Grasscutter Farming Business Plan in Nigeria: Manual & Feasibility Study
Grasscutter Farming Business Plan – The Grasscutter, or the ‘Greater Cane rat’, has its place in the family of rodents. It bears a striking resemblance to the Porcupine; the only difference between them being that the Porcupine is usually larger in size. The grasscutter normally would have a round nose and spikey hair on its backside, and these features help to distinguish between itself and true rats. A fully matured grasscutter can grow up to 720mm in length.
Before we provide you with the grasscutter farming business plan in Nigeria, let me show you how to rear grasscutter in Nigeria.
So, how can one begin Grasscutter farming here in Nigeria, in Ghana, or in other similar locations in West-Africa, where the animal has a suitable habitat? This article offers insight. Here goes:
To start with, Grasscutter farming is a very lucrative business venture, unknown to many. The meat from grasscutter is one of those in high demand to the markets of west-Africa. It serves a wide variety of people and a wide range of purposes. On a good day, a mature Grasscutter in the market sells for between N4,000 to N5,500; so if you had say five hundred Grasscutters, you might as well be looking at earning between N2 million and N3 million annually.
The Grasscutter has a rapid reproduction cycle that repeats itself once a year. After gestation, a mature female would normally carry a pregnancy for a period of approximately five months. At birth-time, she usually gives forth between 4 and 7 grasscutters – sometimes, it could be up to ten – and she tows this route twice every year. This means that a single female could yield between 8 and 14 young grasscutters every year, and this number could increase to 20.
The grasscutter’s growth rate is very swift, and it stands as one of Africa’s largest rodents. Its average body length is between 45 and 60 centimeters, while the height while standing reaches between 25 and 30 centimeters. A matured male would weigh around 4.5kg, while a female would weigh around 3.5kg. A fully matured male would be around the size of a 9-inch construction block.
Grasscutter meat is well consumed over the course of the year, but there is an increasing concern over its availability on demand. This is because grasscutters are quite difficult to find, and all the grasscutter meat in the markets comes from painstaking hunting episodes by local hunters.
Where to Begin
Colonies: Grasscutters maintain colonies, so you most likely will not find two grown males living together. You could start off with one male and a few females grouped together. An ideal colony should have one male and not more than four females. One farmer may decide to start off with one or two colonies; so considering your capacity, you can determine the number of colonies you want to start out with.
Breeding: Grasscutters are reared exclusively for the meat; but if it must be lucrative in the market, then the animal must be given sufficient attention and allowed to grow properly. To realize this, the farmer must stress on the quality of the chosen breeding stock. Every colony must have one very healthy male. The males are the major players in the reproduction process. A healthy male are guarantees a healthy stock. While selecting the male, diligently scrutinize it. Consider its wellbeing – the weight gain is a good pointer to ascertaining the health status of the male grasscutter.
Well, even the female must be in good condition. So if you want the best stock, ensure that both the male and female grasscutters selected for breeding are in perfect condition. A good male and a sickly female will most likely yield offspring that are poor in health, performance and market value – and vice versa.
Construction of Grasscutter House: In designing your set-up for the grasscutters, ensure that they have an eating place, a separate place for sleeping, and probably another place for general play. They can breed either in properly-built cages or specially-designed houses. They are aware and responsive to good habitat. The ideal dimension for each colony should be a length of 180cm, width of 60cm and height of 45cm. You should use this dimensions in building your cage, and every colony must be separated from others. If your provision is that of a house or something similar, ensure that it is designed in such a way as to provide separate sleeping and eating arenas. Furthermore, the production zone must be kept in perfect conditions, so as to keep the animals from excess temperature and moisture.
The major enemies grasscutters have are Soldier ants and Snakes; so you must ensure that their cages/pens are properly secured. To keep them from ants’ attack, you can pour black engine oil all around their houses/pens, most especially at night times during the rainy season. You must also put in place a defense mechanism to deter human thieves.
You should also cover the base of the pen/cage/house with dry, soft grasses to give them that cushioned playground effect, and also to keep their feet from getting hurt.
Feeding: Grasscutters are herbivores. Their natural habitat is in the bushes because they find their natural foods there. Their major delicacy is elephant grass or Napier grass, but they could also be fed with Gamba grass, Congo grass, Guinea grass, and even Sugar cane – which several farmers use for their feeding. Experts say that hygiene and proper feeding are the two main determining factors for successful and lucrative Grasscutter farming. Males can be ‘fattened’ with Broiler’s finisher or Broiler’s starter feed to allow them gain weight and increase market value within a short period.
Other things that could be used in feeding the animal include Gliricidia sepium, leguminous plants like Stylo (Stylosanthes gracilis) and Pueraria phaseoloides. They also love the roots and pitch of oil palms, coconut palms, the bark of the anacardium, plantain, pineapple, mango, and etcetera. Crops like rice, corn, groundnut, grain legume, sweet potato, cassava tubers, and etcetera can also be used as food; as well as prepared concentrates like pellets, and other materials like wheat bran, soya, corn bran, oilseed, brewer’s yeast, cottonseed cakes, maize cobs, and etcetera.
Grasscutters do not like cold environments; so you must ensure that their cages or pens are not too hot and not too cold. The suitable temperature for them is just about the same for humans.
Weaning Time: With an optimized feeding regimen, the grasscutter offspring can be weaned from between 4 to 8 weeks. However, as a family unit, they can stay with their mother for up to four months. The offspring can be taken from the mother between 5 and 7 months and grouped into a colony with a healthy male for the purpose of mating. Yes, weaned grasscutters of between 7 to 8 months old can be copulated. In fact, indeterminate copulation is expected to have occurred when the weaned male is aged around 7 months, and the weaned female is aged around 8 months. The approximate mating period is around 140 days; but if no sign of pregnancy is in place after 160 days of separation from the male, the female should be returned to the male for correct mating. There should always be an extra male that can carry out that function, if necessary.
The Marketplace: As stated earlier, the market is very wide. Grasscutter meat is loved and consumed by a large percentage of people across Nigeria and indeed Africa. Mega-eateries use it to make expensive dishes.
The whole meat of a mature grasscutter full meat usually costs around N4,500 in the market, so it is always is in top demand in the markets. Many city dwellers do not have access to the meat due to its scarcity, as even the most bulky amounts of grasscutter meat captured and processed for selling get exhausted within a few days. To meet the demand of bush meat in West Africa today, it would take the combined effort of thousands of farmers and hunters!
Grasscutter is one animal that has a rapid reproduction cycle. The female is eligible for copulation as early as from 7months after birth, and mated females give birth twice a year. Here’s the permutation: if you had 100 females producing 4-7 or 10 grasscutters twice a year, it means that after just twelve months, you should have something in the region of 900-1,200 or more grasscutters on your farm. Such a number alone will yield a minimum of 5 million naira when they are due for marketing.
Hurry now and grab your own copy of our Grasscutter Farming Business Plan in Nigeria and feasibility study. To get yours, pay N10,000 to:
BANK NAME: GUARANTY TRUST BANK (GTB)
ACCOUNT NAME: CHIBUZOR TOCHI ONYEMENAM
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 0044056891
BANK NAME: FIRST BANK PLC
ACCOUNT NAME: CHIBUZOR TOCHI ONYEMENAM
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 3066880122
After payment, send your name, email address and “Grasscutter Farming Business Plan in Nigeria” to 07033378184
Grasscutter Farming Business Plan in Nigeria: Manual & Feasibility Study © www.businessplan.com.ng