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THIKA RABBIT SLAUGHTER HOUSE HIT BY LACK OF RAW MATERIAL{NO RABBIT TO SLAUGHTER}

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THIKA RABBIT SLAUGHTER HOUSE HIT BY LACK OF RAW MATERIAL{NO RABBIT TO SLAUGHTER}
Rabbit farmers have blamed logistical challenges and the lack of enough public awareness to rabbit rearing to the low intake and production.

While speaking to the press Rabbit Breeders Association of Kenya (RABAK) Chairperson Peter Waiganjo noted that even though the demand for rabbit meat was so high, both in the local market and internationally, commercial rabbit farming in Kenya for meat production was yet to be taken seriously with only a few farmers currently engaging in this venture where they earn a lot of profits.

He said that there was need for increased awareness of the high potential of meat rabbit production in making a positive impact on the lives of the majority of subsistence rural and periurban population.

Nutritionists say that rabbit meat offers the best source of protein and is healthier than most alternatives like beef, pork, turkey and even chicken. It also provides calcium, vitamins, energy and is characterized by a less amount of cholesterol, sodium, and fat unlike other types of meat.

Waiganjo lamented that even though there existed a very big demand for rabbit meat, the supply was still not adequate due to so many logistical challenges.

“Currently, the Thika abattoir is the only public rabbit slaughterhouse in the country. This has given us a challenge for most of the rabbit farmers are scattered across the country and it becomes so uneconomical for a farmer in Eldoret or Nyeri for instance to travel all the way to Thika to slaughter 20 or so rabbits. This forces them to sell them through the traditional way and thus lose out on the high-end market,” he explained.

He suggested that the all government departments involved in agriculture to come up with small abattoirs across the country or refrigerated vehicles to help farmers take advantage of this very lucrative venture.

Godfrey Gitu Njoroge who has been rearing rabbits for the last 10 years at his quarter of an acre piece of land in Kiganjo estate Thika encourage jobless youth to venture into this business which he said was very viable and demanded very little input.

“I do not need to stay at the farm for the whole day. Rabbits rearing has allowed me to do other work as rabbits do not need too much attention. All you need is hay, some pellets and enough water,” explained Gitu.

He added that female rabbits normally bore about 2-10 babies, but could have as many as 16 with each litter. Considering that one rabbit could litter 5 times in a year, Gitu said that this was a sure way to increase one’s earnings in a very short time.

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