Grass-Cutter farming is a lucrative business which yields high returns on investment but quite unknown to many
| By Augustine Adah | Feb. 35, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
BREEDING grass-cutter is one of lucrative area of farming that is still largely neglected because of poor awareness on rearing technique. This has prompted Arinze Onebunne, managing director, Jovana Farms, Mushin, Lagos, to organise seminars for those who may be interested in grass-cutter farming in many parts of the country.
According to Onebunne, one of the ways to help ease the problem of unemployment and eradicate poverty is for people to embrace grass-cutter farming. He encouraged youths and retirees to go into grass-cutter farming because it does not require a huge investment to start but the return on investment does not take a longer time to come.
“Going into the business does not require millions of naira since it can be started with just N50, 000 or more, depending on the scale you want to start from. The return on investment is high and fast as people have now come to appreciate the nutritional value of the meat” Onebunne said.
Grass-cutter is described to be the cheapest and fastest livestocks to rear because one female specie can give birth to five or eight litters (babies) at once. They are best bought when they are four months old, and by eight months, they would start giving birth which can be sold or reared. A four- month old grass-cutter costs between N2, 000- N3, 000. Regarded as bush meat, grass-cutter is a delicacy for many homes in Nigeria and beyond due to its high protein, low fat and cholesterol content.
Patronage of grass-cutter meat is equally very high in restaurants, beer palours, and hotels. According to Onebunne, all that is needed to start a small scale grass-cutter farm is N40, 000 for a colony of grass-cutters, N5,000 for the construction of cages in which they will be reared in and buy grass with which to feed them.
The cage for grass-cutter can occupy any available space in the store or kitchen, so one doesn’t necessarily need to buy a land for the business. Unlike poultry, it is less expensive to feed grass-cutter because its major source of food is grass.
Benedicta Uzor, a poultry farmer, who attended the last seminar held in Lagos, felt satisfied to attend the programme. Uzor said that the high cost of poultry feeds made her to consider grass-cutter farming as a better alternative.