Providing a sustainable income with rabbits in Vietnam
In the northern province of Phu Tho, Vietnam, a British international aid organization called Plan has begun working with local farmers to help them find a sustainable income as well as put food on their table – with meat rabbits. Rabbits are ideal livestock for farmers in poor countries because they grow rapidly, are not expensive to feed and can reproduce often. It is also easy to learn how to care for meat rabbits and requires no special skills.
One local farmer, Nguyen Dinh Hoi, explains how the new system is working for him:
“My family consists of my wife and four children; we earn a living mainly by raising chickens and pigs. However, we did not have enough money to raise many of them. We also do not know how to prevent disease or how to take care of these animals so that they can grow fast. Some months ago, I was selected to take part in the rabbit breeding model. The knowledge that I have gained from the meetings I share with my family as we all take care of the rabbits. So far, we have done well and been able to increase our family income.”
Forty households currently participate in the program which has been going on since February 2009. Each family in the program was given five rabbits of each sex and money for cages and vaccinations. Training courses have also been conducted to teach families about feeding and caring for the rabbits.
So far each household has earned an extra 2,000,000 Vietnam Dong ($112 or €79). In a place where most families live on about $1.50 (€1) a day, that’s a considerable amount of money in just a few months time. The extra income will be used to keep food on the families’ tables and send their children to school.