Factors influencing Grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) Domestication in Rural Communities of Oyo State, Nigeria
This study investigated factors influencing grasscutter domestication in Oyo State. Multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select 110 respondents from 5 rural Local Government Areas of Oyo State. Interview schedule was used for data collection. Data was analysed using chi square, PPMC and multiple regression. Results showed that the majority (84%) of the respondents were male and married with mean age of 44±37.05 years. The mean household size was 5 persons and half (50%) of the respondents had secondary education. The most utilised source of labour was family (61%) and the average years of farming experience was 9.78±3.99 years. An average grasscutter farmer in the study area keeps 20 grasscutters with average monthly income of N36,000±11,045.36. Most (60%) of the farmers prefer to sell their produce directly to consumers while others (30%) did not mind selling at open market. Respondents (61%) had high knowledge about grasscutter production and half (50%) of them had favourable attitude towards grasscutter production. Benefits derived by farmers included increased income, resistance of animals to diseases and cost effectiveness. Result shows that age (β=-0.767), farming experience (β=0.955), income (β=1.102), benefits derived (β=0.273) and respondents’ knowledge (β=0.644) all had significant relationship with domestication of grasscutters in the study area. The study recommends that farmers be further trained on the nutritional and economic benefits of grasscutter in the study area to encourage more farmers to be involved in the enterprise.
Keywords: Grasscutter, domestication, benefits, rural