Daisy Moleko is one of the few female commercial rabbit farmers in South Africa. This is not a surprise, considering that this is a new frontier of livestock farming in the country.
“Rabbit farming is a niche market and not everybody is in rabbit farming” she says.
In real terms, this was true. According to a study conducted by the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development (DARLLD), about 80% of South Africa’s rabbit meat was destined for export markets, while domestically, only 20% was consumed.
Favourable exports markets for South Africa’s rabbit meat were Lesotho, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
Daisy’s journey into commercial rabbit farming took her more than 18 years, after intense research to understand the market. Today, her role in the rabbit farming is undeniable.
“I feel like a player and referee in this industry and I am proud to say to date I have trained more than 500 farmers in rabbit farming and to me, it is a success and I have 20 farmers that form part of our suppliers in rabbit farming” she proudly added.
Currently, the supply value chain in rabbit farming is still not organised as efforts to establish an association are underway. The potential of this market was promising given that more restaurants were incorporating diverse meat range into their menu’s.
One important facet of rabbit meat was its high nutritional value including concentration of protein and has a low-calorie content per serving. This was partly the reason Daisy ventured into this enterprise ‘you eat what you see’ she says.
Furthermore, rabbit meat had less amounts of cholesterol, fat and sodium as compared to other meat types.
However, this unknown market had its own disadvantages. Because of little available research and data of the industry in South Africa, “accessing land and finance were the main challenges” charged Daisy.
For more on rabbit farming and venturing into the business, you can visit www.mpbizrabbitry.co.za