Story by Sifiso Sibanda
The opportunities that have been opened up in the country’s economy have seen energies being redirected to the production of rabbits with a good number of farmers now surviving on proceeds from the sector.
While backyard farming in Bulawayo has long been dominated by poultry, rabbit production has emerged as a viable option.
Some of the players in the sector have done so well that they were exhibiting at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
ZBC News has since discovered that rabbit farming is now big business, with some taking it up on a full-time basis.
Trymore Nzou of Magwegwe North is running out of space having turned his backyard into a thriving business with over 150 rabbits of different breeds.
“These rabbits are my life and my family income comes from them as I have gone full-time into this sector. I’m also doing cross-breeding so that I feel with genetics. Apart from California White which is a commercial breed, I have brought in Newziland White, Chinchilla, Angora and Newziland Red to deal with inbreeding. As such record keeping is critical so that those that are not efficient in breeding are curled,” he said.
Another farmer in Minyela township has been making it big selling breeders at US$10 each.
“We need more breeders to feed this market because the demand is high and they want consistency in supply. As things stand, we are failing to supply this market fully. We are currently supplying breeders mainly not the meet market because we don’t have the numbers yet,” noted the other farmer.
Rabbit production, which was initially considered to be a hobby, is now spreading to communal areas with villagers from Sifelani in Ntabazinduna having also gone commercial.