According to research by Kigezi Healthcare Foundation’s (Kihefo) rabbit multiplication centre, a farmer can earn about Shs2.8m per year by rearing only three female rabbits (does) and one male rabbit (buck).
One rabbit can produce kittens (also referred to as kits) as many as eight times in a year. Each time, it is an average of eight kits thus making a total of 192 per year. The average market price is Shs15,000.
Dr Geoffrey Anguyo and Mr Alphonse Twinamasiko from Kihefo rabbit multiplication centre say with an investment of Shs50,000 basically for shelter for rabbit multiplication, a farmer can make about Shs2.8m per year.
This is from keeping three does and a buck if they are well fed, immunised and have clean environment to stay.
A big rabbit is bought locally at Shs20,000 (this can go to Shs3.8m with three rabbits producing 192 rabbits per year at Shs20,000).
Dr Anguyo says calculation may look outrageous but very actual in practice. He adds that for those in other employment searching for supplementary income, rearing rabbit is the ideal project.
“With an investment of only Shs200,000 one can rear 15 female rabbits, which gives him or her 960 rabbits per year. This makes it Shs14.4m that is if each one is sold at an average price of Shs15,000.”
Kihefo rabbit multiplication centre has equipped about 1,000 farmers with skills in quality rabbit management care and production.
Plans are under way to train them in collective marketing. There are also plans to establish a clinic where sick rabbits from the communities shall be treated.
In addition, there is a planned research on the possible crossbreeds for quality rabbits that can weigh 7-10kgs.
Twinamasiko, a trained rabbit farmer, says from 20 rabbits, one can collect a 20- litre jerry can of urine per week. Each is sold at Shs60,000 to crop farmers who use it as organic manure.
He explains: “At the centre, we have 450 rabbits from which we collect two 20-litre jerry cans of rabbit urine every two days thus earning Shs180,000 per week. We have also given rabbits free of charge to 600 local farmers who we have been trained so that they can always supply the centre with rabbits after multiplication.
The centre provides market for the farmers’ rabbits within Uganda and the neighbouring countries.”
Dr Anguyo says that Kihefo’s rabbit project works closely with Ngozi groups [These are organised village groups in Kigezi region for helping one another in need and operate as small-scale microfinance agencies where members access simple loans for small business enterprises].
Also involved are development partners to identify households that are facing serious socio-economic challenges especially raising children orphaned by HIVAids and need support.
Mini-breeding centres are planned with possible support from partners including government. They will be constructed at different parishes as a way of bringing the services closer to the people especially the remote villages and hard-to-reach areas.
“The project is aimed at creating self employment opportunities for the youth. Families living on less than a dollar a day would also be empowered to earn a living because the minimum capital required to start a rabbit business is Shs50,000. This is capital that can be provided by government, religious institutions and other development partners,” Dr Anguyo adds.
SOURCE: DAILY MONTIOR