December 10, 2022

Barangay Irisan is being eyed as a center of commercial rabbit production.
The Irisan Rabbit Farming Association (IRFA), an enterprise group registered with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Labor and Employment, has collaborated with the barangay officials and the office of Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan to encourage residents to participate in commercial rabbit production.
Romnick Kylee Guibong, IRFA president, said they aim to convince around 3,000 residents to join the association.
In a public consultation conducted on March 3, a number of residents expressed interest in joining the IRFA for the project.
Cultivating the rabbit meat industry is seen as a solution to the shortage of pork supply in the country brought about by the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wilson Yabut, IRFA vice president, said that rabbit production may also address protein deficiency as rabbit meat is rich in quality proteins and also contains other nutrients such as zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B, phosphorous, and calcium.
Rabbit farming or cuniculture is an emerging business venture which is considered as a potential source of sustainable income among the residents.
Aside from making a profit with rabbit meat, Yabut said there are other ways to raise money with rabbitry.
Rabbit manure which has four times more nutrients than cow and horse manure and twice as rich as chicken manure can be sold as fertilizers.
Rabbit by-products such as fur, tails, feet, ears, and heads can be turned into souvenir items. Other products made from rabbit wool and skins are scarves, bonnets, coats, wallets, and bags.
Yabut said raising rabbits is not as costly and laborious as raising hogs.
He added rabbits propagate faster than other livestocks. Medium-sized breeds that are ideal for meat production can be bred at six months old with a gestation period of 28 to 31 days.
Should the rabbitry project thrive, it will lower the cost of rabbit meat in the market, Yabut added. Rabbit meat is sold at P450 to P650 per kilogram.
Allan said the rabbitry project will help convince people that rabbits are not only social animals that are kept as adorable pets but they can also be raised for consumption.
Allan earlier authored a resolution urging Baguio residents and homeowners to engage in rabbit farming to raise the production of rabbit meat as an alternative to pork.
The city government of Baguio will partner with the DA-Cordillera for the implementation of livestock raising projects in the city.
A memorandum of agreement will be signed between Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the DA, which will authorize the disbursement of P10 million to the city government in line with the agency’s Livestock Banner Program. The program includes free-range chicken production, poultry farming, swine production, mushroom production, strawberry farming, and rabbitry.
The City Veterinary and Agriculture Office will implement the projects. – Jordan G. Habbiling

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