A snail farmer, Ukonu Ukonu, has described snail farming as a lucrative business that Nigerians should invest in, calling on government to improve the value-chain in the sector.
Ukonu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
The farmer disclosed that there was growing demand for snail locally and internationally, noting that snail farming has huge potential to boost Nigeria’s gross domestic product.
“Locally and internationally, there is huge demand for snails not just for consumption but for multiple purposes.
“I am currently building a 4,000 capacity snailery, due to increasing demand.
“There is what we call paddock system. The system involves building and planting the snail feed in a natural environment.
“The paddock system entails mimicking the natural habitat of the snail with little or no human intervention on how the snails produce. The snails just begin multiplying once the environment is right.
“The paddock system is one way the snails feed naturally and they mature quickly to meet the growing snail demand in and outside the country.
“The demand for snails is growing as farmers now set up as much as 16,000 capacity paddock system snailery to meet up demands.”
Ukonu also spoke on other benefits of snails, saying that it was painful that Nigerians had shunned investing in snail business.
“There is so much potential in snail cultivation business that Nigerians should be aware of.
“A lot of people do not know about the health and economic benefits of snails among other and benefits.
“There is a European company that just discovered the process of extracting the snail slime and the snail will live. Before, as soon as the slime is extracted, the snail immediately dies.
“The snail slime is used to produce pharmaceutical, health, beauty and even cosmetic products. I want to partner with the company in the supply of snails and even manpower.
“We want to start an integrated snail, fruit, vegetable and slime extraction centre here in Nigeria, to improving the snail value chain.”
He called on Nigerian farmers to take up snail farming to reap from the huge opportunities in the business.
“In Nigeria we are used to consuming primary agro-products without going further to process them. It is time we improve the snail value-chain.
“From the snail slime, snarling which is the blood, to the mouse, shells and even the faeces, all have potential values.
“The most lucrative aspect of the snail presently is the slime extraction for beauty and pharmaceuticals and for food.
“The snail shells can be used as a source of calcium production and for animal feed. A local farmer recently had an order to extract snail shells to export to the U.S. for fish feed.
“They in turn will send this fish feed to us at exorbitant prices when we have the raw materials but do not make use of it locally.
“We want to organise a programme where we can train local farmers on the numerous inherent values in snails,” he said. (NAN)
– Apr. 26, 2019 @ 14:38 GMT |