IN order to curb food insecurity ravaging virtually all the states of the Federation, the Federal Government, on Tuesday, promised to support snail farming in all its ramifications in order to curb food insecurity in Nigeria.
It pointed out that snail farming was a veritable source of raw materials for the country’s pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries and animal feed manufacturing companies.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, made this promise, while responding to the requests from the Federation of Snail Farmers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FSFPMAN) led by its National President, Honourable Ebeh Ikechukwu, who paid him a visit in Abuja.
He said Nigeria could not afford to continue to depend on foreign sources for its protein requirements.
According to him, “I would like to inform you that National Bio-Technology Development Agency (NABTDA), one of the agencies under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, is conducting a lot of research and developmental work, and also innovations are in the area of small farming and processing.
“We would like to link you up with the management of NABTDA so that they would avail you of a lot they have already done in snail farming; there is a lot of improvement in the technology for snail farming.”
“So, we will support you, we will assist you in all areas you need our support, because by doing so we are supporting the well being of our nation. We can’t continue to rely on foreign sources for our protein requirement and also to meet the needs of our pharmaceutical industry as well as cosmetics industry and even for animal feed.
We will give you the support that is desirable; we are ready and willing. After this meeting, we will make arrangement for you to visit the NABTDA headquarters, here in Abuja, and they will take you to some of their centres where research and developmental work are ongoing in areas of snail farming, processing and so on.
“Snail farming, processing and marketing is very important for the food security of our nation, as snail is a very good source of protein and is a delicacy so many people enjoy, not just in Nigeria but also all over the world; so, snail farming has tremendous potentials. Not only will it help us to achieve our food security in Nigeria but is also a source of raw materials.
“It can be used for export and it will help our nation in the creation of wealth as well as the creation of jobs, because it is not only a source of protein for our food but also is a raw material that is needed in large quantity in the pharmaceutical industries, in cosmetics industries, in animal feed producing industries and so on. So, snail farming is extremely important to our food security and to our economy”, he added.
Earlier, the National President, Honourable Ikechukwu, said snail farming would generate far more revenue for the nation’s economy than crude oil, thus creating more jobs and wealth for the citizens.
Ikechukwu then called on the ministry to assist in making snail farming a viable venture in Nigeria, pointing out tha it was a good source of raw materials for pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, among others.