I am Mr James I Njeru, 39, of Nairobi, Kenya. I hold a higher diploma in community development, five years experience with faith-based organizations, a Certificate on Animal Health with over eight years of clinical and production experience, a Certificate in Agricultural Extension with six years of experience. I have also won minds through many successful community projects and improved living standards.
This pilot project is a commercial rabbit and poultry operation for the purposes of food security, poverty eradication, and nutrition balance. In African countries, rabbit-keeping in has been a backyard activity and a hobby for children. Meat is produced for home consumption and sometimes sold, while young rabbits make an excellent gift to other children. So, income generated is insignificant.
The scale-up of home production is a major hurdle, requiring some investment for starting. A multiplication site will be established in part of ten-acre farm, which will be major source of breeding stock as well as producing 400 kg of rabbit meat monthly. This will be sold at KES 350/kg and production increased as the project grows.
The project will create employment for youths and women by processing rabbit hides, to develop articles from them for sale too. After six months, eight trays of eggs will be produced from the poultry and part of it sold to surrounding community for incubating at KES 400 per tray.
The rest will be incubated on-site for more stock and to sell extra chicks. The multiplication site will raise rabbits in colonies, i.e. in open, vegetated, fenced enclosures with mini-shelters while poultry will be in a semi-intensive system. The rural community does subsistence farming and therefore will replicate this innovative idea, thus generating extra incomes.
I will sell five female adult rabbits, which will get an average of 30 bunny rabbits after the first month and after every three months. They will trade four-month-old rabbits for 2 kg of rabbit meat or for an adult rabbit to the established market. The first income from the site is expected at three months and after that it will be every month. Initial breeding mothers sold to the famers will come from the farm at affordable costs.
The farm will also act as a learning and information centre for interested farmers from various regions. The potential modest income per year from a 1½ acre rabbit-poultry farm is about KES 945,000 (USD 9,450) per year (from 1,200 kg of rabbit meat at KES 350/kg and 1,500 kg at KES 350/kg).
Our target markets will be hotels and restaurants, butcheries, and schools where beef is served once a week. A school with 700 students requires about 45 kg of meat per week. ‘Nyama choma’ is a popular un-marinated grilled lamb that is served at about KES 250–350/kg. We intend to marinate rabbit meat and distribute to local grillers who can sell 0.25 kg pieces for KES 75.
The Kenyan Government has a rabbit programme that is supported by its Rabbit Breeding Units. Our system will strengthen this national programme by taking it a step further to support commercial scale production with a marketing system. This method for youth rabbit and poultry keepers will partner with a commercial rabbit farm to help each other.
Since 2008, I have been in this venture in small scale and it has improved the lives of many through incomes generated and provision of high quality protein for every person. With more concentration given to this venture, there will be increased earnings and also improved health. Therefore, more school recruitments and reduced cases of illness.
First will be re-designing and expansion of the rabbit cages and poultry house, multiplication and procurement of more stocks, general management, trainings, breeding, and selling the products and by-products.
So far, I have been stocked 130 improved local poultry and 73 rabbits, which are continuing to multiply. An established market for these by-products has been identified. After the project maturity there will be increased number of stocks in the site hence expansion of the project and also to the community, sales of live rabbits and poultry sold to the community, and kilograms of rabbit meat and eggs sold to the restaurants and supermarkets.
- Designing and construction of houses, first quarter of the project to cost USD 1,200 Procurement and stocking, first quarter of the project USD 1,500
- Trainings and breeding second quarter of the project USD 1,000 USD
- Feed formulation will be continuous USD 1,000
Blogpost and picture submitted by James I Njeru (Kenya): jimsonjero[at]yahoo.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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