A snail breeder, Mr Ukonu Ukonu, has urged the Federal Government to establish snail value chain that would boost the country’s economy through the export of snail slime extraction to earn forex.
Ukonu, the owner of Dynapharm International, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ibadan, saying export of snails and its by-products has a gold mine waiting to be tapped.
He said that clusters of snail farmers should be established by the government in different local government areas and their stocks bought by government agencies at harvest and supplied to interested buyers.
The specialist in snail farming said that the creation of the clusters would help boost service to entrepreneurs in businesses like hotels, restaurants, hospitals, homes and exporters.
According to him, it would equally help to engage youths and reduce unemployment in Nigeria.
“We can guide the government in this regard; make arrangement on sending people to Europe, so they can learn firsthand what can be gotten from the snail value chain.
“We are sitting on a gold mine as far as snail value chain is concerned; through the value chain, we can boost the nation’s economy through snail slime extraction to earn forex.
“Exporting snail meat for forex, also snail farmers will boost tax revenue, among others these will surely improve the economy when tapped into,” he said.
Ukonu said that snail farming was highly profitable from primary production to the raw by-products and to the final products.
He said, “snail is a natural blood tonic which is good for everyone as it cures numerous diseases to blood circulatory system.
“The shells are used for livestock feeds as major calcium source and also in our toothpaste; more money is made from snail by-products: serum, slime and mucin, than the meat itself.
“One litre of low-quality snail slime is sold for 40 euros and it’s used to produce high-quality cosmetics such as for skin repairing, stretch mark/wrinkle fighter, hypertensive drugs and cough syrup.
“Also, snail therapy is key to taking care of stress at the end of each day’s work.”
Ukonu further advised individuals, farmers, and unemployed youths to engage in snail farming because of its numerous benefits.
“All they need to do is to take basic training, decide on the species to rear, decide on the housing system that is best for them, consider feeding strategies, then stock with the point of lay snails and start looking after them,” he said.