By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko
Ibadan, Feb. 1, 2021 An animal scientist, Dr Yemi Popoola, has reaffirmed the capacity of grasscutter production to improve Nigeria’s earnings.
Popoola, of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Ibadan spoke with Naija247news in Ibadan on Monday.
He said that consumption of grasscutter was also a good source of protein for individuals.
Popoola said the business of grasscutter farming could be easily ventured into at one’s backyard with just a small capital.
According to him, grasscutter farming was profitable, because of its social acceptability, meat quality, inexpensive feed resources, amenability to captive rearing, good litter size and short generation interval.
“The meat, popularly called bush meat, is highly acceptable in Nigeria as there’s no restriction to its consumption.
“Grasscutter’s meat fetches higher prices than meats of domestic animals. They commonly weigh 6-7 kilogrammes in captivity and can attain weights up to 10 kilogrammes in the wild.
“They are heavily built rodents with bristly brown fur speckled with yellow or grey.
“Females can give birth to litters of two to four young at least once a year while cane rats are sexually mature and able to reproduce at six months,” Popoola said.
He added that the current acute shortage of protein in Nigeria and the rapidly increasing demand for livestock products could be solved through the production of grasscutter meat.
“The meat is a delicacy in Africa and Nigeria; the demand for it is greater than the supply, hence the price of the meat is higher than that of other livestock meats,” Popoola said.