Grasscutters are really quite cute, as rodents go, and they are a very popular type of bushmeat in West Africa. “Bushmeat” may refer to just about any animal found while hunting, including monkeys.
Bush hunting is being discouraged as animal populations are depleted. Farming grasscutters offers an environmentally sound and lucrative alternative.
Teye Ocansey is pushing grass through the wire front of one of a stack of cages to the hungry, twitching animal inside.
The cages contain grasscutters – bush animals which are such a delicacy in Ghana that they are now being farmed to meet demand.
Mr Ocansey started to farm grasscutters as a hobby 10 years ago. Since then, he has seen his business grow to generate a healthy profit from the 260 grasscutters he keeps in a small shed in the Accra suburb of Awoshie.
“It is a delicacy meat and people like it more than other meats,” says Mr Ocansey, a member of a grasscutter farmers’ co-operative.
“The cholesterol is very low. There is no religious barrier. Everybody likes grasscutter, the Muslims don’t like pork but they like grasscutter.”
The grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) is a rodent of the suborder Hystricomorpha. The average adult weight is 3kg for females and 4.5kg for males. It is the second largest African rodent after the porcupine.
Dying to know more about these furry critters?
Grasscutter-What is it?