Cavies are important for income generation in smallholder farming families, especially for women

Research shows that cavy keeping is dominated by women  and youth in Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Domestic cavy are an important mini-livestock in eastern and central Africa

Up to 200,000 households in Cameroon and over 100,000 households in DRC South Kivu province keep domestic cavies.

Domestic cavy are a high quality meat source with high levels of protein and low in cholesterol.

Domestic cavy are widely used as meat in a broad belt of sub-humid Africa, from Senegal in West Africa to Tanzania in East Africa and are heavily relied upon for family nutrition and income generation.

Cavies Portal

Domestic cavy are widely used as meat animal in a broad belt of sub-humid Africa, especially in mid altitude highlands. Little is known about cavy production systems and productivity, genetic diversity, feeding systems, or consumption habits of people. In fact this small animal of South American origin is usually ignored in livestock censuses.

In eastern and central Africa, their utilization appears to be well accepted in various cultures; thus, cavies are fully available for better family nutrition, being also used for income generation, especially by women and children. This project aims at improving and harnessing cavy production to provide alternative and rapid access to food and income in Cameroon and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Cavies News

A new comprehensive book on guinea pigs by Dorothy Yamamoto

The writer and poet Dorothy Yamamoto has endeavoured to compile comprehensive knowledge in a very readable book on guinea pigs. She has covered various aspects from the naming, origin in the Andes and domestication to its introduction to Europe, although mostly with a British lense. Many coloured illustrations make the book a feast for the […]


International Workshop on Cavies taking place in Nairobi, Kenya

About 20 participants from Africa (DRC, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania) and South America (Bolivia, Peru) have gathered at ILRI in Nairobi during 14-16 November 2016 to design a project on cavies for future South-South cooperation, invited by IDRC-Canada. Participants are reporting advances in cavy research and development since the International Symposium in Cameroon took place […]



The BIOCUY project is a research initiative developed between institutions in Ecuador, Spain, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru that intends to study the species Cavia porcellus and takes place within the CONBIAND network. The objectives of this project were: Design a complete set of molecular markers (20 microsatellites). Study the populations of the Cuy of Ecuador; […]