Date Posted: March 22nd, 2010
In past editions of FRW, we have looked at African farmers who experiment with all sorts of “micro-livestock,” including rabbits, guinea pigs, butterflies, and even silk worms. Some alternative livestock are reportedly easy to raise. Snails are no exception. Lum Ndenecho notes that daily care is as simple as feeding snails in the morning and again at night. Still, for every kind of livestock, a specific set of skills is required to breed, rear, and maintain them in good health.
The CTA has produced a comprehensive guide entitled Snail Farming in West Africa, which can be found here: http://www.anancy.net/documents/file_en/517_Snail%20farming%20in%20West%20Africa%20-%20a%20practical%20guide.pdf.
Additional information and tips about snail farming can be found in this video featuring an interview with Ms. Ndenecho: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wApWx1yffuI.
You may wish to prepare a program or series of programs featuring one kind of alternative livestock that is raised in your area. Consider featuring successful farmers and other local experts who can explain what someone needs to know to successfully raise and market the livestock.
For more information on micro-livestock, visit the following:
-From The Overstory, The Agroforestry E-journal: http://www.agroforestry.net/overstory/overstory41.html
-From The New Agriculturalist: http://www.new-ag.info/99-3/focuson.html
Farm Radio International has produced many scripts about raising livestock, both large and small. Follow this link for scripts on topics such as feeding animals through the dry season, preventing and treating animal disease, and alternative livestock such as snails and bees: http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/livestock.asp.
This script in particular talks about how to raise snails: Raising snails for food and profit (Package 80, Script 6, March 2007): http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/80-6script_en.asp.