JIJEL- Figure of agriculture in the region of Tassoust, in the municipality of Emir Abdelkader (20 km east of Jijel), Hocine Omar Ouayache has integrated a new project within his farm by launching a pioneering experience in the ‘breeding of snails of the edible species “Helix aperta” in the wilaya.
This 70-year-old heliculturist told APS that this project was launched at the end of 2020.
“My investment in snail farming was not accidental. The idea nagged my mind for years before it became a reality, after having undergone training in this field and working with other heliculturists from several provinces in the East and in the West of the country, “he said.
He added: “Investing in the snail farming industry is very profitable on several fronts, since the fellah (farmer) does not need to devote large areas to these shell gastropods and, in return, he can obtain a substantial production allowing him to realize a very appreciable gain, in particular in view of the existence of promising markets inside and outside the country “.
This farmer revealed, in this context, that his choice fell on the snail species Helix aperta for its delicate taste and its whitish color, in addition to being widespread in the eastern region of Algeria and Tunisia, noting that these snails are “highly sought after on international markets, particularly in Italy”.
According to this farmer, “the province of Jijel has all the necessary climatic conditions, in particular high humidity and significant rainfall promoting adequate growth for this species of snail”.
And to clarify: “to ensure adequate growth of snails, a program has been developed through the cultivation of agricultural products essential for its nutrition such as carrots, turnips, cabbage and artichokes”.
Hocine Omar Ouayache also indicated that “snail farming requires between seven to eight months before marketing”, ensuring that a single snail lays between 200 to 300 eggs, while the hatching phase varies according to the temperature of the air, i.e. between 20 and 21 days in most cases after a brooding phase of 12 days.
He, also, underlined that his “flock” of snails is currently in the laying phase and should be marketed next May, after a “period of nursery and fattening in order to obtain a weight growth oscillating between six (6) and 11 grams “.
With the realization of his experience and the interest of a Tunisian importer for his product, this heliculturist hopes to develop his investment by acquiring special equipment to harvest in particular for the slime snail used in the manufacture of cosmetic products for its benefits for the skin.