Angora rabbit farming yet to develop into an industry in Pakistan: WealthPK

ISLAMABAD: Untraditional farming is trending upwards globally to earn better profits. However, this business trend promising high profitability margins is still at the experimental level in Pakistan and is yet to develop into an industry.
Sharing his views with WealthPK about Angora farming in Pakistan, Principal Scientific Officer (PSO) and head of Livestock Research Station from National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Anjum said, “Angora is a collective term mainly used for few specific types of animals such as rabbit, cat and goat. The most common of these animals is Angora rabbit. It is the oldest type of domestic rabbit bred for its long fibre coat. It originated from Turkey. A long time ago, the animal was also known by the name of Ankara. Its silky soft wool is similar to cashmere in fineness and softness. Scarves, shawls, under blankets, medical garments, etc are prepared from its wool. Angora rabbit has a variety of colours such as brown, golden brown, white to tan, grey, bluish, and black.’’
Dr. Iqbal said Angora rabbit was not well-tolerated to too hot weathers. The best suitable temperature for the animal, he informed, was between 25ᵒ and 30ᵒ centigrade. This stress-free temperature is like a comfort zone for the animal to multiply, grow and produce fine quality wool.
‘’Angora wool is seven times warmer than the sheep wool. It provides 3 to 4 shearing, giving 800 to 900 grams or 1Kgs of wool per annum. There is a variation of wool production at different body parts. It is also well tolerated to allergies of a great type as many other fur providing animals.’’
In 2010, Dr. Iqbal said, Angora breed was officially introduced in Pakistan imported from Nepal. For three years, they were in development stage and a further series of experiments proved its adaptability to the local environment. The NARC now has a good flock of Angora rabbits for further multiplication and distribution to the farmers. Currently, there are more than 50 Angora rabbits in the demo flock. Supplements and good quality fodder are provided to them for better production in the controlled farms.
Dr. Iqbal said farm replication was also done in few other stations in Pakistan e.g., NARC Jaba farm in Mansehra, Angora Rabbit Breeding Special Project in Juglot area of Gilgit Baltistan (GB), AJK, Murree, and Swat. In these farms, not only the breeding flock is provided, but farmers are also trained for Angora rabbit farming, multiplication, value addition and marketing.
Muhammad Iqbal also appreciated the Chinese expertise in Angora rabbit farming as the market leader.
For its farming, Pakistan can get more technical and expert cooperation from China where 90% Angora is bred. This will not only help promote the addition of another farming segment in the country, but will also be a new window of opportunity for start-ups, SMEs and farmers. Pakistan can earn hand some foreign exchange, good revenue and GDP growth by introducing this innovative farming.