A US$1 million rabbit abattoir is set to open in Harare soon, making Zimbabwe the second country after South Africa to process rabbit meat for exports, a top official of the Zimbabwe Commercial Rabbit Breeders Association (ZICORBA) has said.
ZICORBA president, Regis Nyamakanga told Business Times that work on the facility had been completed. It has a capacity to process between two and three tonnes of rabbit meat per day, which will make it probably the biggest rabbit meat processing facility in Africa, according to Nyamakanga.
“One of our corporate members, Raymeg Consultants Private Limited, has successfully completed construction of Zimbabwe’s first ever rabbit meat export abattoir in Harare at a total cost of nearly US$1m. This included purchase of a 2.5 hectare piece of land, construction and the importation of the requisite equipment,” he said.
Zimbabwe, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda are among the top producers of rabbits in Africa.
Studies show that the global rabbit consumption stood 1.5m tonnes in 2017, picking up by 2.9% against the previous year. The total consumption volume increased an average annual rate of +2.8% from 2007 to 2017.
China accounts for the lion’s share of the global rabbit meat consumption at 925 000 tonnes or 62%, followed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at 154 000 tonnes and Egypt at 57 000 tonnes.
Nyamakanga also revealed that leading local supermarket chains and private butcheries had agreed to sell rabbit meat. He said a number of outlets in Harare, Marondera, Chitungwiza, Bindura and Murate were selling the product, which is the healthiest white meat. The local market for rabbit meat is largely untapped.