When it comes to small livestock production in Zimbabwe, one recommendation I can always make is rabbit farming. There are just so many reasons that make rabbit farming so desirable. The gestation period of rabbits is just one month. This makes it possible for rabbits to produce offspring at most 9 times a year. A rabbit can give birth to about 40 offspring in one year. Rabbit meat is highly considered given its rich taste and nutritional content. The Zimbabwean market is consuming approximately 30 tonnes of rabbit meat. This presents remarkable prospects in commercial rabbit farming. Their bodies are relatively small and easy to manage. Some of the common rabbit breeds reared in Zimbabwe are Flemish giant, Chinchilla, New Zealand, California White, Satin, American Sable, and Champagne d’Argent.

ZICORBA To Export 1.5 Tonnes Of Rabbit Meat Per Month To Botswana

First off, who is ZICORBA? ZICORBA stands for Zimbabwe Commercial Rabbit Breeders Association. This organization was launched in 2020 to resuscitate the rabbit farming industry in Zimbabwe. They have been quite active ever since. They are the leading advocate for commercial rabbit production in Zimbabwe. They are also championing innovation in the value addition of rabbit meat. You can kindly visit their website here. They have representation in all the provinces in Zimbabwe. To tap into the opportunities that come with ZICORBA you must become a member. Kindly get in touch with ZICORBA; they are your plug-in for this export opportunity. Their mobile number is +263 774 061 145. You can also email info@zicorba.com.

Botswana has been struggling to adequately meet its rabbit meat demand. They are also struggling to produce adequate rabbit breeding stock. This has led them to consider importing to meet that two-tier demand. In pursuit of that, they decided to reach out to ZICORBA. The Northern Rabbit Breeders Association (NORBA) of Botswana is the one that contacted ZICORBA. The goal was to form a strategic alliance that will see ZICORBA exporting rabbit meat to Botswana. For starters, NORBA is aiming at importing roughly 1.5 tonnes of rabbit meat monthly from Zimbabwe.  Plus they are also aiming at importing rabbit breeding stock too. That is where you as local Zimbabwean rabbit farmers come in.

ZICORBA Well Poised To Open Export Doors For Zimbabwean Rabbit Farmers

In 2021, they built a US$1 million rabbit abattoir. This is the first ever export-approved rabbit abattoir in Zimbabwe. This is an abattoir that can handle as many as 3.5 tonnes of rabbit meat per 8-hour shift. ZICORBA is also going to construct another such rabbit abattoir in Bulawayo in due course. They will also set up rabbit slaughterhouses all over Zimbabwe. If you check out their Facebook page you will notice how significantly they are shaping the Zimbabwean rabbit farming industry. Through their efforts, more and more Zimbabweans are now actively involved in commercial rabbit farming.

Manageable Costs And Access To Support Systems In Zimbabwean Rabbit Farming

Let us suppose you feed your rabbits with pellets, hay, and water – which suffices. That would translate to less than US$3 to raise one rabbit. You can start slaughtering them when aged 3 months. You can sell them for an average price of US$7 per rabbit. There are even individuals or meat companies that buy rabbit meat from rabbit farmers. One example of such a company is the White Meat Company. Their thrust is to raise an army of rabbit farmers. They also make top-notch commercial rabbit cages which they sell for US$425. They also run a rabbit breeding program in Harare from which they can supply you with pure rabbit breeds. Additionally, they have an out-growers program which gives you access to both domestic and export markets.

USA and China are notable consumers of rabbits making them strategic export markets as well. For instance, China consumes over 400 000 tonnes of rabbit meat annually. Both domestically and internationally there are infinite opportunities in rabbit farming in Zimbabwe. For those contemplating starting rabbit farming, I highly advise you to contact ZICORBA. Those who are already into rabbit farming must become a member of ZICORBA; you will thank me later. You can also contact the White Meat Company. The way I look at it, there are so many of you that can get into rabbit farming. I am thrilled to see export and value addition becoming centre stage as is happening with ZICORBA.