Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

Open Access

Sylvester et al

Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 4 (8), pp. 346-353, September 2014.

 ISSN: 2276-7770 © 2011 Greener Journals

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 070814296


Socio-economic Determinants of Commercialization of Smallholder Rabbit Production in Mt Darwin District of Zimbabwe


Deliwe Sylvester1, Clayton Mashapa2*, Lighton Dube3 and

May Mrema1


1Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Africa University, P. O. Box 1320, Mutare, Zimbabwe.

2Caritas International, Zimbabwe, Roman Catholic Diocese of Mutare, Private Bag 877, Mutare, Zimbabwe.

3Faculty of Commerce and Law, Zimbabwe Open University, National Office, P. O Box MP 111, 

Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe.

*Corresponding Author’s Email: clayiemashapa @yahoo


A study was conducted to analyze the socio-economic factors influencing commercialization of rabbit production in communal areas of Mt Darwin district of Zimbabwe. A study sample of 85 smallholder rabbit farmers was randomly selected across the study area. Data were collected by means of questionnaires and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results revealed that 81.2% of respondents had attained some form of education and 63.5% had more than 6 years of rabbit farming experience. It was also observed that access to agricultural extension services, rabbit producer price, agricultural education and experience in rabbit keeping significantly (P < 0.05) influenced commercialization of rabbit farming by the farmers. It was concluded that improved access to agricultural extension services by a farmer, good rabbit producer prices, level of agricultural training attained by a farmer and years of rabbit farming experience of a farmer ease farmer’s ability to adopt commercial rabbit production and hence a higher production level. It was recommended that Zimbabwe national government create an enabling environment that promotes adequate technology transfer to farmers. Also, an   investment in agro-industries that deal with the value chain components of rabbitory could be embarked upon by the government in order to improve on value-addition by farmers which would in-turn lead to more favourable prices.

Keywords: commercialization, rabbitry, smallholder, farmer, socio-economic, analysis.


Ajala MK and Balogun JK (2004). Economics of rabbit production in Zaria. Kaduna State. Tropical Journal of Animal Science, 7(1), pp. 1-10.

Appiah P, Nimoh F, Tham-Agyekum EK and Tracoh LY (2011). Rabbit technologies: Adoption studies in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 6 (11), pp. 2539-2544.

Bernet T, Estrada P, Quiroz S and Swinton R (2001). Tailoring agricultural extension to different production contexts. Agricultural Systems, 69 (3), pp. 183-198.

Cheeke PR (1986). Rabbit feeding and nutrition. Academic Press, Orlando, Florida.

Chimedza P and Kamusewo T (2010). Livestock Working Group. Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation Development, Harare, Zimbabwe.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) (1997). The Rabbit Husbandry. Health and Production and format: Contents

Frimpong J (2009). A guide to domestic rabbit breeding in Ghana, The farmer’s husbandry manual, Nungua Livestock Breeding Station.

Legesse D (1992). Analysis of factors influencing adoption and the impact of wheat and maize technologies in ArsiNegele, Ethiopia. An MSc Thesis presented to the School of Alemaya University.

Lukefahr SD (1999). Small-scale rabbit meat production in the Western hemisphere: Back to basics? World Rabbit Science, 7 (2), pp. 87-94.

Lukefahr SD (2008). Role of organic rabbit farming for poverty alleviation.Department of animal and wildlife sciences, MSc Thesis. 228, Texas A and M University, Kingsville, TX, USA, MEKARN MSc 2008-10; Mini-projects, pp. 228.

Lukefahr SD (2004). Sustainable and alternative systems of rabbit production. In proceedings of the 8th World Rabbit Congress Report, Puebla, Mexico, pp. 1452-1468 .

Lukefahr SD and Cheeke PR (1990). Rabbit project development strategies in subsistence farming systems. World Animal Review, 68, pp. 60-70.

Maliyanaarachchi RP and Bandara RMAS (2003). Commercialization of agriculture and role of agricultural extension. Sabaragamuwa University. Behlohuloya Journal, 6(1), pp. 13-22.

Mamatta S (1979). Sociological aspects of introducing rabbits into farm practices.Paper in the workshop on rabbit husbandry in Africa.Morogoro. Tanzania. December 16-21. Stockholm. IFS.

Mashapa C, Mudyazvivi E, Mhuriro-Mashapa P, Matenda T, Mufunda W, Dube L, Zisadza-Gandiwa P, Mashayamombe B, Gandiwa E and Muboko N (2014). Assessment of market potential for horticultural produce for smallholder farmers around Mutare City, eastern Zimbabwe. Greener Journal of Social Sciences, 4 (3), pp. 085-093.

Moyo S, O’Keefe P and Sill M (1993). The Southern African Environment. Profiles of the SADC Countries, London: Earthscan Publications.

Mulugeta M (2000). Technology development and transfer in Ethiopian agriculture: An Empirical evidence. Proceedings of the Inaugural and first Annual conference of the Agricultural Economics Society of Ethiopia. pp 127.

Owen JE (1976). Rabbit production tropical developing countries: A review. Tropical Science 18, pp. 203-210.

Smith TW (2005). Commercial rabbit production.Mississippi State University Press.

Son KY (2008). An assessment of the potential of rabbit production in the household economy in Northern Vietnam.A case study of NinhPhuc and Yen Binh communes. National Goat and Rabbit Research Centre.

Teklewold H, Dadi L, Yami A and Dana N (2006). Determinants of adoption of poultry technology: a double-hurdle approach. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 18 Article # 40, Retrieved July 21, 2008, from http://www.Irrd18/3tek118040.htm

Terressa A (1997). Factors Influencing adoption and intensity of use of fertilizer: the case of Lume district. Central Ethiopia. An MSc Thesis presented to the School of Graduate Studies of Alemaya University.

Wolday A (1999). Improved seed marketing and adoption in Ethiopia.Journal. Ethiopian Agricultural Economics, 3, pp. 41-80.

Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency, Population Census (2013). Census 2012: Zimbabwe Main Report. Harare, Zimbabwe: ZimStats.