The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has commenced a program to engage about 17,000 youths in rabbit farming in the southern part of the country, a measure meant to entice young people to participate in agriculture and help improve their livelihoods.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Paul Ikonne, executive secretary of NALDA, disclosed that the development authority will supply rabbits, cages, vaccines and training to the youths for free, while the beneficiaries are expected to return any kittens when a doe gives birth so that others may be similarly empowered.
NALDA was established in 1992 to develop rural communities through agribusiness but was eliminated in 2000, only to be revived by the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The National Young Farmers Scheme, one of many programs under NALDA, was launched by the president to empower 774,000 young Nigerians in agribusiness , with the pilot phase of the program focusing on animal husbandry, particularly that of rabbits and goats.
“In this segment, we are doing goat rearing and rabbits rearing. A lot of people don’t know the potentials, the benefits and the money they can make from rearing rabbit. Rabbit has an entire value chain, nothing is a waste farming rabbit,” Ikonne said.
“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 dung and the urine, they are all money-making machines.
“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,” Ikonne added.