Problems and prospects of grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) farming in Ibadan, Nigeria.
The essence of grasscutter domestication was mainly for protein supplementation and income generation, but the low adoption of existing grasscutter farming technology in Nigeria particularly among the unemployed and poor has generated much concern. This study was therefore carried out to evaluate the problems and prospects of grasscutter farming in Ibadan, in southwestern Nigeria. Oral interviews, records review and structured questionnaires were utilised. Questionnaires were served to sixteen respondents. Ibadan senatorial zone was stratified into 3 groups of A, B, and C. A grasscutter farm was selected in each group for breeding and economic assessments. Information obtained were analysed using descriptive statistics like frequency counts, percentages and cumulative costs and revenues. Results revealed that grasscutter farmers are widely distributed in Ibadan metropolis though with higher concentration of 25.0% in Bashorun and Apata respectively, while Iwo road had 18.7%. Majority of the grasscutter farmers were males (93.8%) and retirees (62.5%) who live in their own houses. Farmers, the unemployed and females constitute 25.0%, 12.5%, and 6.2% of the glasscutter farmers respectively. High initial capital (68.8%), stock procurement (56.3%), and time constraint (25.0%) were implicated as major problems facing grasscutter farmers in Ibadan. Most farmers (43.8%) fall between 56 – 60 years of age. Between 2000 and 2005, a total of 179 births and 41 deaths; 190 births and 37 deaths were recorded in farm A and B respectively, while farm C recorded 28 births and 27 mortalities between 2003 and 2005. Farm A, which was started with one colony broke even in year 4 with a profit of N73, 432.00(1$=N126.00), farm B which was started with 2 colonies broken even in year 5 with a profit of N86, 120.00 while farm C started with one colony could not break even within the two years of study.
Keywords: Problems, Prospects, Breeding and Grasscutter farming
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences Vol. 4 (2) 2006: pp. 24-32