South Africa’s rabbit industry may not be growing quite as fast as bunnies reproduce, but one farmer is urging South Africans to get involved in the sector. Rabbit farming trainer Daisy Moleko, who has 20 years of experience in the sector, shared with Vutivi News why she believes that rabbit farming was going places.
Moleko is the CEO and founder of MPBiz Rabbitry and is considered a pioneer in her field. She went into the business because of the health benefits of rabbit meat. She said that rabbit farming was previously associated with the wealthy and elite. “I made it a point to market rabbit farming and rabbit meat for 20 years, and now it is gaining popularity,” Moleko said.
“Rabbit farming is a very profitable business and is a commodity that doesn’t demand a lot of work or labourers. As long as you get proper training, you will be able to make money and employ people because the main point of farming is to create employment.” Moleko said that because rabbit farming was new, it was set to expand rapidly. Already many people had approached her for training.
“We have trained more than 100 farmers to date,” she said. Moleko said two of the main issues for those who wanted to get into rabbit farming were land and money. “Farmers don’t have access to land and have a limited budget, so we encourage them to start small and grow to be commercial farmers,” she said.
Moleko briefly explained how they train farmers. “Firstly, when we train our farmers, we give them rabbits. These rabbits are pure-bred where we control the bloodline for us to get quality meat,” she said. “Once we’ve trained them and given them the rabbits, we go back to them and buy the rabbits, slaughter them at a registered abattoir, and distribute them with our distribution company that distributes meat in most of the provinces.”
But training a rabbit farmer was not cheap, Moleko said. And the farmer had to have access to land, water and a budget. A farmer had to pay between R20,000 to R1-million, depending on what the farmer wanted.
“We give them an introduction to rabbit farming, teach them how to farm and breed with rabbits, and we also teach them the production cycle. We prepare them as registered breeders who will breed and supply pure quality rabbit meat,” she explained.
“I advise them to start on a bigger space or enough space that can accommodate growth because rabbits give birth to a lot of growth, so when you start small you will need more space,” Moleko said that the craft was not demanding if a farmer was equipped with the right knowledge.