Socio-Economic Importance Of Snail Farming

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It is important to understand why it is good to eat and farm snails – as a hobby or for commercial purpose. The known merits and de-merits of eating / farming snails will likewise help in adopting the right attitude towards eating the products, and developing good sales strategy.

The Social Values

  • Food value

·        The basic purpose of snail farming is to provide quality meat for both man and animal use. Snail provides high quality meat with high protein content (12 – 16% of life weight and 88 – 92% dry weight), having 9 out the 10 essential amino-acids required by man, essential vitamins and minerals in high concentrations, and low fat level (0.05 – 0.8%). The serum also enjoys high level of important minerals (Magnesium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese) and low cholesterol content (2.2 – 3.7mMol/l). These qualities make this tender nature’s product (snail) ideal for all stages of human life – foetal life, babies, children, adults, nursing mothers and the aged.
  • The meat adds class to served human food in regions where it is favoured.
  • The high nutrient helps in building a healthy home and populace.
  • Snail meat may be served as an excellent replacement for ‘red’ meat. The meat is often tolerated in (Christians and Muslims) festivals where eating of ‘red meat’ is forbidden.
  • Snail meat preparations and ‘drinks’ are ideal meals for breaking fast.
  • It may be given as gift to sick friends or those recuperating from an ailment, because of its values.
  • Snail production requires relatively meagre capital when compared to other conventional animal farming.
  • Establishing a standard snailery creates job opportunities for others.
  • Farming snails require minimal (routine) management. Just a daily evening sacrifice is required to manage farmed snails without much stress. An income earner (working from 7:00am to 6:00pm) may possibly combine his daily work with snail farming by attending to them about an hour after working hours.
  • The risk of job hazards such as pecking, biting and bullying is virtually nil in well managed snailery.
  • They may be raised as pets or used as laboratory animals.
  • Snail shells may be modified into house decorative, paper holders, ash-trays, abrasive for washing household utensils, ceramics, and some other useful house materials.
  • The shells may also be converted into souvenir.
  • The taboo about eating snails during pregnancy is false. Rather than a child drooling, the child actually becomes strong, good looking, healthy and vibrant.

The Economic Values

  • It is a venture that serves as an income generating business.
  • The farming may generate some revenue for a nation through product exportation.
  • Pharmaceuticals products such as ear and eye drops, and skin treatment creams may be produced from snail for revenue generation.
  • Farming snails within one’s household for domestic consumption reduces budget expenses on meat.
  • Frequent snail consumption may likely reduce expenses on medical bills.
  • The rate of snail multiplication is very high (geometrical), being hermaphrodites. This suggests increasing, high proceeds.
  • The offal and shell may be sold to animal feed mills, or modified into other useful products such as house decorative, souvenir and fertilizers, for sale.
  • The faecal material may be gathered and applied directly as organic manure, thus can be used for horticultural purpose. This saves the farmer the cost of purchasing fertilizers.
  • They are sometimes seen as agricultural pest by arable farmers when their population is left uncontrolled.

The Medicinal Values
The high nutrient value, astringent and anti-inflammatory property of the fluid, and presence of ortho-calcium compound in the shell, amidst other properties, makes the animal of immense benefit to man. These properties give snail its numerous healing powers, which may be preventive or curative in effect. The product may thus be used as an adjunct or as the main ingredient in a combined therapy for specific ailment management. Some of the medicinal values are listed below.
  •  Reproduction
Regular eating of snails favours an increased conception rate and foetal development. Even native doctors are conscious of this fact, and always include snails as part of their preparations for fertility treatment.
  •  Haemopoiesis (blood formation)
Virtually all the basic requirements for blood formation are obtainable from land snails. Essential amino-acids, vitamins & minerals such as iron, copper, manganese and molybdenum are provided. Land snails may thus be used as nature’s good replacement for synthetic haematinics.
  • Blood vessels and circulatory related crises
Snails are sometimes used in managing circulatory crises such as hypertension, stroke and migraine. There are also indications that blood related problems associated with the function of body organs such as the kidney, liver and spleen, are preventable with snail eating.
  •  Haemostasis
This means arrest of bleeding or repair of damaged blood vessel. The astringent property of snail serum is helpful in resolving some cases of haematoma (personal observation) and nose bleeding. It is thus locally used in child circumcision.
  •  Hydrostasis
The astringent property is also extended to body fluid management. Eye defect (glaucoma), ear defect (otitis media) and hydrops foetalis are some of the manageable cases with the serum preparation.
  • Neuronal Function
The minerals and other essential nutrients relating to neuronal functioning, aid in maintaining normal brain and neuronal transmission, even at old age. Thus, the animal is sometimes prescribed for managing senility.
  • Wound management
Snail serum may be used as an adjunct in wound treatment. The anti-inflammatory and astringent properties are useful tools that may be explored in wound management. In the local setting, the fluid is sometimes used in managing deep incision, wound and circumcision.
  • Facial and skin treatment
The anti-ageing property of the serum is now explored in facial / skin treatment cream production.
  • Other Treatment Claims
There are claims that land snails may be useful in the management of such conditions: Asthma, Ulcer, Wooping cough, Hay fever, Miscelles, Urticaria, Wound scar, Constipation and Rheumatism.

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