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Snail farming in Lebanon, an emerging alternative and a very profitable industry

22-5-2015

Snail farming is a 44-year old global industry unlike in Lebanon where it emerged only two years ago but yet proved to be a promising sector. According to As Safir daily, world studies have shown that the available size of production does not exceed 20% of the global demand. As Safir pointed out that Lebanon is considered a favorable environment for snail farming because of suitable weather and the existence of vast land areas in the South, Beqaa and Akkar. For this purpose, the ‘Lebanese Treasures Land’ (Kounouz al Arad al Lubnaniya) was founded with the support of farmers associations and with funding from the Lebanese Trust for Consultancy and Investment. The newly introduced business recently signed an agreement with the International Snail Farming Institute in Italy according to which the Italian party commits to purchase the entire Lebanese production as long as it meets international standards. In this respect, LTL General Manager Nawfal Daou informed As Safir that the first shipment of high quality Lebanese snail estimated at 9 tons were exported to Italy few weeks ago, adding that this places Lebanon at an international standing among snail exporting countries. Daou stressed that the expansion of this alternative farming is feasible, since in 2014 current global production stood at 480 thousand tons. He said there are currently some 20 snail breeders in Lebanon and production is expected to reach 300 tons in 2016. Snails, he underscored, are the only do not easily get sick and have an immune defense system against viruses. In a similar note, Tony Saadeh, General Manager of the Lebanese Trust for Consultancy and Investment told As Safir that each 10 meters of land produces some USD 60 to 65 thousand worth of snails while the cost of equipping and supplying the farm is USD 50 thousand every year, adding that the price of one ton of snails is currently estimated at USD 5,500 which makes the sector indeed a very profitable industry. (As Safir, 22 May 2015)

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