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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The country food situation during the last and present decades becomes as critical as to constitute a nearly intractable problems. The problems are accessioned by high rate of population growth which has arisen the failure of food production to cope with national demand. Agricultural sector has a unique role to play in the quest of putting the Nigeria economy on the production of balanced self-reliant and non-inflationary growth. The study of economic history provides us with sample evidence that an agricultural evolution is a fundament production for economic development. The agricultural sector has a potential to be the industrial and economic spring boards more often than not agricultural activities are usually concentrated in the less developed rural areas where there is a crucial need for transformation, re- distribution, poverty alleviation and social economic development.
Agricultural activities comprises of crop and animal production, there have been growing concerns in the recent years at the low level of protein intake, especially of animal origin in spite of various agricultural development strategies adopted in Nigeria, daily per-capita, animal protein intake estimated as less than log or remains as far cry from the food and agricultural organization (FAO) recommendation minimal requirement of 35g (Usman 2003) in order to bridge this gap, it has been suggested that there is the need to explore of or source animal protein in addition to the conventional source such as ruminants and poultry (Olayide and Heady 1981) one of the important alternative source of animal protein, which has received relatively scanty attention in Nigeria as the snail.
The problem of animal protein intake in Nigeria has encouraged researcher to look for source of protein from animal which are reared with little or no capital. Micro livestock such as snail, glasscutter and rabbit have been domesticated and a lot of work is going on aimed to increase their availability at a reduced price, Snail farm environmental friendly and can be done with little skills (Alkinusi 1988 NCR 1991).In Africa countries snail production is also relevant and according to some researcher, snail in Africa is known as Achatina Fulica and other achatinal species, giant Africa snails. They can grow up to 326mm (1ft ¾ inch) in length. Their native range is south of the Sahara in East Africa. This snail was purposely introduced into India in 1847. There was an unsuccessful attempt to establish it in Japan in 1925. It has been purposely and accidentally transported to other pacific locations and was inadventenly released in California after World War II, in Hawaii, and later in North maimi Florida in the 1970s. In many places, it is a serious agricultural pest that causes considerable crop damage. Also, due to its large size, its slime and fecal material create a nuisance as does the odour that occurs when something like poison bait causes large numbers to die (Wikipedia, 19 may 2015).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Roasted snail shells have been found in Archaeological excavations and indication that snails have been eaten since prehistoric times. Roman snail, was an ancient method of snail farming or horticulture in the region about tanquinia. This snail farming method was described by folvius lippinus (49BC) and mentioned by marcuc Terentis varro in De Re Rustica III, 12.
There was an unsuccessful attempt to establish it in Japan in 1925. It has been purposely and accidentally transported to other pacific locations and was inadvently released in California after world war II, in Hawaii, and later in north maimi florida in the 1970s. also, due to its large size, its slime and fecal material create a nuisance as does the odour that occurs when something like poison bait causes large numbers to die. The U.S has made considerable effort to eradicate Achatina. The U.S. department of Agriculture (USDA) has banned the importation and possession of live giant Africa snails. However, they are still sought after as pets due to the vibrant “tiger stripes on their shells.Many who are into snail farming in Nigeria are also unwilling to let others know about the farming methodology. The techniques are often shrouded in secrecy. Nigeria economic recovery and programmes have necessitated a radical shift from total dependent on government for jobs to self employment in snail rearing. It is a great money-spinning business that can provide a substantial source of protein to complement Nigerian carbohydrate meals. Snail is an important source of protein, snail also plays an important role in folk medicine irrespective of snail considerable high potentials, local snails production has failed to meet the country demand is for higher than the supply (kehinde 2004). Considering the high prospect in the industry the provision of protein through snails availability and creating employment for the producers and marketers, people are therefore advised and encourage to go into snail farming. Hence the question seemed to arise.
How profitable is the snail production as a snail and medium scale enterprise. What are the factors or constraints is removed so that snail farmers livelihood can be improved which will turn as an improvement on agricultural production of the nation.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
Snail farming is not a new concept. From the pre-historic age, human has been consuming snail meat because of its high rate of protein, iron, low fat and including almost all the amino acid which is needed for human body. Snail farming has many kinds of benefits in the recent years. Snail farming increasing day to day and turns into a large scale small voltage industry because of its real economic value, for the purpose of this research work the following are the objectives of the study:
1. Examine the socio-economic characteristic of snail producers in Uhunmwode L. G. A in Edo state/Nigeria.
2. Identify the production system adopted by snail farmers in Uhunmwode L.G.A in Edo state, Nigeria.
3. To develop a resilient programme that links agriculture with industry and commerce.
4. Examine the determinant of revenue accruing to snail production in the area.
5. Determine the cost and returns to snails production and determine it viability.
6. To develop human capacities for the empowerment of individuals and groups.
7. Identify the constraints of snail production in the study area.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions guided and formed the focus of this study
1. What are the socoi-economic characteristics of snail farmers in Uhunmwode L.G.A in Edo state?
2. What is the financial cost and return of snail production in Uhunmwode L.G.A in Edo state?
3. What are the revenue determinants of snail production in Uhunmwode L.G.A in Edo state?
4. What are the constraints militating the production of snail in Uhunmwode L.G.A in Edo state?
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In an attempt to carry out this research work on the economic analysis of snail production in Uhunmwode local Government Area in Edo State, I have decided to know the extent at which snail production or snail farming will undertake or undergo in the economic aspect of Uhunmwode community. Uhunmwode is a Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. Its heads quarter is in the town of Ehor. It has an area of 2,033;Km2 and a population of 120,813 at the 2006 census (NIPOST, 2009). With her population the community can be said to account t for a significant quantity of farm produce that come out of Uhunmwode Local Government Area. Snail farming in Uhunmwode community have not yet be taking edge in the production processes but with my research work carried out concerning snail production in Uhunmwode community can pick up the snail business and use it in developing their community internally, Snail is hermaphrodite animal and snail is a good healthy proteinous food compare to other meats. Snail is very easy to rear compare to other animals, it does not bite, kick, sting or harm and they don’t mess up the environment. The reproductive organ in snail are in both the male and female, although two snail have to mate in order to fertilize their eggs, so this has show that the Uhunmwode community need not much revenue to start up the business of snail farming in the community. As much, I the researcher hope to gather information that will be useful for this research topic and the above zone would represent the whole Edo State in Nigeria.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS/ TERMINOLOGY
ECONOMIC: Economics is the social science that seeks to describe the factors which determine the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: this measures the social and economic outcomes of an initiative.
WHAT IS SNAIL: Snail is a hermaphrodites or a creeping animal.
PRODUCTION: it is the transformation of raw materials into finished goods and the provision and distribution of goods and services in order to satisfy the final consumer.
SNAIL PRODUCTION: This is the process of farming or raising snails. Snail production is also known as snail farming.
SNAIL FEED: snail feeds on a wide variety of cultivated and wild plants.(food & Agriculture Organization (FAD), 1989).
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