The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has urged snail farmers to grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through the farming, processing and packaging of snails for exportation.
Speaking at a one-day exporters training, themed, “Producing Snail for Export”, in Owerri, Imo State, the Executive Director of NEPC, Ezra Yakusak, said the workshop was one of many efforts by the Council to reduce dependency on oil and gas, while simultaneously growing the nation’s economy.
Represented by the NEPC Coordinator in Imo, Anthony Ajuruchi said that snail farming had proven to have the potential to feed the nation with a total global estimate of about $2.1 billion, snail farming, if given necessary attention, could grow Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), especially with the prevailing local conditions that support the development of the practice such as suitable climate and availability of green vegetation.
“We’re raising the capacity of entrepreneurs to equip them to join the global snail market and compete meaningfully so as to grow Nigeria’s GDP using non oil exports.
“We are also looking forward to organising the Imo Exporters Summit and plans are already in top gear.
“Entrepreneurs in Imo and Nigeria are making frantic efforts in the export industry and we will keep offering our support and mentorship to keep them at par with their counterparts in other parts of the world,” he said.
Also speaking, one of the resource persons, Chinonso Onwukwe, the Executive Officer of Suncious Farms Limited, said that modern technology had been developed to overcome the natural wetness of snails and be able to preserve them over long periods.
“With oven drying, snails can be preserved for some six months to one year. Snail farming is not capital intensive yet it is lucrative.
“It can be consumed by all, especially as it is a healthy food with high protein and calcium content. Everything in a snail including the shell is nutritious and lucrative.
“We market our products in the U.S., UK and other places and there is nothing to regret about snail farming. It’s not time consuming yet it’s super lucrative, I can confirm,” she said.