Farming in Nigeria has taken a dramatic and very impressive turn in recent years, creating jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs who ventured into it.
Testimonies abound that millionaires are made every year through farming in Nigeria and there is simply no end to the prospects of creating more wealth in the coming years.
There are good reasons why farming in Nigeria is currently doing well, and understanding these reasons will help any serious entrepreneur (no matter where he comes from) to think seriously about setting up farms in Nigeria. There isn’t any other African country where farming is as viable as it is in Nigeria in terms of productivity and profitability.
And there is no other country where farmers are more advantaged as they are in Nigeria today because Nigeria has a huge population of over 180 million people, twice more than the populations of Zimbabwe and South Africa combined. The entire population of Nigeria depends on staple foods produced from farms and other farm produces for their daily meals and sustenance.
Over twenty million jobs can be created through agro/allied business ventures such as farming fish, snails, goat, grasscutter, vegetables, food processing which is still a virgin business venture, but the mad rush for oil money has led to the utter neglect of this lucrative agricultural enterprise. Another challenge again that needs to be addressed urgently is the issue of farmers/herdsmen clashes.
Grasscutter farming, though a relatively new undertaking in livestock farming, is a very lucrative venture. Commercial farming of grasscutter may appear as classy as manufacturing or being in the financial service sector, but it holds great promises and tremendous reward.
Grasscutters (a rodent family), like many rodent species have been and continue to be a delicacy in a number of countries, in Latin America, Africa and Asia where markets exist for a wide variety of rodent species for consumption, grasscutters are often preferred over other sources of meat. And this offers small-scale farmers, investors, businessmen and all those with wealth-mind set, an economic incentive for raising grasscutters in confined area.
Among all the livestock farming , grasscutter is the cheapest to farm because they feed only on grasses and nuts. For optimum result , you can add supplements. You can start this agro business venture in your backyard with as low as N80,000 which has the capacity to turn into multi millionaire business venture within a space of three year if well managed.
Requirements For Farming Grasscutter At Commercial Quantity
Grasscutter Breeding Stock:
This is made up of one male and four female which is called colony i.e. a set of breeding stock. A serious and dedicated farmer can have up to 50 families at a time i.e. 10 set of breeding stock.
Housing: This housing depends on individual (Farmers); one can rent a land outside the home or at your backyard, in cages, hutches, and cage-hutch or even in a room , provided it is well ventilated. The pens (cages and hutches) are best if located in stable to protect them from theft, rain and predators such as man , snake etc.
For the cage , you can use iron/wire mesh. Hutch is the combination of cement or mud block and iron/wire mesh, the iron mesh is used as door.
Feeding: Grasscutters are mainly herbivorous animals which feed on various specific forages with succulent stalks, they show a high preference for grass and particularly pennisetumpurpureum (elephant grass) and panicum maximum, they consume nuts, bark and soft parts of grasses and shrubs and roots and tubers. You can as well add food supplements for maximum result.
Breeding Of Grasscutter
Grasscutters gestation periods are usually between 152 days – 160 days approx 5 months in other word, it can breed two times in a year with about 4-6 newborn at a time and can be matured for breeding or sale at six months for female and eight months for male depending on the feeding pattern . In a farm of 100 families of grasscutter, you can get between 1000 to 1200 grasscutters in a year.
You can market your animals locally or internationally depending on your connections in the industry. Locally , it is in higher demand among families because of the zero cholesterol level . Eateries and even drink joints uses it as pepper soup meat, suya, frozen or dried meat. Most Chinese are looking for the meat as regular meal and also to entertain most of their guests from abroad. If you rear grasscutter in commercial quantity under good hygienic condition, fast food restaurants and supper stores will be your regular customers. They will only need your assurance of regular supply per week.
For manuals and CDs containing more information on farming grasscutter contact commodity.ng