Rabbit farmers from Murang’a South have been cautioned against unscrupulous middle men selling sub-standard rabbits.
According to Murang’a South Livestock Production Officer, Fredrick Mbugua, the middle men were purporting to be selling high grade rabbit species at exorbitant prices to unsuspecting farmers eager to improve their stock.
The officer said the middlemen were selling the rabbits between Sh.6, 000-7, 000 promising huge returns on the venture.
Speaking on Wednesday at Makuyu, Mbugua said the fraudsters were targeting unsuspecting farmers who were keen on rearing and improving production of rabbits.
The officer said his department was the only one authorized to license breeders. We only license breeders who offer quality breed. This ensures that our farmers are protected and get good returns on livestock farming, he said.
He said pricing of rabbit in the market was still a challenge due to traditional beliefs held by the community.
People here are yet to embrace the eating of rabbit meat which is classified as white meat due to traditional beliefs, he observed.
Mbugua noted that rabbit meat is cholesterol free, rich in proteins and vitamin B12, adding pointing out that the region has a great potential for rabbit production and the department was sensitizing locals on the benefits of rabbit rearing.
Rabbit keeping requires a small space to rear hence even people living in plots could keep them and earn an income as opposed to other kind of farming, noted Mbugua adding that production of rabbits was impressive with a rabbit calving every three months.
He said as the department sensitized locals to embrace rabbit keeping, they were also encouraging butcheries and hoteliers to introduce the meat at their joints.
Just as chicken meat is widely consumed, we want locals to embrace consumption of other white meat such as fish and rabbit meat here in Central, he said.
Mbugua appealed to farmers to embrace rabbit keeping, saying that it has high returns and required minimal labour.
Mike Karanja, a rabbit farmer at Makuyu, said that he rears 60 rabbits and hoped to expand his venture.
He said his main customers were hotels where he sold a big rabbit at Sh2, 500 on average.
Source: Kenya News Agency