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Business Daily : October 15th 2013
18 BUSINESS DAILY | Tuesday October 15, 2013 BY MOSES ODHIAMBO Moses Mutua, the CEO of the agribusi- ness firm Rabbit Republic, has set him- self and his company high performance targets. They are involved in a business that is yet to quite take off locally with many farmers abandoning rabbit farm- ing for lack of a reliable market for their products. But Mr Mutua has set his eyes be- yond the local challenges to the export market. He says he has analysed the Kenyan rabbit industry and concluded that with value addition local rabbit farmers can boost their earnings significantly. Rabbit Republic is seeking to record the animals population in the country and work with counties to enable farm- ers form groups to meet required inter- national supply quantities. Mr Mutua says that farmers would be attached to model farms established in each county to meet the minimum requirement of at least 100 four-kilo- grammes rabbits per farm. “Farmers with less than 100 rabbits will be linked to model farms in their respective counties; this will help in regulation of required weight (above three kilos after slaughter) among other standards of quality,” he said. He is already working with rabbit farmers in Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa, Muranga, and Kinangop. Data from the Export Promotion Council (EPC) shows that the demand for rabbit meat has not been fulfilled globally. Mr Mutua also notes that China which repackages rabbit meat for sale to other countries recorded re- duced tonnage in the past six months due to low supplies. “Farmers claiming that there is no market for rabbits do not know that there is a shortage both in the local and international markets. Markets in China, France, Germany, Australia, Denmark and Spain are underserved; even the export council threshold re- quiring over 400,000 metric tonne per year to France has not been exhausted,” he said. Mr Mutua also says that East Africa alone is a big market that remains un- derserved. “Kenya, Rwanda and Congo have grown a bigger appetite for rabbit meat, all we need to do is to put value addition strategies like making them into sausages, kebabs and pies,” said Mr Mutua. Rabbit Republic’s managing direc- tor Yash Goel said Kenya has not even reached the minimum daily quantity of five tonnes required for export. “As an agribusiness entity, Rabbit Republic is in the process of establish- ing an automated slaughterhouse that can handle 1,000 rabbits per hour. These are opportunities for established and upcoming farmers in Kenya,” says Mr Goel. Mr Goel says farmers should not worry about processing of the meat, saying that the organisation plans to establish rabbit villages in every coun- ty where slaughtering and packaging would be done. “We have established a village in Nairobi at Ruai,other villages with a capacity of holding over 30,000 rabbits at once are being set up in the 47 coun- ties in Kenya,” he says. The organisation will also train and offer extension services to farmers on site to assist in rabbit disease manage- ment, hatch construction, breeding and feeding at a small fee. Many farmers had turned to rabbit keeping but lack of markets has forced others to abandon it. Ms Mary Mburu, a farmer, says that she was forced to abandon rearing rab- bits after she was unable to sell of her stock of 80 animals. She raises issues with rogue suppliers who sell breeder stock that fails to reach the required height and weight. “We were forced to give away the rabbits to our neighbours,” said Ms Mburu. email@example.com Ag≥ibusiness fi≥m eyes expo≥t ma≥ket fo≥ ≥abbit meat ENTERPRISE PEOPLE | IDEAS | NEWS FARMING Mr Mutua aims to help farmers supply meat to European markets Guests are treated to rabbit meat and other meals at Impala Sanctuary in Kisumu. Below: Moses Mutua, the CEO of Rabbit Republic. JACOB OWITI BY SIMON CIURI Enablis East Africa, an organi- sation that works with entre- preneurs in Africa has received funding of $50,000 from Aspen Network of Development En- trepreneurs through its Capac- ity Development Fund that will be used to finance women-run businesses in counties. The donor is a global or- ganisation whose grant facility seeks to increase productivity and efficiency while providing both financial support and lit- eracy to small and medium enterprises. The fund seeks to cover all the 47 counties and at the same time create county jobs and in- novation facilities. Through the plan, Enablis will be responsible for set- ting up five virtual offices in the counties in partnership with young business support units that will act as a plat- form for creating networks in counties similar to that of the United States Government’s Small Business Administra- tion model. Fredrick Kariuki, the Enab- lis East Africa regional director, said his organisation will also supply back-office support to the network. The project seeks to provide a level-playing field for women through capacity building and financial insights as a guideline that will offer them knowledge to get government tenders. ‘‘In line with the new gov- ernance structure, county gov- ernments have been given the primary responsibility for en- terprise development. Besides, the government has directed 30 per cent of all contracts be reserved for women and youth. Enablis is supporting county governments to establish and manage entrepreneurship de- velopment facilities funded an- nually by their budgets and na- tional employment promotion funds,’’ Mr Kariuki said. Citing research findings, Mr Kariuki said that if African countries had closed the gender gap in schooling between 1960 and 1992 as quickly as East Asia did, this would have produced close to a doubling of per capita income growth in the region. This year’s fund is also fund- ing proposals from women seeking government tenders in the counties. The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (Ande) is a global network of organisations that propel entre- preneurship in upcoming coun- tries while Enablis works with entrepreneurs in South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, and Argentina with a population of 1,500 en- trepreneur members Enablis has four hubs in Nairobi, Kisumu, Dares Sa- laam and Kigali and offer both financial literacy and business mentorships. Enablis secu≥es Sh4 million fo≥ women ent≥ep≥eneu≥s Gender gap If African countries had closed the gender gap like Asia did, it would have produced close to a doubling of per capita income growth in the region. INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION IN EAST AFRICA The demand for improved productivity and efficiency in East Africa has led to automation in different industries. The EastAfrican will on 19th October publish a feature focusing on the role of Industrial Automation in increasing productivity and efficiency in East Africa. Among the topics to be highlighted will be: • Industrial automation design solutions. • Elevators/escalators installation and maintenance. • CCTV security systems and lighting. To advertise call Mercy on (+254) 0734 960644 or email mbarasa @ke.nationmedia.com.
October 14th 2013
January 22nd 2014