are fa­cing chal­lenges in ac­cess­ing mar­kets, with few de­liv­er­ing their rab­bits to su­per­mar­kets like Tuskys and major ho­tels which make saus­ages and or selling it as meat.

James Mwangi, an of­fi­cial of the or­gan­isa­tion, said the group tar­gets to than 50,000 kilos of rab­bit meat for ex­port by the 2017.

A four kilo­gramme rab­bit will be bought at Sh2,000.

 “The or­gan­isa­tion has been doing re­search and loc­at­ing pos­sible mar­kets for sale of rab­bit meat on the in­ter­na­tional fronts. One of the iden­ti­fied re­gions is France. The mar­ket is prom­ising and for that reason more farm­ers have to be brought on board for con­stant sup­ply of qual­ity meat that meets the in­ter­na­tional stand­ards,” Mwangi said.

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Farm­ers are re­quired to buy already bred rab­bits, with each cost­ing Sh5,000.

One needs to buy a min­imum of 12 rab­bits and after four to five months de­liver bun­nies for mar­ket­ing.

Four months old rab­bits are about four kilos be­fore slaughter­ing. 

In sup­port­ing qual­ity pro­duc­tion, ex­perts would visit farmer from time to time to give them more tips.

Farm­ers sup­ply­ing rab­bits to su­per­mar­kets and other large-scale con­sumers and res­taur­ants, the cost per kilo ranges from Sh700 to Sh1,000.

Justin Ma­giri, a Mom­basa County farmer who sells rab­bit to high-end ho­tels at the coastal strip, says he spends Sh450 to raise a rab­bit to ma­tur­ity- five months. 

Ma­giri de­pends on com­mer­cial feeds. He sells the rab­bits at Sh700 to earn at least Sh250 profit.

Al­though the price per kilo is lower in selling to the mil­lion­aire group, the ad­vant­age is the col­lect­ive mar­ket, which means one can de­liver as many as pos­sible for prof­it­ab­il­ity.

Rural farm­ers can also sub­sti­tute the com­mer­cial feeds with local greens.

Mwangi can be reached on +254707728383

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