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Rabbit farmers bemoan high pellet prices

THE Zimbabwe Commercial Rabbit Breeders Association (Zicorba) has lamented the high cost of pellets, which is raising the cost of producing rabbits and reducing the competitiveness of the industry.

“I think the main challenge that rabbit farmers are facing at the moment is the feed,” Zicorba president Regis Nyamakanga told NewsDay Farming.

“The rabbit pellets are very expensive, making the cost of producing rabbits high and making the business less competitive. We also have challenges accessing steel to make cages, which also makes the cost of cages expensive and the cost of producing rabbits expensive.

“We have problems with disease. There is a serious disease in South Africa which has killed millions of rabbits. Fortunately, in Zimbabwe, we have managed to keep it at bay.”

As a way of addressing some of these challenges, Nyamakanga revealed that farmers have started producing feed to remain competitive.

“I think a lot of farmers now are starting to produce their own feed at the farm because the feed is expensive. So that is one of the ways that we are looking at to cut the cost of feed. So we are doing our own feed mixing at the farms,” the Zicorba president said.

Nyamakanga commended the Agriculture ministry for preventing the overflow of diseases from other countries to Zimbabwe.

“We are working with the Agriculture minister to prevent the overflow of that disease into Zimbabwe. But there are other traditional diseases that continue to be a challenge and we have been encouraging our farmers to ensure that they minimise visits to rabbit trees so that people don’t spread disease,” he said.

“So those are some of the challenges that we have been facing as rabbit farmers. I think Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Africa with the best veterinary officers. So we have no problem in terms of disease prevention in the country.”

Zicorba was established in July 2020 and has quickly emerged as one of the most dynamic and successful farming associations in Zimbabwe, with chapters established across all 10 provinces of the country.

The association’s primary goal is to facilitate the transition to a cash economy and uplift the livelihoods of 1,5 million households in Zimbabwe through rabbit farming.

The association secured investment for the establishment of the country’s first rabbit abattoir in May 2021, which has since become one of the largest on the African continent.

This strategic initiative ensures the hygienic processing of rabbit meat, enhancing quality and safety standards of their produce.

“Furthermore, our comprehensive pure breed roll-out programme has significantly boosted rabbit production nationwide, positioning Zimbabwe as a leading rabbit-producing nation in Africa,” Nyamakanga noted.



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