Rabbit farming is a form of low input agriculture that has potential to address food security and poverty in East Africa and beyond. For low input agriculture, farmers utilize local and affordable farm resources making it accessible across income levels. Understanding barriers and facilitators to rabbit farming could increase effectiveness of this form of low input agriculture in communities struggling with low food security and poverty, particularly for indigenous, smallholder farms. News media is an available source of data about community perceptions and practices on issues such as rabbit farming, food security, and poverty. For this qualitative study, researchers applied a priori and open coding text analysis to examine recurring themes in news media representations regarding perceptions of rabbit farming in East Africa. Results reveal that community members view rabbit farming as a community strategy that promotes better nutrition and food security while reducing poverty. Important themes included how gender and other cultural norms shaped efforts, and the role of sustainability and climate change on farming practices. Further, the easy cultivation of rabbits, funding, and protective policy and support of indigenous smallholder farms were perceived as facilitators for rabbit farming. Finally, investment in infrastructure for market, production, and knowledge-transfer of best production and business practices were considered critical to success for rabbit farmers throughout East Africa.
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
Cambridge University Press
Johnson, K. E., Hayes, J., Davidson, P., Tinago, C. B., & Anguyo, G. (2024). 'Never cry for food': food security, poverty, and recurring themes in news media regarding rabbit farming in East Africa. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 39(e2), 1-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1742170523000480