How to Start Grasscutter Farming Business in South Africa:
For many young people, to farm or not to farm is no longer the question. The question these days generally revolves around what agriculture business one can start with limited funds and still make decent income. One of such agriculture ventures is grasscutter farming.
Grasscutter farming is one area in the livestock farming industry which has the potential to ensure regular animal production in the country and sustainable income for farmers.
The case for Grasscutter farming
Grasscutter farming is one of those grossly untapped agriculture businesses. You don’t hear much people talk about it, yet the ones who venture into it don’t want to leave. This is because they make impressive returns on their investment.
Grasscutters, also known as cane rat or bush meat, have good meat quality of low-fat and high protein. They are amenable to captive rearing, take shorter period to breed and are inexpensive to feed. This makes grasscutter farming business ideal for any entrepreneur who wants year-round income.
You may witness that only a few local restaurants sell bush meat, that they are always overbooked and that bush meat is almost always very scarce to get. Combine this with the fact that no religion or culture abhors bush meat and you see why the demand for grasscutter meat will always be on the increase. This means more money for you.
Do I need to mention that grasscutter meat is very delicious? With a well prepared plate of bush meat and a chilled bottle of your favorite lager, you will forget about so many of the country’s troubles for a few hours.
But the next time you sit down to enjoy bush meat, remember that someone, somewhere is making insane amounts of money to make sure your enjoyment continues. Why not consider joining the rank of entrepreneurs who make this enjoyment possible for people? I will show you how.
How to start grasscutter farming
One good thing about grasscutter farming is that you can start small, very small. You don’t need to blow your budget or sink a hole in your pocket to start this business. You can start with one male and four females in their cage. Then you can upscale when you get more experience and more money.
This is how you start grasscutter farming.
Find out how and where to buy your stock, where your market is and how they usually sell. People in rural communities can always get live grasscutter from a nearby bush and rear them till they multiply. You can also buy grasscutter stock from an existing farmer. This works best for those who live in urban cities.
Find out if the business is profitable in your area, how many competitors you already have, where they are and what chances you have to make decent profit, all things being equal. Also make sure you have a veterinary doctor close by so you can get immediate help when you need it.
Most of all, do a thorough cost research: buying and selling price, cost of pen construction, that sort of thing.
Choose a breed
There are two species of Grasscutter
- Thronomys swinderians (T.S): Also called great cane rat, they are usually found in Latin America, Asia, and West African countries like Nigeria and Ghana. Small strains are usually found in forest zone mostly, while the larger strains are found in savannah zones, and are lighter in colour. They generally live by the meadows clearings, muddy territories, and river banks in sub-saharan Africa. They weigh average of 8.6kg and grow to length of almost 1ft.
- Thrononyms Gregorians (T.G) or lesser cane Rat: They are species of rodents in the family of Thronomysidae, they can be found in Eastern part of Africa like Cameroon, Togo, and Chad. They usually have bristle-like coarse hair that lies flat against their body, small ears. They have long feet with functioning toes, strong claws, and bare palms, yellowish or brownish back and greyish sides.
You should know the breed that are common and grow well in your area. The thronomys swinderians family example, are usually found in West African countries.
Location and housing
Location is a very important consideration when starting a grasscutter farming business. Not only do you need a close site from where you will monitor the farming operations, you need to keep the animals as far away from predators as possible.
The two mortal enemies grasscutters have are snakes and soldier ants. You should build their cage so that they are safe from predator attacks.
You also need an area spacious enough to contain where they eat and where they sleep. As a beginner, you may want to start by building a cage for them because a cage is cheaper to build than a walled pen.
Make sure their cage is closely monitored not only to observe when there is a problem, but to keep their environment clean.
Grasscutters are herbivorous animals, which is where they got their name from. They eat grass mostly: elephant grass, Congo grass, legumes grass and sugarcane – especially sugarcane. They also eat cassava, maize leaves, fruits like pawpaw, pineapple, oranges. Make sure you have sufficient supply of clean water for them.
There is always a market for bush meat. You can sell them to local restaurants, local markets, or like many people do, by the road side where willing consumers will readily buy from you.
Everybody stands a chance in this business. Grasscutter farming is lucrative and simple to start. So get in now and start building your own wealth empire.
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