Promoting vermicomposting to enhance sustainable agricultural production
Arsi University, Ethiopia
Global population increase and climate change pose enormous pressure on the existing food systems. On the other hand, an increase in per capita income has led to lifestyle changes towards a preference for high value organic and natural cosmetic products. The aforementioned scenario call for the adoption of novel and climate-smart innovations in the development of food and cosmetic systems. Heliciculture or snail farming is an emerging and promising farming that presents a greater potential for agroecological farming and bioeconomic business model. The snail value chain presents a lucrative agribusiness that can significantly contribute to poverty alleviation and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa. Snail meat contain approximately 60% protein with by-products that include slime and calcium carbonate. The slime that is harvested from snails is an important ingredient in the production of cosmetics. Furthermore, the snail shells contain calcium carbonate that is can be used in the manufacture of animal feeds and liming of fishponds. Despite the economic, environmental, and social benefits of heliciculture, the lack of awareness and research has delayed the adoption of snail production and utilisation. Therefore, the main thrust of this review is to present in summary the potential of the snail value chain for economic development in Sub-Sahara Africa. The review will focus on analysing the potential benefits, systems of production, associated risks, and future outlook when fully adopted.
Keywords: Organic fertiliser, sustainability, vermicompost
Contact Address: Betelihem Bekele, Arsi University, Asella, Oromia, Ethiopia, e-mail: bettygeme87gmail.com