My name is Beryl Yuness Okinyi, Business Development Officer. Am turning 30 this year and a holder of BBA Finance, Diploma in Information Technology from Bugema University – Uganda and live in Nairobi, Kenya.
Agriculture being a major player in Kenya’s economy is therefore charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the entire farming fraternity is re-defined and geared towards total sustainability. Considering that factors of production such as land, capital, entrepreneurship and rainfall have been compromised i.e. due to climate change, there are no predictable rains as there were some decades ago and agricultural land has been reduced following the ever growing population. Kenyans have no otherwise other than embracing modern farming methods which ensure maximum production on a small piece of land.
This is almost an about turn from the traditional farming methods such as broadcast system of planting. Hence the generational farmers are talking of alternative farming methods, agribusiness and smart farming. However, these farming systems require reliable sources of quality services through credible and trusted local based organization
Rabbit meat has low fat content of 4, 5% with low cholesterol and is highly digested. The meat is recommended for people with lifestyle diseases, the elderly and the infants. If up-scaled, commercial rabbit keeping is an alternative employment creation industry, i.e. there is need for a farm hand to take care of the rabbits, a porter to design a make the feeding apparatus, an artisan for purposes of construction, transporters and feed manufacturing companies workers in the slaughter and processing companies. The rabbit is a highly productive livestock species with potential to produce high quality animal protein for expanding population of Kenya. A live rabbit when slaughtered yields almost 50% of its live weight. Rabbit meat has a protein content of 20.8% and compares closely with veal, chicken and turkey meat.
The office of home economics, state relations of the U.S Department of Agriculture made extensive tests and stated that domestic rabbit meat is the most nutritious meat known to man. Rabbit meat has been used and is suitable for special diets such as those convalescing. Given that it is tender and easily digestible it becomes ideal for children, the sick and elderly. A doe that weighs pounds can produce 320 pounds of meat in a year. This is more than a cow and it takes 2 acres of land to raise one cow. Rabbits are economical/friendly to space, they require limited land i.e. it takes an eighth of an acre to raise 1000 breeder rabbits and are raised up off the ground making it one of the cleanest meats known.
Rabbits are highly prolific and are fast maturing i.e. they give birth under proper management in quick succession and mature in a space of 4-5 months and it’s manure stands out as the best manure especially for farmers practicing organic farming. It has a natural combination of 2.20% nitrogen, 0.87% phosphorus, 2.30% potassium, 0.3% sulfur, 1.2% calcium and 0.40% magnesium. It can be observed that, when two portions of land are enriched using rabbit manure and other portion of land uses another option, the land where rabbit manure is used performs better. Rabbit urine is high in concentration of ammonia. When diluted with water in the ratio of 1:5 it works as both foliar feed and insecticide, making it ideal for greenhouse farming. Rabbit skin is ideal in the manufacture of indoor winter shoes, fishing rods, belts, and beautiful handbags for ladies.
I intend use the $5,000 to acquire 10 start-up rabbits (9 Does and 1 Buck), build a rabbit structure with enough space for expansion, pellet feeds, and feeding cans, transportation of building materials, medication as well as marketing and promotion. This is possible within a time frame of 2-3 weeks and ready to begin.
The expected production after 6- 12 months, for instance 10 doe rabbits give birth to 10 litters each and each weighing 4 kgs sold at Kes 400 per kg is Kes 160,000 in the first year. This will be able to cover the expenses incurred at start-up and be able to plough back into the business.
I believe every rabbit keeper is a business person regardless of whether he/she keeps a few or many. For success we must put time, talent and money into the project for some expected returns. It will take remarkable efforts to initiate and establish real entrepreneurship that will usher in the realization of the same. Rabbits are brilliant animals to keep.
This is the best employment for any youth out there where you don’t need a lot of space to realize your dream.
In conclusion rabbit keeping is a venture whose contribution in the near future to the national economy cannot be under estimated.
Blogpost and pictures submitted by Beryl Yuness Okinyi (Kenya) – beryl.okinyi(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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