Hatfield rabbit farmer eyes regional markets

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The Herald

Elton Manguwo

HATFIELD rabbit farmer Kudakwashe Chingono is eyeing to broaden his colony of rabbits to 100 000 from the present 2 000, as he pushes to satisfy the rising demand for rabbit meat each domestically and regionally with orders coming from as far afield as Botswana and South Africa.

Chingono began rabbit farming in 2015 as an element time enterprise to complement his earnings with solely 9 females and one male however has since skilled super development that has seen his colony rising to 2 000 breeders in cages.

“One of many issues that attracted me to rabbit farming is that they’re quick breeders they usually can multiply quick,” he mentioned.

Rabbit farming is a viable enterprise with a market that’s not as congested as that for

poultry. One can take pleasure in his justifiable share of the market with out combating off stiff competitors from larger firms.

“We presently serve an enormous home market via large shops equivalent to OK, Bon Marche and Shangri la while supplying different farmers with breeders across the nation,” Chingono defined.

As Authorities intensifies calls to spice up the nation’s meals and diet safety via its blueprint, the Agriculture and Meals Methods Transformation Technique, Chingono is seeing a chance to profit from his operations and get most worth from his rabbit-farming enterprise.

“Our intention is to workers worth addition as properly. We plan to begin deboning the meat, producing mince and do canning for dog breeders,” he mentioned, stressing the significance of worth including within the rabbit trade.

Rabbits generate numerous by-products equivalent to fur, tails, paws, manure and the urine that’s efficient as a basal fertiliser, which makes them a strategic livestock unit to supply, additional defined Chingono.

“It’s also crucial for me to be taught to tan the leather-based of the animals, as this may considerably improve my earnings. The leather-based is extra worthwhile than the meat,” noticed Chingono.

The rabbit farmer, Chingono, was capable of make rabbit manufacturing a profitable agri-business via integrating different gamers alongside the worth chain. He provides rabbit breeders, cages and rabbit treatment to new farmers trying to enterprise in rabbit farming.

Added Chingono: “I’m comfortable and happy with the numbers that I’ve now. I can produce 48 to 60 new rabbits per yr however there’s nonetheless want for development.”

Like every other small-scale producer, his enlargement plan faces industrial constraints equivalent to sourcing of feeds whereas monetary challenges have additionally performed their half within the rolling out of the enterprise.

To maximise manufacturing, he highlighted the necessity for enough infrastructural growth particularly for constructions equivalent to cages to satisfy market demand.

The rabbit trade is projected to develop by least 50 p.c this yr with meat uptake volumes estimated to succeed in 45 tonnes from the present 30 tonnes.

The Authorities via the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Improvement is ready to mainstream business rabbit manufacturing as a key element of the livestock restoration and development plan.

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