ABUJA- The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) said it has harvested over 25,000 litres of urine drawn from over 5,000 rabbits for the production of organic fertilizer.
Prince Paul Ikonne, Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of NALDA, revealed this at the weekend in Owerri, Imo State, during the unveiling of Rabbit Waste Organic Fertilizer.
Ikonne explained that NALDA is expected to harvest about 2,142,000 litres of urine in a year.
He noted that rabbit rearing programme was kicked-off about three months ago after President Muhammadu Buhari had flagged off National Young Farmers Scheme (NYFS) in November 2020.
He said the pilot States for the implementation of the programme include Imo, Abia, Oyo and Cross Rivers.
Commenting on the initiative, Ikonne said, “As of today, NALDA has been able to harvest over 25,000 litres of urine from over 5,000 rabbits which will serve as organic fertilizer to support NALDA young farmers in their various farms at zero cost.
“All the NALDA farmers who submitted rabbit urine to various collection centres are being paid to encourage them on the viability of rabbit farm business.”
Quoting result analysis from the laboratory, Ikonne said the rabbit urine contains nitrogen 13.3 g/l; chloride (Cl-): 5.87 g/l; sodium (Na+): 3.17 g/l;
potassium (k+): 1.750 g/l; inorganic sulphur 0.163 g/l; phosphate (P): 0.95 g/l; ph: 5:6
He pointed out that the programme was designed to engage 17,000 young Nigerians into rabbit rearing, adding that as a result of the implementation of the first pilot phase, NALDA has generated deep insight around the dynamics of rabbit farming.
The Executive Secretary of NALDA announced that rabbit rearing programme would be extended to other States as well as increase the number of participants in the existing States.
He added that the rabbits were subsequently distributed to those who indicated interest in the project, adding that harvest of urine from rabbits is source of organic fertiliser to rice and maize farming.
Ikonne described agro-business as a lucrative venture that requires patience, adding that organic fertilizer would be distributed to farmers alongside spraying machines to increase their yields.
Also speaking, Mr. Amanze Ofor, Imo State Executive Coordinator NALDA, said 180 youths are currently participating in the programme in the State, noting that the beneficiaries get paid immediately they turn in urine harvested from the rabbits.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to newsmen expressed joy over earning their first income in the business through what would have been described as waste.
However, they decried the challenges they encounter in accessing food and drugs for the rabbits.