BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
THERE is a potential uptake of 20 to 25 tonnes of rabbit meat on the Zimbabwean market every month, the Zimbabwe Commercial Rabbit Breeders Association (ZICORBA) has said, urging industry players to ramp up production.
Rabbit is one of the healthiest, leanest, and most environmentally friendly meats one can eat.
Compared to beef, pork, lamb, turkey, veal, and chicken, rabbit has the highest percentage of protein, the lowest percentage of fat, and the fewest calories per pound.
ZICORBA president Regis Nyamakanga said one of the challenges that had held back the growth of the local rabbit meat market was lack of consistent supply.
“There is a potential uptake of 20 to 25 tonnes of rabbit meat on the Zimbabwean market every month, if we ramp up rabbit production,” the ZICORBA boss said.
Nyamakanga said ZICORBA was currently exploring a number of export markets for rabbit meat.
“We will soon formally launch rabbit meat on the local market, following successful trial runs during the month of March,” he said.
“Our target is to go full throttle in April 2021.”
Nyamakanga added that securing a long-term market for rabbit meat had been top on the agenda of the association since 2020.
“We are excited to have found a market for our farmers, something that has been a mirage for many years,” he said.
“We made a promise when we launched ZICORBA last July that we meant business and that all the challenges facing the rabbit industry for many years would be tackled.
“That is what we are doing.”
Nyamakanga said that the condition agreed to with leading retail chains was that all rabbit meat to be sold to them would be processed at an approved and certified abattoir.
Zimbabwe’s first export-approved abattoir, with a capacity to process one tonne of rabbit meat per day, will be commissioned in Harare soon, opening the floodgates for trading of rabbit meat in the country, he said.