Nigeria’s federal government has unveiled plans to engage 17,000 youths in rabbit farming to develop rabbit rearing in the country, The Guardian, an independent daily published in Lagos, reported Sunday.

Executive Secretary of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) Paul Ikonne, during a press briefing in Abuja, disclosed that the agency designed the project to engage youths in the southern part of the country in rabbit rearing.

He said the beneficiaries would not only be trained and empowered, but would also be taught on how they can harvest the urine and pooh of rabbits (for fertilizer purposes), from which they can earn a minimum of N100,000 ($263.16) monthly. Ikonne explained that the first phase of the program had commenced in Abia, Imo and Oyo states, saying the aim was to implement the project across 18 states.

He disclosed that President Mohammadu Buhari, approved the program and as well released funds for its implementation, explaining that the project is community based as intending beneficiaries would have to identify with the NALDA offices in the states or go to the website www.nalda.ng to get information about rabbit rearing.

Ikonne disclosed that at the end of the month, youths are paid money based on the amount of urine and pooh they are able to harvest and submitted to the NARLDA office in their state before the off taker takes it.

The NALDA boss said: “We are piloting the project in 18 states, we have provided the rabbit to the state coordinators in Oyo, Abia and Cross River states, and youths are already undergoing training, after the training the youths will be given four rabbits each, which they are expected to rear for about four month. Government is proving them with the rabbits, feed, drugs and cage and after reproducing, we will take some of the rabbit and give to other beneficiaries to also rear.”

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This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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