Rabbitry is a very wide aspect of agriculture, and it gives opportunity for everyone to earn regular income once you are in the right track. Below I highlighted many aspects of the rabbit production value chain that any serious minded person can plunge into and make a good reward from it.
- TRAINING: You can decide to be organising seminar for new farmers and potential farmers for a token. This is an intellectual asset. The country is very wide. You can be moving from state to state and earning your income. There is no island of knowledge; if you are deficient in an aspect of rabbit farming, you can invite trusted experienced farmers to handle some aspects for you for a token or for free. There is always advantage in synergy where 2+2=5. This is power in oneness and togetherness.
- CAGE CONSTRUCTION: As at today, we have successful cage builders and full time cage builders in Nigerian Rabbit Industry. It is a good source of income. We have living testimonies of people that bought cars and landed properties through cage construction in Nigeria.
- VALUE ADDITION IN RABBITRY: This is another aspect of rabbit farming that very few people operate at. You earn good source of income by using rabbit urine as foliar fertilizer or insecticide. Knowledge is power. One of the Holy books says that you should seek for knowledge even to the extent of going to the desert. You can be buying rabbit feaces; process it as manure, package it well and sell to vegetable farmers. Poverty is of the mind. Get business rabbit ideas and stop complaining that you are financially broke.
- RABBIT FEEDS INGREDIENTS: Did you know that there is a cool money in supply of Rabbit Feeds Ingredients? A lot of business minded people are making money through feeds ingredients. Did you know that cow bone is not a waste? You can source for cow bone cheaply, burn it and grind it as bonemeal for rabbit feeds to get phosphorus and calcium. A tonne of it is thousands of naira. Nothing is a waste. You can also patronize Mai Tea (Tea Sellers) and offtake egg shells from them for free or token. It is a good source of calcium and phosphorus in animal feeds production. Tridax grass is growing freely; you can be fetching it for Bella and collect N5000 per 25kg. A lot of rabbit farmers are already supplying Bella. You can as well plant beans and groundnut; the leaves and stems alone are gold. You can also get good income from the groundnut and beans seeds. With the current level of agriculture in Nigeria especially rabbitry, it is only a lazy man that won’t earn income. If you have the financial resources, you can go to the north and be bringing feeds ingredients for sale in the East, South and West.
- RABBIT FEEDS PRODUCTION: You can earn your money from commercial rabbit feeds production. The profit per bag may not be attractive but the volume of bags produced will definitely be reasonable if done on a large scale. For example, if you make Net Profit of N150 per bag and you can produce 2000 bags (50 tonnes) in a month, at month end, you are sure of a take home of N300,000 every month. In the course of producing rabbit feeds, you can also venture into poultry feeds, cattle feeds and goat feeds along with Rabbit Feeds Production. The current rabbits feeds produced cannot meet demand. We need more rabbit feeds producers in the industry.
- DRUG AND REARING MATERIALS: Selling of popularly demanding multivitamin is another cool business as well as materials like feeders, drinkers and next boxes.
- BE A BREEDER: This involves breeding and sales of foundation stock. If you have access to good quality stocks and with knowledge of genetic improvement, you can mainly focus on production of breeding stocks and regularly culling of rabbits with undesirable traits. If you have integrity, proper record keeping, patience, fear of God, good track record, excellent customer relationship, knowledge of genetics and access to good stocks etc; the sky is not your limit. You will make a lot of money in the long run and every rabbit farmer will be forced to depend on you for Foundation Stocks. Farmers don’t under rate Breeders.
- BE A RABBIT FARMER: Majority of current players in Nigerian Rabbits Industry are rabbit farmers. All Rabbit Breeders are Rabbit Farmers but not all Rabbit Farmers are Rabbit Breeders. You can become a successful rabbit farmer if done on a large scale. The returns of a rabbit farming depends on economies of scale through large farm size. A Rabbit Breeder may have just 100 rabbits and the worth of it may be multimillion naira because those rabbits are results of rigorous research work and they have passed through serious genetic modification and improvements. They can attract foreign researchers and breeders.
- RABBIT FARMING BY PROXY: Without having a farm, you can be earning your millions periodically through investment of your idle funds or savings in the hands of trusted players in the aforementioned areas. In this modern age, a lot of big men don’t have time to own a farm but they invest with trusted farmers of like-minds. This is another aspect of synergy where 1+1= 3. However, it is a dangerous investment if done with fraudulent farmers. We have a lot of internet farmers. They can explain rabbit anatomy from A-Z and give an unimaginable profit in rabbit farming without having single rabbit. There are many of them in different rabbit groups; looking for who to defraud. It is good to be a risk taker because the higher the risk, the higher the returns but always take a calculated risk.
- BE A COLLECTION CENTRE: You can get approval from an offtaker of rabbits and waste. This will give you an opportunity to be a risk taker, a burden lifter and beneficiary of Invoice Discounting. There is cool money as well as high risk in this aspect of rabbit business.
- OFFTAKER OF RABBITS: This is a catalyst for industry growth. You can offtake anything in rabbitry. You can offtake pelts, urine, feaces, weaners or meat. There is also very good money in this aspect but the risk is enormous beyond imagination. To operate at this level, you must be financially loaded, have appetite to take risk and get a guaranteed market. Otherwise, your passion for offtaking will fade away. If you get it right, there is cool money there but if you get it wrong, it can wreck your image and reputation. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Bella is using every opportunity to call upon more offtakers in the Nigerian Rabbit Industry. You cannot give what you don’t have. If you have huge market, please volunteer to be an offtaker; it is going to help the industry. This will promote the industry but if you don’t have a guaranteed huge market, don’t try it.
- BE A FEED DISTRIBUTOR: You can become a feed distributor after carrying out a market survey to know the brands of feeds that are moving in the market and in your area. You buy feeds in bulk at a particular price, add your logistics and reasonable profit margin, then sell to users. This is one of the sweetest aspects of rabbit business. You have nothing to lose so far the goods are moving in the market. It gives room for wealth creation if you have big customer base but frustration sets in when the capital is tied down as a result of poor demand for the brand. For example, Vital Feeds, Top Feeds, Hybrids, Breedwells and Animal Care Feeds are household names in Nigerian Poultry Industry. Investment in such feeds is cash-backed compared to a brand like Samson Poultry Feeds. Success attracts people; no one is ready to invest in any brand or business that is not yet known. Once it is known, you will see a lot of distributors just like the way ants surround sugar. There are some goods in any industry that sell themselves without single talk. In short, feeds distribution is very profitable when there is regular demand for the brand.
- BE A RABBIT MERCHANT: You can be buying and selling rabbits. This is also a very profitable rabbit business if you source rightly. For example, you buy at ₦1500 and sell at ₦2000 or ₦2,500. This aspect is also related to off-taking but it is not guaranteed. Demand comes when merchant calls for it. Farmers cannot rely on such erratic demand but it is good for the merchant. An offtaker gives guaranteed market while a rabbit merchant demands when in need.
- YOU CAN BE A LOGISTIC MANAGER: Many modern companies engage in outsourcing of logistic services such as transport business in order to concentrate on their core areas of competence. If you have a good vehicle, you can be earning regular income by offtaking goods from point of production to the point of needs.
Let me stop here. Bella wishes you Happy Easter Monday.
Mr Samson writes from Bella Rabbits World, Ogere-Remo, Ogun State