The Centre for Biodiversity Utilization and Development (CBUD), in collaboration with the Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment has trained 6,000 people in the first phase of a snail farming and grasscutter rearing project in four Regions in the country.
The training programme, under the snail and grasscutter Satellite Pilot Project, took place in the Ashanti, Central, Eastern and Brong Ahafo Regions.
The Marketng Manager of CBUD, Mr Samuel Sey, said this at a community relations workshop organised by the Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) at Nsuta in the Western Region. He said CBUD and the Ministry of Manpower would train 10,000 more people in the second phase of the project which would be held in four Regions including the Western and the Volta Regions.
Mr Sey said the two bodies would undertake recognisance exercise on the second phase of the project in the Western Region next week. He disclosed that 100 people would serve as trainers for other people in the community.
According to Mr Sey, the trainees had benefited from a ¢100 million credit facility set up by GMC and CBUD at the Ghana Commercial Bank. He pointed out that 80 of the trainees had been paid between ¢ 1 million and ¢2 million each from the credit facility to establish their snail and grasscutter rearing projects.
Mr Sey noted that as hermaphrodites, snails have high turnovers and produce between 300 and 500 eggs within a period. He said snail rearing does not demand much attention and is a reliable venture to increase individual incomes.
The Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Miss Joyce Aryee, who chaired the workshop, urged Ghanaians to get interested in CBUD projects such as snail farming, grasscutter rearing and the cultivation of prekese to improve their incomes and protein intake. She said snail rearing had an export potential which needs to be meaningfully exploited. She said the small-sized snails are in high demand in Europe and America.
Mrs Gifty Kusi, the MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem, commended GMC for investing in the future of residents in communities in her constituency. She said the gesture by GMC had contributed to reduce tension and agitation in the area.