By Andrew Ikehi
A snail farmer and retired Deputy Director, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr. Peter Ngbeken has described snail farming as one of the lucrative agro-businesses any business-conscious individual could invest his/her money on.
Ngbeken who is currently the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), P.J Agro Farms Limited, made the assertion at the weekend while speaking at his farm in Igbanke community, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo.
According to the NTA retiree cum farmer, Government at all levels in the country could mitigate the increasing unemployment index in the country by encouraging youths to embrace snail farming which he further described as money spinner, but easy to cultivate.
On what informed his choice of business, Ngbeken said, “When it was obvious that I will soon retire from my job, I began to think on what I should be doing upon my eventual retirement.
Prior to the retirement, I had been telling my family that as soon as I retired, I will go back home and see what I can do that is unique and that will impact positively on the socio-economic status of my community, Igbanke.
“As the thought occupied my mind, one day, perhaps by divine inspiration, I decided that I should go into snail farming and today, the rest is history. We now have over 150,000 snails.
“There is ready market for the product. At present, we target both local and international markets. With the over 150,000 stocks which we currently have, in the next 12 months when they must have attained maturity, we should have in excess of N25 million in returns.
“Honestly, I won’t say that I am regretting, but I must tell you that if I knew what I know now about entrepreneurship, I would have long resigned my appointment with the NTA for business” Ngbeken said.
Continuing, he called on youths in the country, particularly those still waiting endlessly for white collar jobs to have a rethink and take a trade in business in order to make a living and thus; become employers of labour.