Burgeoning and Domestication of Grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) in a Post-Ebola Era: A Reassessment of its Prospects and Challenges in Nigeria
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Nigeria has been declared free from Ebola, but Nigerians are left with the aftereffect of the experience. The Post Ebola era is the era where the aftereffect of the disease is felt. This era is characterized by a low demand for bushmeat, although the trend may reduce as time goes on. Unfortunately, this is the era where Grasscutter domestication is tipped to be a tool for poverty and unemployment reduction in the country. Nigeria is rich in biodiversity and its natives relish bushmeat. There is practically no ecological zone in Nigeria where this delicacy is not consumed. Grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) also known as cane rat, is seen throughout sub-Saharan Africa; its flesh is very popular for domestic consumers but it is scarce and highly priced. Researchers and civil society organizations have fronted the advantages of its domestication and multiplication, but all efforts seem to produce little result since low patronage was recorded. Therefore, this review aims to revisit the prospects associated with Grasscutter domestication in a time like this, also identifying its corresponding challenges. The review also presents Grasscutter farming as a tool for sustainable development in Nigeria. The study identifies good meat quality, ethno-medicinal importance, economical advantages and conservational values as the prospects while diseases, reproductive issues, and nutritional constraints were presented among challenges facing Grasscutter farming in Nigeria. The study recommends proper sensitization of people on zoonotic diseases associated with bushmeat consumption, also tipping government to encourage peoples participation in Grasscutter farming through trainings and extension services.
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