By Mercy Omoike
Lagos, July 26, 2021 An expert on snail farming, Mr Ukonu Ukonu, has called for more investments in the snail value chain in order to boost its potentials as well as increase farmers’ incomes.
Ukonu, who made the call in an interview with newsmen on Monday, in Lagos, stressed on the benefits of snail slime in the production of pharmaceutical drugs and cosmetic products as part of the investments needed in the value-chain.
“We need to invest more in the by-products of snail, that is, the slime and the shell which is useful in pharmaceutical and cosmetic goods production.
“We want more Nigerians and snail farmers to be aware of the potentials in snail farming. We are seeking ways to bring the slime extractor machine into the country.
“We want more investors in the snail value chain because it is a hidden jewel that we have not really tapped. We want people to be aware of its potential so as to boost productivity in snail farming, thereby adding value to the chain,” he said.
The potentials of snail slime in the pharmaceutical industry is quite enormous, he said, explaining that snail slime was very effective in making cough syrups, hypertension drugs and many drugs needed to enhance blood circulation.
“There are so many things that snail slime can be useful for and the research is still ongoing to reveal more of its potentials,” he said.
Ukonu also emphasised the benefits of creating wealth from every component of the snail, from its slime to the shells, saying that government would do well to help boost the potentials of the snail value-chain in Nigeria, to improve the incomes of local farmers.
“We are currently embarking on a national campaign tagged: ‘Mining the jewel in the snail value-chain: From farm to better health, beauty and wealth.
“In improving the snail value chain, we would be able to move away from just farming and eating snail meat alone.
“When we have enough snail extracting machines in the country, we will be able to extract the slime hygienically which in turn will boost the potentials of the value chain in Nigeria.
“We want the government to be involved in improving the potentials of the snail value chain across ministries. The Ministries of Agriculture, Education and Health need to be involved in tapping into the unlimited potentials in snail slime and its other by-products.
“We are currently also training snail farmers on the potentials of the snail and also how to extract its slime in order to increase their earnings,” Ukonu said.
Expert seeks investment in snail value-chain by-products for increased incomes
By Mercy Omoike