ANALYSIS OF EFFECT OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS ON THE PERCEPTION OF FARMERS ON GIANT LAND SNAIL (Achatina achatina) PRODUCTION IN NORTH CENTRAL STATES, NIGERIA.
Keywords:Perception of farmers, giant land snail, snail farming, perceived benefits, level of production
The study analysed Sixty-four snail farmers were sampled through multiple-stage sampling technique. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to achieve the specific objectives of the study. The study found that snail farming was carried out by young active farmers whose average age was 44 years, with an average of 7 years experience in snail farming, small-scale in nature because their average stock size was 787 snails. The average household size and annual farm income was 6 persons and N350,000.50 respectively. The farmers’ perception was high (83%) for snail farming and this was linked to the several benefits like increased income, enhancement of family welfare, a source of animal protein, source of employment, means of turning kitchen waste and ways of engaging family labour, derived from snail production. Snail production was asserted to be low (55%) due to constraints like slow rate of growth, theft, pest and disease (just to mention but a few), the farming of snail was noted to be economically viable. Socio-economic characteristics such as farmers gender, age, education, marital status, household size and farm income were identified to be significant variables to level of snail production. By recommendation, there is need for research to focus on breeding snails that are early maturing and fast growing to help overcome the problem of slow growth and used by the farmers for production purpose.
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