In a bid to diversify and revitalise the economy of the state as well as create more jobs, especially through agriculture, the Delta State Government has trained over 50 farmers on commercial snail and grasscutter farming.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon Julius Egbedi disclosed this during the opening ceremony of the training on commercial snail and grasscutter farming at the Delta Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, in Ibusa.
According to Hon. Egbedi, “The training will equip farmers with relevant knowledge and skills required for commercial snail and grasscutter farming so as to increase animal protein production, diversify farm income base and increase jobs.”
“Snails and grasscutters are micro-livestock and non-conventional protein sources that are underdeveloped and underutilized despite their great potentials and they are the most promising enterprises in the State,” Hon. Egbedi stated.
Hon. Egbedi further said that the demand for products of animal origin has been on the increase due to population growth, hence there was need to train youths in the state on the basis of snail and grasscutter farming and its nutritive value.
He revealed that the state government has also approved the implementation of several livestock development projects in the state such as pig multiplication and farming support programme, broiler out-grower scheme as well as the new poultry farmers support programme.
While commending the state government for the giant strides especially in agriculture, the General Manager, Delta Agricultural Procurement Agency, Mr Reuben Ishaka said that the training would help the trainees to become financially independent.
Ishaka said “Snail rearing was one profitable business anyone can venture into, as it involves less stress, cost less and there is less waste.”
Speaking, the Director of livestock services, Mr Julius Omunizua said that the training was geared towards increasing animal procuring production in the state and to help them diversify in farming.
Omunizua said that the trainees could indulge in snail and grasscutter rearing as sole enterprise, while doing other kind of farming, adding that when one particular farm product is off season, they could switch to the other.
He said, “Aside the approval of the training, the state government has also provided credit in cash and kind, such as the snail hutch which is a component of the credit given to them.
One of the participants, Mrs Eriemo Mary, who spoke with our correspondent, said the training was an encouragement to her and improvement in agriculture.