Snail farmers call for more youth participation

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Some heliculturists in Abuja have called for greater involvement of young people in snail farming, to meet local and international demand.

Farmers told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday that heli-farming (snail farming) was a lucrative agricultural business often overlooked by many young entrepreneurs.

reports that heliculture is the act of rearing or rearing snails specifically for meat, slime, eggs, or other economic uses.

Ms. Antonia Ekpe, a snail farmer in Kuje, advised the youths to invest in heli-farming, adding that it is a viable business venture that is being gradually explored in Nigeria and Africa.

According to her, snail farming has an inexhaustible market potential that caters not only for meat production, but also for skin care products and medicines.

Yamtaly Abdulmarie, Director of Dimfarms, said few people create wealth and leave a legacy in snail farming in Nigeria.

He said more investors were needed in the business as it was a lucrative business with huge profits and great market potential.

“In Nigeria, the price of medium sized snail is between N250 and N600.

“Research has shown that the annual demand for snails in Nigeria is around 7.5 million kg per year and countries like the United States import over four million dollars worth of snails per year from all over the world. , including from Nigeria. .

“Imagine the huge benefits to be had from the business, but we only see a small influx of young people into the sector.

“Snail farming is a low-risk activity. Unlike many other farming businesses, snail farming required very little start-up and operating costs.

“It doesn’t take a lot of time and lets you focus on other activities,” he said.

Abdulmarie, however, stressed the need for scientific research and long-term investment in the development of snail farming in the country.

Mr. Victor Onwuchekwa, snail farmer and CEO of Animal Agro Ventures, called on the government to properly educate young people about snail farming and encourage investment across all platforms.

“Young people must have access to government credit facilities with a favorable payment plan, so that beneficiaries can run the business.

“They should be introduced to snail farming through the Business Development Center programs in universities, National Youth Service Scheme programs and skills intervention programs,” he said. declared.

Onwuchekwa said that apart from being a source of protein, snails have other benefits, such as cosmetic and medicinal ingredients.

Snail slime (the drawing liquid) is used in pharmaceutical industries in the treatment of skin diseases such as pimples.

“It also provides vitamin B12, an essential vitamin needed to prevent and control diabetes. The benefits are many,” he said.

Speaking on the challenges of the sector, Mr. Kalu Igbe said that the main challenges of helix farming in Nigeria ranged from lack of access to capital to infrastructure, among others.

“Returns on investment in snail farming are as slow as the snails themselves. It is therefore difficult for snail farmers to access loans from institutions or official establishments.

“However, official institutions need to understand that snail farming was a long-term investment that yielded more than 100% of its inputs.

“The lack of technical knowledge in snail farming is another challenge that threatens the existence of the sector,” he said.

Igbe said more research needed to be done if the sector was to survive another decade and meet international standards,” he said.

Mrs. Justina Ayuba, another farmer, pointed out that the practice of snail farming is very little exploited, as it is a money-making machine with huge possibilities.

He advised young people to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them instead of waiting for government intervention.

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