Feed Marketing and Feeding Strategies in Snail Production Among Snail Farmers in Southwestern Nigeria (Published)
A study was carried out in selected States of Southwestern Nigeria to gather information about feed and feeding management for snail among snail farmers and other stakeholders in snail production-value chain. A total of 150 snail farmers were selected from south west part of Nigeria (Ogun, Ondo and Oyo state) while 125 questionnaires were retrieved. Information was gathered through questionnaires observations from the field and scheduled interviews from the purposively selected States. Questionnaires were carefully drafted and administered to elicit information from the farmers about feed and feeding management in snail production. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The results indicated that 60.8% of the respondents were males while 39.2% were females. A larger (20.8%) percentage of the farmers were between the age range of 46 to 55 while 20.5% and 18.6% fell between the age range of 56 to 65 and above 66. respectively. Archachatina marginata (68.9%) was the most reared snail. About 20% of the farmers fed snails with conventional feed comprising leaves, fruits, flowers and peel of tuber crops while average of 29 farmers fed snails with compounded feed combined with tubers, leaves and household waste. Majority of the respondents (60.8%) fed snail in the evening. A larger percentage (64.5%) of the farmers preferred compounded feed to conventional feed and also preferred Retail purchases based on the size of their farms. Finely ground compounded snail feed (57.8%) was the most acceptable form. Wrong perception about snail, dearth of information about feed formulation, low educational levels, high cost of feed ingredients and inadequate market are major reasons for unavailability of snail feed in the market. Farmers agreed that the use of compounded feed in snail are for improvement of growth rate, meat quality, enhance early market weight, ease of transportation and longer storage.