By Mercy Omoike
Lagos, Feb. 21, 2019 A farmer, Mr Sunday Ido, says periwinkle business can be very lucrative with improved value chain, urging youths to show interest in its harvest and processing.
Ido, an agripreneur and owner of Real Farms Ltd., Lagos, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos.
According to the farmer, although periwinkles are not cultivated like ordinary snail but harvested from riverine areas, its processing has more profit-making potential.
“As a small-scale dealer in periwinkles, I am concerned with how to improve the value chain of these sea snails because they are not easily accessible in Lagos and other states apart from Calabar and Akwa-Ibom.
“If periwinkles are well preserved, it will add to the value chain and make them more accessible in states where they are not being harvested.
“The already shelled periwinkle can last for one to two days if kept in a refrigerator; if oven-dried, the periwinkles will last longer thereby enhancing the value chain.
“I want to urge local cultivators and processors of periwinkles to add more value to the sea snails; I also want to encourage youth to be involved in the business because it is lucrative.
“A small cup of shelled periwinkle goes for as much as N60 per cup in Cross River and usually more expensive in cities such as Lagos because of their scarcity.
“Periwinkles are not actually cultivated like snails, they are harvested from sea shores and riversides, hence it is common in the South South Zone of the country because of its riverine topology,” he told NNN.
Ido also noted the nutritional value of periwinkles.
“Periwinkle meat contains protein, fat (mainly polyunsaturated fatty acid), iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamins A, B6, B12, K and foliate.
“Periwinkles are very rich in nutrients; it is low in cholesterol and preferred in the diets of health-conscious persons. The low-fat content makes periwinkle a healthy alternative food.
“In South-South, periwinkles are surplus and used in preparing most of staple foods.
“The popular Cross River and Akwa-Ibom cuisines such as Afang, Edikakong are not complete without the addition of periwinkles,” Ido said.
NNN reports that periwinkles are considered a delicacy in African and Asian cuisines.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, however, raw snails in general are about 80 per cent water, 15 per cent protein, and 1.4 per cent fat.
Edited by Fela Fashoro/Ijeoma Popoola