Presently, many Nigerian youths are unemployed and are in search of white-collar jobs. But there are so many innovative ways to be self employed and make money through animal farming.
However, job seekers in Nigeria today can succeed in overcoming the challenges of poverty and unemployment through micro, small and medium scale rat breeding.
One of the small scale animal farming that has potential is albino rats. But people are yet to tap into the benefit of this little wonder creature. In actual sense, few people breeding albino rats are making their money because of the value the rats possessed.
The albino rats are commonly used in laboratories, universities, colleges of medicine and sciences. The demand of the rats is more than the supply because people in the scientific world are looking for them.
To start the breeding of albino rats, one must undergo training to acquire the required skills to manage the business.
In this regard, there are series of seminars and workshops throughout Nigeria to enable those interested in engaging in small scale animal farming to acquire the required skills.
Speaking on the opportunities in small scale animal farming, the Managing Director of Jovana Farms, Prince Arinze Onebunne, said there is need to empower Nigerian people with the right resources and skills, saying they would be able to create a brighter future for themselves and for the country.
He added: “There are few jobs in the country and we can’t expect government to create jobs for everyone.
So, time is ripe for Nigerians to look inwards and boost their incomes. I am of the opinion that there are many job opportunities in the country today than government contracts and white collar employment; if only we can look inwards.
Many people can earn part-time or full-time incomes from breeding albino rats in a small space in their houses.”
Like rabbit and guinea pig, albino rats are one of the most frequently used laboratory animals for the past 100years.
Despite this fact, the origin of the albino mutation as well as the genetic basis of the hooded phenotype remained unclear.
The albino rat with its red eyes and white fur is an iconic model organism for scientific research in a variety of fields.
Albino rats have served as an important animal for research in psychology, medicine and other fields. They are indispensable tools in biomedical research.
They have been used since the early days of scientific discovery and still contribute greatly today to our understanding of the functions of individual gene, the mechanisms of different diseases, and the effectiveness and the toxicities of various medicines and chemicals.
The genomes of many model organisms have been sequenced and many genes have been found to be conserved between model organisms and human.
Science needs testing these animals to fight cancer, to test for pregnancy and veneral disease; to study dietary disease like rickets, and to mobilize our health forces against germ warfare and atomic radiation.
Albino rats are used as “stand-in” for humans in many atomic-bomb test, they were used in developing the latest hope in the war on cancer, which reduced the suffering and prolong the life of the cancer patients.
The pregnancy period of the mother rat or mouse is only 21 days. There are about 10 to a litter. The young would be ready to breed 12weeks after birth. It could take the young only 22 days to be weaned and ready to sell at N1, 500 for a rat and N1,000 for a mouse.
Laboratory rats are sold to schools, research institutes and pharmaceutical companies. Students of higher institutions use them for experiments.
Demand for fast breeding rats and mice are soaring because their cells resemble man’s and because they make ideal stand-ins for controlled experiments.
However, the test stock must be uniform and free of disease, or experiments wouldn’t mean a thing. To raise the healthiest rats possible, one should suspend the breeding cages off the ground, so they wouldn’t get any contamination from the floor.
The animals should be well fed and given treated water (via bottle) with a glass tube through which the rodents suck.
The market for laboratory rats in Nigeria is huge and only few farmers are in the business presently. Nigeria has over 220 institutes of higher learning with every state having at least one university in a country of 36 states and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
The scope of learning spans from science through agriculture to medicine. But, there are few organised laboratory animals supply, except that some departments in certain institutes take to breeding few amount of rats which are limited to the use of lecturers.
Large quantity of these animals is needed annually to serve students research in graduate or post graduate projects that usually take place in different times of the year.
Non-seasonal uses are in the case of demonstration in medical laboratories, dissection in secondary schools, or routine experimentation in research institutes.
This analysis indicates that millions of laboratory rats are required annually in the country. Currently, many research institutes in the country import their laboratory rats. Why go abroad for albino rats? Would it be out of place to encouraged job seekers to get involved in albino rat business?
According to Onebunne, only few private laboratory rat farmers are in existence. Therefore, this scenario offers a business opportunity for a serious minded citizen to exploit.