More than 66% of the population of Nepal is engaged in agriculture. But due to geographical difficulty and rain-fed farming system the country’s agriculture production is not remarkable.
The major contrast is farming under rain-fed condition. The production is very much dependent on the proper rain pattern of the year. But it is not the case generally due to global climate change issue. There is increasing drought and shifting of the rain fall pattern.
Due to a recent earthquake in Nepal, there was great loss of life. So, in order to sustain the life of affected people by earthquake and climate change, we came up with the idea of integrated rabbit farming project. This is more of a pilot project programme to be tested in Ghalegaun of Lamjung district in Nepal. We came up with this concept because this is
- Economical (no commercial feed is used)
- Self-sustaining (rabbit is prolific breeder and hence production is done throughout the year)
- Sustainable (kitchen waste is used as rabbit feed, and rabbit waste is used as manure in vegetable field)
So, the main component in this system is rabbit. A pair of rabbits can produce around 30 kg of meat in a year, their meat is highly nutritious, and they have low feed requirement so their rearing is very economical.
The kitchen waste, like vegetable parts, bread, rice, etc., along with grass, will be fed to the rabbit. A total of ten rabbit pairs will be used in this system.
The excreta of rabbit is a very rich fertilizer for soil, so it can be used to fertilize vegetable garden (preferably poly house with seasonal vegetables). The vegetables can be sold in the market and consumed in the house again the byproduct of which is fed to the rabbit hence making a self-sustainable cycle of food.
The advantages of this system are
- It is much cheaper than poultry and pig farming ( in comparison with space and feeding)
- The incidence of insect pest is very low
- This is ecologically as well as socially sound system as there is no taboo regarding rabbit in society
- This system increase the productivity of vegetable farming
- Not much technical skill is required in this system
The market will not be the problem in Ghalegaun because it is a famous tourist place of Lamjung so the produced goods will be consumed locally.
Since the system utilizes the products and the byproducts so there is no negative impact to the environment as well.
The success of this project will encourage us to spread this system to more rural and earthquake affected area so that the people can be self-sustained both economically and nutritiously.
The reason for us to do this is nothing more than our social responsibility. We as humans, and more specifically being in agriculture field, want to help people who are much vulnerable in society.
As of now we have already made contact between the rabbit trainer group and local leader of the project area. Within two weeks we will finalize the task by visiting that place and forming a progressive farmer group.
For the farming of rabbit, a progressive farmers group of ten people will be formed giving more priority to the women participation. Then a training program of three to five days will be conducted about rabbit farming by a experienced commercial rabbit farmer.
For vegetable farming a separate training by a horticulture professor will be provided. After that we will take bimonthly data of the farming system and providing any help if required. The data observation will be continued up to six months.
At the end of the period, a seminar will be conducted to inform about the result of pilot project, which will include government agriculture officials, media people, professor and farmers.
- Training of rabbit farming, April
- Cage construction, April
- Plastic tunnel and land preparation, April–May
- Data observation, April–October
- Seminar conduction, October
- Rabbit farming training, USD 400
- Cost of ten rabbit pairs, USD 400
- Vegetable farming training, USD 200
- Polyhouse construction, USD 400
- Land preparation and seeds, USD 100
- Survey and data observation, USD 200
- Equipment (weighing machine, tape, cage construction), USD 300
- Medicine and bio-pesticides, USD 20
- Seminar conduction, USD 500
Ashok Adhikari is a 22-year-old student studying agriculture in Lamjung, Nepal, who wants to contribute to positive change in society. He will be assisted in this project by Narendra Pokharel, a 21-year-old student studying agriculture at the same collage.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Ashok Adhikari (Nepal): ashokadhikari01[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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