By Lucy Osuizigbo
Awka, Jan. 8, 2020 The Grasscutter Farmers Association of Nigeria (GRAFAN) has urged the Federal Government to establish a Domestication and Research Centre for the animal to create employment for unemployed youths.
Its President, Mr Chinedu Eluwa, made the plea in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Awka.
Eluwa said that establishment of such centre would provide huge support to grasscutter farming in the country.
According to him, such support will boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The association president said that it would also reduce the cost of setting up grasscutter farms, by encouraging more people, especially youths to go into the venture.
“About 40 to 50 per cent of the market share in grasscutter farming comes from importation.
“Most times, we do not have enough breeding stock of grasscutters to supply to Nigerian consumers or intending grasscutter farmers.
“So, sometimes, we extend our activities to countries like Togo, Cotonou, Ghana and other sister nations to acquire grasscutters.
“This is a huge cost and challenge; but, if government can establish a Grasscutter Domestication and Research Centre that can house a lot of colonies, that will be great.
“For instance, the centre can house a thousand colony, which is about five thousand animals- one thousand males and four thousand females.
“This will crash the price of breeding stock of grasscutters in the country,” the association president said.
Eluwa said the centre would offer training and empowerment to many Nigerians, especially the unemployed youths.
“As individual grasscutter farmer, I was able to turnover between N5 million and N13 million in three years; imagine where no fewer than 100 youths do same.
“Economic productivity will increase; and it will contribute meaningfully to the nation’s GDP through processing and selling of grasscutter meat, within and outside the country.
“Also, there will be enough quality breed of grasscutters for our Nigerian consumers and the export markets,” Eluwa said.
Edited by: Folorunso Poroye/Olagoke Olatoyehttps://nnn.ng/establish-grasscutter-domestication-research-centre-farmers-urge-fg/