5th February, 2014
By Prince Arinze Onebunne
There are many reasons for keeping and raising grasscutters. Not only are they friendly, but they will entertain you with their antics. In addition, the grasscutter will also eat up your kitchen vegetable waste; they can be exhibited and exported too!
Grasscutter farming is great if you have a space as small as a room, parking store or kitchen. They are very little trouble; they can get most or all of their food from eating grass. They are one of the most efficient bush-meat producers. In their wild state, grasscutters are one of the many creatures that practice polygamy. In domestication they’re more promiscuous.
(1) VERY CHEAP TO START
Grasscutter raising can be started with a wooden cage and one family of grasscutters breeders normally called a colony, is sold for N45,000 to N50,000 depending on the age and specie. A colony comprises one male and four females. The cage can be constructed at a cost of N10,000 by any roadside carpenter. The cages can be placed anywhere in the compound or even in the kitchen.
(2) FOR MEAT PRODUCTION
Raising grasscutters for meat production is ideal; they are fast growing rodents, live the longest and are also the toughest of all domesticated rodents. They reach a good weight with little supplement feeding and the most preferred bush meat. Male grasscutter on average reach a size up to 2-times larger than chicken meat. Additionally, they grow quickly and can be sold as a breeder at young age as of 12-weeks after a diet of primarily milk and pasture. This combination of cheap feed and fast maturation makes grasscutter profitable for those raising the rodent for market purposes. Another reason is that they are efficient converters of wide range of vegetables and grass matters into meat.
(3) FOR BREEDING STOCK PRODUCTION
This is one of the most lucrative aspects of grasscutter farming. The turnover period could be very short, maximum of 3-4 months after birth. Grasscutter breeding family comprising one male and four females referred to as a colony. This colony can produce between 50 and 56 more grasscutters in just one year if well managed. Imagine the financial gains!
(4) FOR EMPLOYMENT CREATION
The business of producing, processing, exporting, transporting, financing and servicing grasscutter products should give employment to many people. Rearing of grasscutter for local consumption will decrease importation of frozen meat, chicken, fish and turkey into the country and producing grasscutter for export will greatly enhance the economic potential. It will firm up the Naira, improve the GDP, reduce both inflation and create more jobs for Nigerians.
(5) FOR HIGH MULTIPLICATION
They can produce many litters. In this category, they are next to pigs and rabbits. A female grasscutter of good species can deliver up to 14 babies in a year. They have a rearing period of 24 to 26 weeks and they have a high rate of ailment resistance.
(6) FOR STEADY PROFIT
The best way I know to put good food on the table and more naira notes in your pocket without a large investment, is raising grasscutters. The profits can come in many ways. You can sell your grasscutters live or smoked to restaurants, the manure for fertilizer to horticulturists or for worm growing; even the breeding family of one-male and four-females can bring huge money.
(7) THE MARKET IS EVERYWHERE
Grasscutter meat is a delicacy. It is like hot cake in most restaurants. So, the easiest meat to market is grassutter. Even if you produce large quantity of grasscutter meat in Nigeria alone, you will find buyers for them easily. The meat has low cholesterol and is filled with health benefits. Nutritionists advise people to eat the tasty bush meat because it is white meat. In addition to these facts, grasscutter is free from cultural and religious taboos. This makes it to be a universal favourite, breaking all barriers, religion, creed, culture, ethnicity, etc.
Are you still playing the Thomas? If so, then you have a long waiting to do on the unemployment queue. Avoid writing hundreds, possibly thousands of job application where you “beg to apply” instead of settling down with this easy-to-start, profitable agribusiness that will help you build up your business capital, feed yourself and your family, get others employed and launch you en-route your financial freedom.
Jovana Farms organizes nationwide sensitization training seminars on the practical ways of making it through small-scale animal farming. Visit us at www.jovanafarms.com for more details or call 080 33262 808, E-mail: jovanafarms.gmail.com