From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced plans to engage over 17,000 youth in rabbit farming, in a bid to curb the high rate of unemployment in the country and youth unrest.
The Executive Secretary, National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Paul Ikonne, who stated this at a media parley in Abuja, yesterday, explained that government would provide animal, cage, vaccine and training for them.
According to him, government would purchase the urine, dungs and skin of the rabbits from the beneficiaries, which he would be used to generate income.
He, however, said the beneficiaries would be expected to return the kitten when the rabbit delivers to empower others.
He said: “We are doing goat rearing and rabbits rearing. A lot of people doesn’t know the potential, the benefits and the money they can make from rearing rabbit. Rabbit has an entire value chain, nothing is a waste farming rabbit.
“So we are engaging our youths into rabbit farming, NALDA has designed a program to take in 17,000 rabbit farmers especially in the south, and we have commenced the engagement in some states.
“All our programs are in phases, in this first phase, Imo, Abia, Cross River and Oyo States have received rabbits and young farmers have been engaged into rabbit farming.
“From the meat, the hide, which is the skin, the dungs and the urine, they are all money-making machine.
“The program is very simple, from the first day the farmer start rearing rabbits, they start making money from that day, from the collection of the urine to the collection of the dungs which will be used as fertilizer, their money will keep accumulating, at the end of the month, we’ll pay them based on the litres and kilogram of what they have submitted to NALDA office at their various states before the off-takers take it.”
He continued: “The beauty about this is that it doesn’t have much hazard, it doesn’t require so much, rabbit virtually eats everything and it doesn’t require too much space, so you can farm it at the smallest space you have in your house whether you are a landlord or a tenant and it doesn’t litter the environment.
“At least the average of N100,000 a month somebody will be making from rearing rabbits from all these products, and you can see the level it will get to cater for families and homes, so it is something we have engaged in, and we will keep expanding.”