Animal Scientist, Dr Yemi Popoola, of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) Ibadan, on Tuesday, advised snail farmers on the need for regular checks on snail housing units to prevent contamination of the pens from dead snails.
He gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Ibadan, saying the practice would help farmers to produce healthy and high yielding snails.
He said farmers should endeavour to always remove left over feed daily and ensure that pens and surroundings of the snail farm were kept clean.
He added that “snail farmers should always make sure that the soil is well covered with dry leaves (mulching) and should wet the soil adequately in dry season and let it remain moist at all times.
“Always check the wire netting and ensure that mosquito net is intact; check whether the water in the gutter/water bath is adequate for prevention of soldier ants’ attack.
“They should always feed the snails after sunset between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to preserve the freshness of the feed and always keep the door to the housing unit shut.”
The animal scientist enjoined the farmers to ensure they put snails of the same specie and size together whenever they wanted to raise the animal.
Popoola advised individuals to consume snails, stressing that the protein content of the animal was high.
He said “in fact, people from the age of 40 and above should take more snail than meat; snail helps to reduce the level of cholesterol in the body and has several other health benefits.”
He, however, advised people, especially unemployed youths, to engage in snail farming, pointing out that it was a good source of income.
He noted that “snail farming requires low capital to start, there is high demand both locally and internationally and all species of snail are good for production.
“Youths can start snail farming even at the back yards of their houses.”