The grasscutter meat is indeed very popular in Africa and especially in Nigeria; thanks to grasscutter farmers who are trying their best to make this meat readily available to buyers and consumers. Grasscutter farming in Nigeria is one of the most profitable kinds of businesses in the animal farming section. It is also one of the most profitable animal husbandry businesses in Nigeria. If you take the grasscutter farming business serious, you can make as much as N4 million naira annually from the business.
How is it possible? How do I start? What do I need to know? How much capital do I need? What are the requirements? What is the market demand?… and most importantly, What is the Return On Investment? These are important questions to ask before setting out on the business but the baseline is, if you are in doubt of how much you’ll make after selling off your mature Grasscutters, then after reading this ‘How to Start’ guide, you have no excuse for not making triple your capital in around a year cycle.
Grasscutter Farming in Nigeria: Overview
Grasscutter meat, popular called ‘Bush Meat’ is a meat commonly consumed in Nigerian homes, joints, restaurants, and so on. Bush meat is the favourite of over 80% of Nigerian meat eaters, and this fact alone makes the Grasscutter a fast moving product in the meat market. The fact that it can also be used for Peppersoup is another boosting factor that makes the Grasscutter move really fast.
Grasscutters are very easy to rear. They are herbivores – meaning they feed mainly on grass. Female Grasscutters after gestation carries the pregnancy for 140 – 150 days, which means they can only deliver twice in a year. They can deliver between 4, 7 and 10 offspring at the time of delivery. It means one Grasscutter can reproduce between 8 – 20 offspring in one year. The Grasscutter grows to a length of 720mm and weighs 3.5mm to 4.5mm when fully matured and the two main factors that would affect the returns on the Grasscutter farming business in Nigeria is proper hygiene and adequate feeding.
For the business to be adequately profitable, the Grasscutters need to be fully catered for; especially the males. They are the main player in the reproduction of the Grasscutters and they play a particularly vital role in the growth of your business. Healthy females make healthy babies, and so you must pay attention to the females too.
After birth, the little ones can be allowed to stay with their mother for four months, after which they can be separated into different colonies. Females can start mating from eight months and the males can start mating after six to seven months.
Grasscutter Farming in Nigeria: Required Facilities
Grasscutter Pen: The Grasscutter pen can be made of any relevant material but is preferably made of metal. It should be blocked at the back and opened at the front. The pen should also have a different space for sleeping, as Grasscutters don’t like sleeping where they eat. Also, put it into consideration that Grasscutters live in colonies.
Colonies normally consist of one male and three females. According to your capacity, you can start with one or two colonies, and you’re sure to still make profit over time. Also note that two males can’t live together in one colony.
Water Channel: You would need to supply the pen area with adequate water supply. Supplying the Grasscutter with just food without water isn’t in any way logical. It should also be noted that the water given to them must have some attractant to it.
Grasscutter Feeds: Feeding is the most integral part of Grasscutter farming in Nigeria, just like anywhere else. Like mentioned earlier, Grasscutters enjoy Sugarcane, they also love grass, especially Napier grass and Elephant grass.
They can also be fed with formulated pellets like groundnut, wheat bran, corn bran, brewers’ grain, maize shucks, cotton seed cakes, oilseeds, and so on. They can also be fed with the bark of fruits such as Mango, Plantain, Pawpaw, Cassava, and so on. They can still also be fed with food like leftovers, rice, sweet potato, grain legume, maize, and so on.
Knowledge: If you can’t get practical knowledge from a Grasscutter farm, you can download relevant materials that would inevitably be of help, online. It is not advisable you start a Grasscutter farm without the proper knowledge of how to manage a Grasscutter farm. Without the right knowledge, you might be accumulating more loss than gain at the end of the year.
Grasscutter Farming: Feasibility Study
The feasibility study included in this guide is for a Grasscutter farm of just 3 Colonies (3 males, and 9 females). A mature Grasscutter is sold for N5,000. (N5,000 X 12 Grasscutters = N60,000).
Pen Construction (with futuristic planning: N50,000), Feeding over a period of eight months N200,000, Water supply (N50,000), Miscellaneous (N10,000)
If the 9 females give birth to 7 children twice in a year, making it 14 children each, it makes it 9 X 14 = 126 Grasscutters. If you decide to sell off 100 of them after maturity and decide to keep the remaining 26 to reproduce over again: N5,500 X 100 = N550,000.
N550,000 – N370,000 = N180,000.
That’s a profit of N180,000 on the Grasscutter farm business in just a year. The 26 Grasscutter can reproduce over 500 offspring in one year and you might be looking at a profit of over N1.5 million naira after selling off at the market.
Grasscutter Farming: Risks Involved
- The greatest risks to Grasscutters are soldier ants and snakes. Try your best to construct their pen in a way that they’re protected from those two and any other environmental factors, and they’re good to go.
- If you have many hunters selling freshly killed ones straight from the bush, they may pose a real competitive threat to your business.
- Setting up a Grasscutter farming business in Nigeria might not be as capital intensive as other businesses but the real problem is maintenance. If you have a poor maintenance culture you might struggle keeping your animals safe and healthy.
Grasscutter Farming: Advantages
- Bush meat is among the first 5 most demanded meat in Africa and Nigeria. It means the awareness part is already done.
- Grasscutter farming can fetch you a whole lot of money, starting from the first time it begins to reproduce.
- The demand for Grasscutter meat is ever constant, making the market easily available and penetrable.
- As a young person, you can start up the Grasscutter business and be self-employed.
Grasscutter farming in Nigeria requires time, energy and effort but if you make a small research on the financial status of big Grasscutter farmers, you would definitely want to start up your own Grasscutter farm right away.