IF YOU WANT TO START A GRASSCUTTER FARM ANYTIME SOON, PLEASE READ THIS:
IF YOU WANT TO START A GRASSCUTTER FARM ANYTIME SOON, PLEASE READ THIS:
It all started in 2009 while I was engaging in my National youth service at Kind comprehensive Secondary School Wasimi, Boloronduro, Ondo-East Local Government Area, I asked a fellow Corp member who was serving at Afun a settlement not far from Wasimi what Agro business I could use to augment my NYSC ‘allawi.’
As a corp member then, I was earning N9,775 monthly plus an additional N4,000 being paid by the principal of my place of primary assignment.
The fellow Corp member Corper Ibrahim graduated from the department of Agro-Economics and was serving at a farm over there at Afun. He suggested for me to take a trip to Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria Ibadan (FRIN) and see what might interest me.
To this I agreed!
I had started practicing my love for farming from my Junior Secondary school days when I bought a male and a pregnant female Guinea pig and raised them to over 80 animals. At a time, my father of blessed memory told me we would have to move them to village at Awo-omamma where they could have more space and food. We sited their cages at the edge of the corridor that led to his room. They had grown to colonize his corridor.
We moved them to the village and gave them a room in my fathers uncompleted building at that time leaving them to my aunty to cater for.
Well, that didn’t go well as we started loosing them both to sudden deaths and predators. The others had to be sold and consumed.
I went one step further to helping my older brother take care of his broilers when I was in Junior Secondary 3 class before the famous Mbadiniju Strike and ended up being shipped to Logos International College Awo-omamma Imo state to complete my JSS3 Class.
The Love for farming never left me as few days after my discussion with Corper Ibrahim I took a trip to FRIN, a trip that would impact the next 10years of my life.
Arriving at FRIN, I started my tour…
First I went to the Mushroom department. Getting there I asked for the office of the director and they ushered me in Professor Ekpo’s office. I greeted her and she gestured for me to sit. After stating my mission she was amazed…She said this is the first time a corp member would work into her office expressing interest to learn and practice Agro-business.
She called her Secretary and told her to take me to their Demo Farm and give me a crash course on Mushroom production. She told me that ordinarily, this lesson was supposed to cost me N75,000 but because I am a corp member and fully kitted, everything would be for free.
When we were done from there, she gave some manuals on Mushroom production, encouraged my resolve and I moved along.
My next stop would be the Grasscutter Farming department… Now, prior to that, I was yet to see a LIVE Grasscutter.
I walked into the department and was ushered into the office who wasn’t all that friendly. He wanted me to pay for the tour of the Grasscutter Farm, but after considering the fact that I was a corp member and I was fully kitted, He asked his secretary to give me a tour a make it snappy.
The moment the door opened, I saw concrete cages on the floor. We stepped in and she shut the door. She moved to one of the cages, opened the lid on one side of the 2 rooms and with the like that of Hussein bolt when he is heading to break another of his records in 100m race, a huge male Grasscutter darted through the hole dividing the 2 rooms into the next room.
WOW! I exclaimed. The lady blocked the whole and opened the lid of the other room. It was mind blowing seeing the famous NCHI as we call it in Igbo in its full glory.
This is it I said in my mind.
Once we were done from there I moved to the snail section but by then I was fully sold into Grasscutter farming. I figured that this area of animal husbandry is not as rampant or popular as the poultry, catfish and piggery industry, and with that I decided to carve my own NICHE.
I returned to my base in Ondo and began my research on how to start and run a profitable Grasscutter Farm knowing that this wouldn’t be a youth service for me.
In 2011, I travelled to Ogun state, paid N24,000 and was trained by the Thy Consults on Grasscutter Farming and Snail Production. I returned and continued my studies on this amazing rodent who though being an Agricultural pest has been domesticated for profit and meat.
On the 20th of March 2012, I started what would come to be known today as The Portable Farm with 1 male and 4 female Grasscutters.
Fast forward 8 years…
Not only have I been a source of inspiration to a lot of Intending Grasscutter Farmers round the world, I have worked up to become the National President Grasscutter Farmers Association of Nigeria (GRAFAN). I have also gone ahead to prove that Grasscutter Farming is indeed profitable by generating over N30,000,000 sales in 3years.
Now, Why did I share my story with you?
For one I believe that you can start from where you are, with what you have, to where you want to be using Grasscutter Farming.
Grasscutter farming in Nigeria and Africa at large has not been fully exploited, I say this because I have spent a good number of years engaging and studying this Industry. That is why they call me Eze-Nchi.
I want to tell you that your intention to start a Grasscutter Farm is awesome & commendable. A Grasscutter Farming Business is a Money Making Machine when properly positioned. Imagine selling a colony of 5 rodents for N79,000?
Imagine getting paid in 5 or 6 figures to provide a business plan for setting up a Grasscutter Farm. This industry is yet to be ‘wounded’ according to one of my mentors.
But as rewarding as this industry can be if you fail to do your homework well you will burn your fingers and that wouldn’t be nice.
In this book I will be taking you through the 3 things you must know to become a profitable Grasscutter Farmer
First consider the CHECKLIST below. The CHECKLIST is a list of things you need to consider before starting your own Grasscutter Farming Business. The Checklist will help set your mind for the venture.
GRASSCUTTER FARMING BEGINNERS CHECKLIST
Let’s look at them one after the other….
Why do you want to start a Grasscutter farming business instead of a poultry business or a Catfish business? Why not piggery? Why not Mushroom? Have you considered the cost benefit analysis of using the available resources, time, fund etc to start a Grasscutter farming business instead of the other aforementioned livestock businesses?
Do you plan to start a 10 colony farm, 20 colony, 50, 100? Do you plan to supply only weaners, ready to mate or table size? Or do you plan to supply all the categories? Do you plan to engage in contract farming or do you plan to be a seasonal producer? Define your objective before you start.
Do you have enough space to house the number of colonies you intend to have? Grasscutter cages & pens must be quiet, sturdy and well ventilated and also have be able to protect them from direct sunlight, wind, rain & predators. Do you have enough access to Forage & Agro by-products for feeding your animals or will you outsource feeding the animals to a farm hand?
Who will take care of the animals? Do you have enough time for book keeping? Ensure you take into account the amount of time needed to manage the farm and who will do that. Not giving enough time to your animals is a panacea for disaster.
How much do you need to finance your Grasscutter Farm? How will you finance your Grasscutter Farming business setup? Your personal savings? Grants? Loans? Family and friends? Share allocation? It is important that you know how you are going to finance your Grasscutter Farming business or it will remain in the pipeline.
I hope this helps you!
Culled from the book “Grasscutter Farming Secrets.”