Flemish Giant Rabbits produce meat that is a high source of proteins yet this delicacy is far from being as popular as beef or mutton in Tanzania.
But as health concerns against red meat grab people’s attention, some residents are now slowly but surely trying their taste buds on rabbit meat and those who have tested its tenderness have been hooked.
Rabbit meats, according to experts, are usually rich in calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Plus being white, it is much healthier and recommended for people who suffer high uric acid problems.
Now enters Christopher Dionis, is a young entrepreneur, in Dodoma, with a Diploma in General Agriculture from the Ministry of Agriculture Training Institute (MATI) in Uyole Mbeya, who is investing heavily in Rabbit keeping for meat.
A Bunning Issue?
His start wasn’t easy; he was initially compelled to educate the general public on benefits of this alternative source of proteins.
“I even went to the extent of offering people free rabbits and providing others with meat to taste,” Dionis explained.
Eventually his efforts to promote rabbit and the rodent’s meat paid off, people realized they can make good dishes from the little animals.
“Currently, I am already supplying rabbits to restaurants, big hotels and even tourist lodges,” he says.
A full grown rabbit weighing an average of 4 kilograms can fetch 25,000/-.
Dionis Menagerie had more than 5000 rabbits by the time of this interview.
With the future promising, the young entrepreneur intends to start training other young people the skills of rabbit keeping, rearing and marketing.
“The market is expanding fast, which means it will be difficult for me to keep up with the demands, there must be more suppliers,” said Dionis.
His stable contains all varieties of rabbits including New Zealand White Rabbits, Flemish Giant Rabbits and British Rabbits, among others.
He is also getting popular. Many colleges including his own MATI Uyole usually invite him to conduct training sessions on rabbit keeping.
“For instance, next week, I will be training young entrepreneurs in the capital city on issues of livestock keeping and agriculture,” he points out.
The training manual will include rabbit keeping, fish farming and poultry rearing.
“I will also include issues of nutrition, healthy eating and the promotion and marketing of farm rabbits to that effect,” explains Dionis.
Apparently the young entrepreneur also deals with production of hybrid chicken through his own modified incubators capable of producing 500 chicks in a month.
He makes his own improvised chicken feed using own devised contraption capable of churning out one ton of chicken feed per hour.
Other than being a holder of Diploma in General Agriculture, Dionis has been attending additional training and workshops on agriculture and animal husbandry.
As it happens, Rabbit meat is not a part of most people’s everyday diet, not only in Tanzania but around the world.
However, the global consumption of bunnies’ meat is estimated to be around 1.5 million tonnes per year.