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Antelope Farming For Tourism, Food, Leisure & Leather

Jovana Farm

Jovana Farm

By Prince Arinze Onebunne

Just like every country of this world seeks peace by stockpiling weapons of war even when they are not being targeted by any form of external aggression, any forward thinking government must strategize plans to feed its citizens before hunger strikes through food scarcity. Following the rise in hunger and the need to ensure food security in the country, people need to look inwards and exploit any available means to put food on their table.

But more importantly, there is urgent need for a total revamp of our educational sector as well as a deliberate effort at identifying practical engagement programmes for our people, especially in the area of agriculture. Given recent trends in global economic dynamics, our educational curriculum needs to be revised for a more practical approach to learning.

Jovana Farm
Jovana Farm

We need to focus more on vocational and skill-development courses that can foster innovation and entrepreneurship among our youth-development theorists have identified the next fulcrum of development as the transition from brawn to brain.

It is time Nigerians began to appreciate determination of small scale farmers and what they are doing. Today’s breadwinners should embrace creative subsistence farming to meet the food needs of the family and even to augment income; because poverty and laziness cannot be traded in the global market.

Antelope farming is a trendy kind of small scale business; farmers can start out small while still holding down a full-time job elsewhere. In many ways antelope farming is the perfect moonlighting business. The antelope farming industry is still a new initiative and in a fragile state. But it has a large sustainable market for its products and uses.

At JOVANA FARMS we are promoting antelopes farming because they produce a high quality meat and leather. While cattle select a limited number of grass species; antelopes choose a wider range. On the other hand, they generally require a cheaper diet than cattle. More important thing is that antelopes are resistance to many diseases. Most, if not all, are resistant to trypanosomiasis, the disease carried by the tsetse fly.

GETTING STARTED

Antelope farming does not require much to start. With about N150,000, one can kick-start with one family of antelope called a pair. This comprises one male and one female. They are reared in pen or free-range system.

I advice new entrants to buy them at the breeding stock stage of 7-8 months old. If you buy at this stage and rear them for six months, they will start making babies at 12 months and you can start making profit.

Antelopes belong to the family of Bovidae and appear mainly in Africa. They occupy a wide variety of habitats, including dry scrubland, savannah and grassland. The grassland antelope typically weighs up to 8-10kgs. They have a reddish-brown head, large eyes and ears, and a soft, brown coat that is grizzled with grey, black and white hairs.

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The eyes are ringed with white hairs. Only the males have horns, but these might be hidden by a spiky forelock. Both males and females have an elongated, prehensible nose. Grassland antelope tend to form monogamous mating pairs. The female bears one offspring after a gestation period of about 5-6 months

In the wild, they feed mainly on leaves, buds, shoots, roots, tubers, grasses, fruits, etc. But in domestication, they are fed with forage, wide range of fresh green vegetable and pasture, grass, cabbage, carrots, kitchen craps, corn mill waste and locally formulated antelope pellets /feed.

MARKET

Antelope is an animal of unique feature and this makes the rare animal tradable for tourist’s uses, recreation centers, zoos, research institutes, game reserves, holiday resorts, children amusement parks, royal families, etc.

Many households and restaurants serve antelope meals, this is an advantage for me and my colleagues as Nigerians are looking for the delicious and tasty bush meat.

The demand for antelope meat and especially the hide is higher than the hides of goats, sheep, alligators and pythons; with its accompanying price hikes, making the prospect of antelope rearing very bright and encouraging either as a full-time or part-time job.

Antelopes are not only kept for their meat and tourists attraction alone, their skins, once tanned, can be exported to India, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Spain and now China to be made into high-quality leather products such as handbags, shoes, wallets, belt, drums for musicians, upholstery materials and wrist watches. Their hides are simply going to become fashion accessories for the wealthy.

Today, apart from breeding we also provide training service through our nationwide seminars. We are ready to work with interested farmers and provide them with more information on how to breed antelope profitably. We also have for sale antelope breeding pairs of one male and one female to intending farmers.

If the idea of antelope farming appeals to you, there is no better time to get started, a bit of work, a little farmer’s ingenuity, and you will be ready to start making money.

Jovana farms organizes nationwide sensitization training seminars on the practical ways of making it through small scale animal farming. Attend our nationwide seminars nearest to you and know more opportunities in antelope and other small animal farming. Visit us at www.jovanafarm.comwww.facebook.com/jovanafarm or call 08033262 808 for more details.

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