Farmers urged to embrace guinea pig farming
Farmers in Lugari Sub County have been urged to increase income from livestock production by venturing into production of indigenous guinea pig popularly known as Kanyuru to the locals.
Speaking to www.westfm.co.ke on his farm at Manyonyi village in Marakusi sub location Mr. Robert Wanda, a livestock farmer, observed that large section of farmers had ignored guinea pig farming without evaluating their cumulative value.
Besides keeping common domestic animals and birds including cattle, sheep and chickens on his farm, Wanda has also extensively ventured into keeping of indigenous guinea pigs, which he says boosted his income from livestock production.
“Livestock farmers in this region are yet to discover the salient economic and nutritional values attached to this type of animals,” said Wanda, adding a well matured guinea pig can fetch up about Kshs.500 or more going by current market prices.
One matured guinea pig can produce between ¾ and 1kilogram of meat, according to the livestock farmer.
“The meat is as sweet as that of the other types of animal,” adds Wanda.
Noting that guinea pig rearing required little input and multiplied quickly, Mr. Wanda advised area residents to embrace the activity for quick income generation saying it was a very lucrative venture that is economical in land use yet so profitable.
Mr. Wanda revealed that a healthy pregnant female guinea pig can sire up to four young ones in a single delivery.
“Female pigs give birth on monthly basis, and the good thing is that if it delivers it takes about one or two hours for it to get on heat and can sire 12 times in a year” revealed Wanda.
“The cost of keeping this type of domestic pets is low since they feed on any type of food available, kitchen leftovers, grass, banana leaves, dried maize stalks, papers name them,” said Wanda.
Mr. Wanda who revealed was attracted into keeping the animals after witnessing his friend from Matunda in the neighboring Likuyani sub county earn Ksh. 10,000 weekly from supplying guinea pigs in the Kitale museum, says he has been able to meet fees for his school going children just by selling the animals.
“There is a ready market for matured guinea pigs, in fact there are several hotels in Eldoret that had requested me to be supplying them with about 50 – 100 guinea pigs weekly but alone I can’t raise that number” says Wanda.