SHORT COMMUNICATION Challenges to increased Snail Production in Ibarapa Areas of Oyo State, Nigeria
Snails for human consumption in numerous forms are from the people who raise or gather them from nearby bushes and sell them along road sides or in the local market. The commercial production of snails has not kept pace with the demand for it in Ibarapa Local Government Areas (ILGA) of Oyo State, Nigeria. A study was carried out to characterize the snail farmers, identify challenges to an increased snail production and suggest measures for sustainable snail production. Structured questionnaire and group discussions were used for data collection in ILGA. Descriptive statistics (means and percentages) was used to summarize the data obtained. Results showed that snail farmers were predominantly women (81%) who lacked formal education. Between 34 and 76% of rural income was derived from the sale of snails. Causes of declining snail population were attributed to habitat loss through deforestation, indiscriminate harvesting, usage of agrochemicals in arable crop farming and lack of training on improved snail husbandry on the part of the snail farmers. A holistic approach to biodiversity-conservation, animal-welfare, food-safety and capacity-building of the practising and intending snail farmers were recommended for improving snail production in ILGA.
Keywords: Snails, Sustainable production, Challenges,