Encouraging youth involvement in agriculture by promoting rabbit production for personal and commercial use, the Ministry of Agriculture has provided 15 start-up kits to participants in a Rabbit Production Course, organised by the Adult and Teen Challenge Grenada.
Funded by the United Kingdom Skills for Youth Empowerment Programme (SKYE), the course exposed students to the fundamentals of rabbit rearing and management of the rabbitry; knowledge that they are now tasked with transferring into operating their enterprises.
The Ministry views this programme as one which can improve occupational skills and employability of youth ages 15-30, through high-quality training in this sector.
Citing prospects for economic growth, food security, job creation, and career progression, Acting Chief Agricultural Officer Trevor Thompson said, “We know that rabbit rearing has great potential for Grenada and could give farmers a good livelihood if taken seriously as any livestock project.”
Transferring knowledge and skills, as well as providing technical or material support are key responsibilities of the Ministry, in promoting and encouraging persons involved in agricultural advancement. The participants will therefore receive continued support from the Livestock Department to set up their own rabbitries.
Participant Kevin Lewis, plans to move into commercial production after receiving his starter kit. He said, “I want to make it so far and do as much as I can to rear my rabbits, sell the meat and make a financial profit.”
Jennifer Dowe Guardian of Kennisha James, another student, explained that while her granddaughter has experience with rearing rabbits, the family welcomes the move for her to start her own venture. “Since coming to the class, Kennisha improved a lot. We are very happy for her, and she can go a long way if she continues with the rabbits.”
The Adult and Teen Challenge Grenada is a registered Non-profit Organisation, providing faith-based holistic rehabilitation services to persons encountering life-controlling situations in a safe and caring environment.
The group is currently implementing training in General Agriculture, Beekeeping, and Rabbit Production. The programmes support basic work readiness training for disadvantaged young people, including those with disabilities.
Director of the Grenada National Council for the Disabled (GNCD) Hillary Gabriel, is elated that the Ministry is supporting the students. She said, “We believe in integration and inclusion of all persons, as they too are part and parcel of our gross domestic product of this country. This is a good project that will branch off into job creation for members of our community.”
Director of Adult and Teen Challenge Grenada Jude Hector also emphasised the importance of job creation with this project. “This programme prepares students for entering the world of rabbit rearing. Upon completion, they will receive CVQ Level 2, an important certification. They understood the types of rabbits, types of feed, how to care for them, cage construction, and all of the things that would be useful as they rear rabbits for themselves or commercialise their operation.”
Start-up kits donated to the students include a pair of rabbits, feed, and materials for a cage. It is estimated that within one year of implementation, participants should have their plots up and running with around 400 rabbits and will be able to generate annual revenue between EC $3,200 to $14,000.
Ministry of Agriculture…ensuring food and nutrition security for all.