ECONOMICS OF SNAIL PRODUCTION IN ENUGU EAST AGRICULTURAL ZONE OF ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA
1.1 Background Information
Snail meat has been consumed by humans throughout the world since prehistoric times (Cobbinah, 2001). The interest in snail farming around the world stems from snails’ high quality protein and medicinal value. For instance, protein from snail meat is said to be very rich in all essential amino acids such as lysine, leucine, argeinine and tryptophan (Emevbore and Ademosun, 1988). Snail meat has been found to be higher in protein content (37 – 51%) compared to that of guinea pig (20.3%), poultry (18.3%), fish (18%), cattle (17.5%), sheep (16.4%) and swine (14.5%). Iron content (45 – 59mg/kg), low in fat (0.05 – 0.08%), sodium and cholesterol level (Bayode, 2009).
The bluish liquid obtained from snail has high iron content and is used for treatment of anemia, hypertension and poor sight (Emevbore and Ademosun, 1988). The formulations from this liquid can be used to treat burns, abscesses and other wounds, measles, small pox and some skin diseases (Bayode, 2009). In Ghana, the bluish liquid is believed to be good for infants’ development (Ashaye, Omele, Adetoro and Kehinde, 2001). According to Amao, Adesiyan and Salako (2007), snail meat is recommended in the past for treatment of ulcer, asthma and even at the imperial court, in Rome it was thought to contain aphrodisiac properties (arousing or increasing sexual desire) and was often served to visiting dignitaries in the late evenings.
Snail meat being rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron is recommended for a hypertensive and pregnant women. It is important source of protein to human diet, additional source of income to farmers. This study will therefore serve as reference material for snail farmers and create awareness to prospective snail farmers.
Over 80% of Nigerian populace are poor to whom protein products such as: Meat are a rare luxury. To avert danger of malnutrition, especially among children, the giant African land snail is a good substitute of source of protein (Bayobe, 2009). Asheye, et a
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