Meet Sophie Parwon, the agri-enthusiast taking rabbit farming to farmers in Liberia
Rabbit meat is one of today’s finest “white meats” on the global market, and Sophie Parwon is working to bring all the benefits to Liberia.
Last year, she began rearing rabbits in Paynesville on her demonstration farm where she and her staffs are testing new farming technologies before delivering them to farmers.
Sophie who is the founder of Wede Agriculture Development Industry Inc (WADI), took interest in cuniculture after she visited the Department of Agriculture of the Liberia International Christian College(LICC) in Nimba County. There, Sophie found out that rabbit meat offers many health benefits and saw the opportunity to introduce rabbit farming to other farmers across Liberia.
“Rabbit meat is a white-meat. It is lower in fat than any other meat. I found out that rabbit meat is rich in quality of protein and it is a good source of vitamin, minerals and other trace elements. I thought doing rabbit farming as a business would be a good business for our farmers. So, I convinced myself to try it before reaching out to other farmers with the idea.” says Sophie.
The discovery launched Sophie into her next venture, which was the inclusion of rabbit farming to Wade Agriculture Development Industry’s programs.
She purchased a buck (male rabbit) and two does (female rabbit) and took them to her demonstration farm in Paynesville where she began to examine the processes involved in rabbit farming.
“We have learned new things about rabbit farming. Rabbits mature faster, their feed is locally sourced. A doe gestation period is 31days and we are getting seven to eight kittens from a doe. Also, we use their urine as fertilizer for our crops,” says Sophie.
Sophie, who now has 17 rabbits on her demonstration farm, is looking forward to the future of rabbit farming in Liberia. She has begun recruiting farmers as part of her plan to scale-up rabbit farming across the country.
“People want to buy our rabbits, and this shows that there is a growing market for rabbit meat, but trading rabbits is not our focus now,” Sophie disclosed. “What is our focus now is recruiting farmers and developing out-growers across the country. We want to sensitize farmers about the health and economic benefits of rabbit farming.”