Hobby breeding turns thriving rabbit meat business for agropreneur

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

WHEN young agropreneur Nabihah Abidin first ventured into business, she thought of a niche that is both lucrative and something she is passionate about.

Today Nabihah, 30, is known for her frozen rabbit meat products which she began innovating in 2018.

It all started with her hobby of keeping rabbits in 2016. When the animal began breeding, she thought of doing something new besides generating some income.

“I started to keep rabbits with a total cost of RM50,000 in Kampung Lubuk Kasau, Bemban Melaka, which is temporarily closed now for upgrade works.

“Currently, we breed rabbits on a one-acre land in Kampung Cempedak, Kuang, Selangor and we have over 300 adult females from four breeds namely the New Zealand White, California, Mini Rex and Netherland Dwarf,” she told Bernama recently.

Nabihah said the rabbits could be slaughtered after 35 days from weaning, up until 100 days of age.

She said about 200 kg rabbit meat would be processed every month in her factory at the Melaka Halal Hub here, to produce a variety of frozen products such as marinated meat, meatballs, satay, serunding and others.

“Some people may find the taste a bit weird but those who are accustomed to it, are able to differentiate between rabbit and chicken meat because the rabbit meat is quite chewy. However, if you haven’t tried it, you won’t really know the difference,” she said.

Currently, her products are marketed around the peninsular and Nabihah has also taken the initiative to promote ready-to-eat food at fairs and Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) programmes, besides selling them online.

“The demand had increased during the Movement Control Order period, maybe because people wanted to try new food while staying at home.

“Thank God, response has been encouraging and the products are getting more attention from the public,” said Nabihah, who hails from Kuala Lumpur.

To get her business going, Nabihah received food processing equipment assistance from the state Veterinary Services Department apart from financing assistance from Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) and the Prihatin Special Grant.

Nabihah is also proud and happy because her hard work in farming had paid off when her name was listed in the 10 Selangor Agro Icons.

She said the recognition serves as a motivation for her to work harder in expanding her business in the future.