An expert in snail cultivation, Mr Sunday Ido, says increase in research and enabling environment will help to explore the inherent potential of snail value chain.
Ido, a Consultant to local snail farmers, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.
He said that snail farmers could generate more income from the sector by tapping into its wide value chain instead of focusing on its cultivation for consumption alone,
“Farmers can make more money from the different value chain of snails than sell off the flesh.
“We need more research and enabling environment to tap into the potential of the snail value chain. We also need to educate snail farmers on how to tap into the value chain,” he said.
The consultant said that extracts from snails were now being used to produce some cosmetics.
”We have some locally-produced body creams made from snail slime and carrot oil.
“This implies that Nigerians have started exploring the value chain of snails and in the near future it will be a big deal.
“As a biochemist, I am focusing my research on the anti-aging aspect of the snail slime.
“The snail shells are also very rich in calcium that can be used in livestock feed.
“There is also a greenish and purple liquid that can be extracted from snails that has been said to treat cough. With appropriate scientific research, we can tap into this for our pharmaceutical industries,” Ido said.
He, however, called for consistent power supply to ensure the smooth transition of the value chain to avoid losses.
“The only challenge that can hinder the exploration of the by-products of snails is inconsistent power supply.
“This is because, to extract and preserve snail slime and its other liquids, you need cold chain. These extract must be stored cold before its use in pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors.
“Some farmers have lost investment after extracting snail slime for sale due to lack of proper cold chain storage system,” he said.
Ido noted that there was also a technology that could enable farmers extract slime from snails without killing them.
He, however, said that due to lack of this technology locally, snail farmers tended to kill the product while extracting slime.
He said that new entrants into snail farming should be taught how to cultivate snails and also how to explore its value chain.