JIS News

A rabbit rearing project, funded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), at a cost of some $600,000 is to be introduced at the Rose Hall 4-H Training Centre in Linstead, St. Catherine.
Parish Development Officer for the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Collin Woodham told JIS News that work has started on the construction of hutches for the project, which would be implemented in three segments – the building of the hutches, the training of clubbites, and research in growing organic fodder for the rabbits.
He informed that the Jamaica Organic Agriculture Movement (JOAM), an agency within the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, has also provided $250,000 towards finding locally grown foods with the right nutrients for the rabbits. He noted that a decision was taken some three years ago to grow crops organically at the centre, with assistance from the JOAM.
According to Mr. Woodham, the centre would initially begin rearing some 23 does and three bucks.
“We hope that within the next six months or so, this project will be up in terms of providing meat. But at the moment we are working on the construction and we look forward to the completion of that in another three to four weeks,” he said.
Additionally, Mr. Woodham said the centre would provide training in rabbit production and business management for 10 clubbites, to start income generating projects. He said that each clubbite would receive two does and a buck as well as a hutch. Later, he said, the project would be expanded to involve more clubbites.
“We see this as a viable venture and something for our young people to do. It gives them an opportunity to earn an income and to learn valuable lessons for life,” he added. Mr. Woodham pointed out that the 4-H Movement intends to introduce similar projects to centres islandwide. “Once we are up and running and our project is successful, then we want to transfer that to other centres, so they too could benefit from the knowledge and exposure,” he said.
The Development Officer said that in the past the centre had a rabbit project but this was destroyed by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988.

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