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Unlocking the business opportunities in grasscutter farming

Decades ago, importance was not really given to the livestock industry as most farmers’ concentrated effort on planting crops for household consumption and little for sale.

In the same vein, few households who domesticated micro livestock mainly did so, for consumption during festive periods while few households then, understood the market value of trading these animals.

The new age and era has seen progressive growth and potentials in the agricultural sector where most animals - or simply put, micro-livestock were adaptable for farming purposes and with the evidence of profit maximization and adaptability to local content and environment. Micro livestock are subgroup of livestock called small animal. Grasscutter is classified under this category.

In most regions, grasscutters also known as cane rats are widely distributed in the wild. They are mostly found in Central and West Africa. In Nigeria, it is referred to as rich people’s meat but in the Igbo land precisely, it is popularly known as “Nchi" or bush meat. This is a delicacy eaten either roasted or with pepper soup.

In line with the popular saying “Teach a man how to fish rather than giving him a fish”, YPARD Nigeria as part of its activities outlined for the year, held a tweet chat session on 22nd July 2017 with the president of Grasscutter Farmers Association of Nigeria (GRAFAN) and the founder, the Highly Paid Grasscutter Farmers Network to discuss extensively on Grasscutter Farming: how to start, its management and financial implications.

The tweet chat was not just to follow the rule of functionality or norms but was desirous by young people who understood the business opportunities in grasscutter farming. The Nigeria team analyzed the concerns from people’s perception and structured questions that fitted into the subject of discussion and the timing for the one hour tweet chat.

Knowing fully well that Rome wasn’t built in a day, we started the tweet chat using the hashtag #ypardngtc and the YPARD Nigeria twitter handle and our guest, Chinedu Eluwa. The questions asked during the tweet chat include but are not limited to the following questions:

  • Give us an overview of what grasscutter farming is all about?
  • What are the types of grasscutter breeds available?
  • Which of the breeds are best and well adapted to Nigerian climate?
  • Where can one get the above mentioned breed?
  • What is a grasscutter colony? How many males and females are present in a colony?
  • What is the housing requirement of grasscutters and can you show a sample?
  • Kindly explain the breeding process in grasscutters?
  • When a female grasscutter is pregnant, how would one know and how are they to be taken care of?
  • How much does it cost to start a small grasscutter farm?
  • What is the profit involved?
  • What are the value chains of grasscutter farming?
  • What are the requirements of joining Grasscutter Farmers Association of Nigeria (GRAFAN)?

Wow! The questions were a lot, the guest was detailed and open enough to share his secret of successful business in grasscutter farming.

You can access the e-book on how to start and create wealth through grasscutter farming published by Chinedu Eluwa and the online archive of the tweet chat can be accessed on this link or seen below.

Photo credit: Socioserve - Ghana