BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

RAYMEG Consultants Private Limited (Raymeg), a diversified Zimbabwean company, has been granted a permit to import pure breed rabbits to help bolster commercial rabbit production in the country.

In a statement yesterday, the company revealed that it had been granted a permit to import more than 200 pure breed rabbits from South Africa.

“We are excited and grateful to the government for granting us a permit to import more than 200 pure breed rabbits from a world-renowned and perennial awarding-winning rabbit breeder based in South Africa,” the statement read.

“This is part of our efforts to support the majority of Zimbabweans venture into commercial rabbit production and shore up the country’s gross domestic product.”

Zimbabwe Commercial Rabbit Breeders Association (Zicorba) secretary-general Regis Nyamakanga said the development would help in scaling up commercial rabbit production in the country.

Raymeg is a corporate member of Zicorba.

“We are working with the Raymeg Group to introduce the majority of the 1,8 million households in Zimbabwe into the cash economy, through commercial rabbit production for both the domestic and export market, “ Nyamakanga said.

“We are currently signing up farmers, especially women and youth who will work with us on this initiative. The response has been overwhelming,” he said.

Zicorba was formed by a group of farmers early this year to help formalise commercial rabbit production among the majority of Zimbabweans, bringing an end to many years of dominance of the sector by a few individuals.

Nyamakanga said rabbit production was one of the fastest growing sub-sectors of the small-livestock sector because of the health and economic benefits of rabbit meat, which falls under the most sought-after organic food and white meat.

Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa and Egypt are among some of the top producers of rabbit meat in Africa.

Global rabbit meat production is currently estimated at just over one million tonnes worth over US$ 6,5 billion, with China accounting for 65% of global meat consumption, followed by the Democratic Republic of Korea and Egypt.

“We anticipate the global rabbit meat market to continue on an upward consumption trend over the next decade, with the volume estimated to surge to more than two million tonnes worth US$15 billion by the end of 2030,” Nyamakanga said.

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