A survey of snail farms in Cross River State, Nigeria
AbstractThe existence of snail in the wild has become threatened, and information on the efficiency and effectiveness of ex - situ management of snails in many areas is urgently needed for consistent supply of snails. This work, therefore surveyed the practice and adoption of snail farming technology in Cross River State, Nigeria. Cross River State was stratified into three
zones, and three local government areas were randomly selected from each stratum. A total of nine Local government Areas were randomly selected for the study. A set of pre – tested structured questionnaire and in-depth interviews were used to elicit information from owners
of all the functioning snail farms in selected Local Government Areas. Group Discussion was held with management of all non functioning snail farms. Data collected were augmented with on - farm investigation. Results were presented in form of percentages, frequency of counts and tables. Owners of snail farms in the study area were all males, Christians and
literates. Majority of the farms (71.43%) were between 1 and 3 years old. About 35.71% of established farms have stopped functioning and the active ones (64.39%) may become passive before 5 years due to poor management (100%), inadequate knowledge of snail farming (100%), lack of capital (100%) and no encouragement from the government (100%). Majority of the respondents (71.43%) embarked on snail farming as hobby while some joined for conservation of snail (42.86%). Only 14.29% established snail farms for income generation. With exception of farm 7 with 1600 snails, no other farm had above 300 snails.
Farm 1 has only 30 snails. About 57.14% of the respondents sourced their breeding stocks from the wild alone. Snail feed were locally sourced by all respondents. The housing system mostly used by respondents was enclosure with nets (71.42%) while only 14.20% used motor
tyres and concrete trench indicating low scale of production. All the 9 functioning snail farms are located in Calabar, Boki, Obubra and Yakurr while other areas had no adoption of the technology. Calabar metropolis had the highest concentration of 3 farms. Incubation period
of snail eggs was unknown to most respondents (71.40%) revealing that they had not been breeding snails. The impact of snail farming has not been felt in the study area.