November 3rd, 2013
At a time when economic growth rate is on the slide, and price rise and unemployment are rampant, two progressive farmers, including an octogenarian, have been showing the way to earn handsome bucks by investing less money, less space and less time. All this by sitting at home. All this through rabbit farming.
The duo has successfully opened 80 rabbit units-cum-farms in less than a year after opening their own rabbit farm. These units were opened in various districts across the state by motivating people and providing them breed under buyback policy. They are now also guiding, educating and training youngsters to move towards self employment with rabbit farming. Subsidy too is available for opening rabbit farms.
Even experts from animal husbandry, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana, have been visiting this farm at Karriha along with people who want to open their rabbit units for meat purpose.
Farmer Bikram Singh Johal, 82, who spent many decades in UK returned 12 years back to his village, and his associate Charanjit Singh Mehli, 45, a farmer from Phagwara, were involved in organic farming and floriculture before they opened their own rabbit farm – BCS or Johal rabbit farm – in village Karriha district Nawanshahr on August 17, 2012.
“We wanted to do something which could provide self-employment to the educated youth and good and quick earning for small and poor farmers. Rabbit farming made this dream come true,” said Mehli.
“We got the idea of rabbit farming during our visit to Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) in Ludhiana some three years back. During a kisan mela GADVASU rabbit unit head Dr. Mandip Singh guided us towards rabbit farming and we started it on an experimental basis,” said Mehli. “Soon,” he added, “we realised it to be a profitable occupation and opened our own in August last year with a unit of 70 does (female rabbits) and 30 bucks (male rabbits) by investing Rs 2.50 lakhs. Currently the Johal farm is selling around 550 to 600 rabbits for meat purposes every month (around 6000 to 7000 per year worth several millions) apart from buying 1000s from other units which it got opened under a buy back policy to save rearers from any marketing problem. “Rabbit meat sells for around Rs. 500 per kg and slaughter weight of rabbit is about 2 to 2.5 kg which can be achieved in 12 to 15 weeks as its meat is best for weight control, cholesterol and sugar control and contains around 22 per cent proteins,” said Charanjit Singh. Courtesy Indian Express
Written by: Anju Agnihotri Chaba