The average person in Nigeria consumes almost 150 pounds of red meat and poultry each year. Some health authorities have expressed concern over the consumption of so much red meat. Research has shown that a substance called cholesterol in the fat of red meat can cause heart problems. Most health experts also agree that eating of white meat is necessary for a healthy diet.
Foods from animals supply about 88 per cent of the vitamin B12 in our diets because this nutrient is very difficult to obtain from plant sources. In addition, meat and animal products provide 67 per cent of the riboflavin, 65 per cent of the protein and phosphorus, 57 per cent of the vitamin B6, 48 per cent of the fat, 43 per cent of the niacin, 42 per cent of the vitamin A, 37 per cent of the iron, 36 per cent of the thiamin, and 35 per cent of the magnesium in our diets. Problems with cholesterol can be avoided by switching from red meat to white meat such as grasscutter, snail, rabbit, etc.
Grasscutter produces white meat that is very similar in taste and texture to seafood depending on the age at which they are slaughtered. It is high in protein yet low in fat. A recent research compared the nutritive value of chicken and beef with that of grasscutter meat. The study indicates quite clearly that grasscutter meat is far better from the health point of view as it contains far less fat, no chemical and particularly less cholesterol, than other types of meat. The demand for grasscutter meat and other white meat in the local and international markets has been growing. The latest statistics show that current grasscutter meat production is not enough to meet the increasing demand in Nigeria. It is expected that during the next decade, grasscutter meat may gradually replace traditional types of meat. It is currently marketed in a variety of ways, including smoked, grilled, roasted, dried and sun-dried, in addition to fresh meat.
The increasing trend towards a healthy lifestyle, led to a continued increase in demand for domesticated grasscutter meat; and it is envisaged that this trend will continue.
Why the grasscutter meat craze hit Nigeria
When it comes to the combination of great taste and healthiness, grasscutter is truly one of the most superior meat in existence. It may be unusual for some to think about one of the planet’s biggest rodents in this manner, but the taste of grasscutter is superior. The meat is even lower in calories and fat than skinless chicken and turkey, while remaining high in protein. It is also the leading recommended source of protein from a wide variety of health organisations. What’s more, due to the grasscutter’s ideal pH balance, the meat does not attract harmful bacteria like E.coli or salmonella.
Recently, a number of other livestock producers in the country have switched to raising grasscutters commercially because of the higher and faster financial returns of grasscutter projects. When compared with traditional livestock, grasscutters rate very highly.
In addition, the female grasscutter can produce up to 14 babies in a year and continue this reproduction for up to four years. With the use of modern husbandry techniques and correct management, the overall production of one female grasscutter during her “economic life” can reach up to 56 babies. This production ability makes grasscutter farming an extremely viable and highly economical proposition for developing countries.
It is not difficult to raise grasscutters successfully. As with traditional farm animals, the critical time is the first period of the grasscutter’s life. Grasscutter babies require good care, a balanced diet containing all essential nutrients in optimal quantities, and the right temperature must be maintained during growing up to the age of four months. These skills are readily taught to participants at our nationwide seminars.
In the last few years, grasscutter farming has progressed dramatically and the grasscutter industry has achieved some economic stability. Jovana Farms has in fact provided an answer to all the issues concerning grasscutter farming over the years. The majority of our trainees started small, but due to our continued supervision they performed well, Mr. Adi began with breeding stock of ten families (i.e. 10 males and 40 females grasscutters) but with our assistance in the form of training and small loan, today he can boast of a stock in excess of 946 animals. Now, people from all over the country come to buy breeding stock from us to start their own grasscutter farms.
If you are interested in starting breeding operation of grasscutter in your locality or looking at significantly upgrading the quality of your flocks in terms of fertility, hardiness, adaptability and meat carrying capacity, we can help you get the right grasscutters on your farm.