Assessment of Snail Farming from Selected Villages in the Mount Cameroon Range, South West Region of Cameroon
Asian Research Journal of Agriculture,
This study examined the role of snail farming (Heliculture) as a potential tool for conservation and livelihood development in forest dependent communities around the Mount Cameroon National Park (MCNP). The villages selected for this study were Mapanja, Bonjongo, Mokunda and Boana based on their proximity to forest resources. Since it was a pilot study, farmers were selected based on their prior knowledge on snail farming or were currently farming snails locally. A total of 38 questionnaires were distributed to snail farmers of which were 18 males and 20 females in the four villages and we recorded a hundred percent respondents. The questionnaires were based on forest related activities such as collection of non timber forest products, agricultural practices and collection of woody products. Observations, monitoring and progressive evaluations were made overtime on some behavioural changes (frequency to the forest for hunting, harvesting of forest products and snail meat consumption). Observations were made on the number of snails stocked, number of dead snails, number of eggs, and number of baby snails. The data were entered into excel and analyzed descriptively. We noticed that after the establishment of snail farms in these communities overtime, individuals covered less distances into the forest 2hrs/week in Mapanja, and less than 1hr/week in Bonjongo, Mukunda and Boana. The number of traps set reduced from 80% in Mapanja and Mokunda to less than 20% and 60% in Bonjongo and Boana to less than 20%. It was noticed that snail meat consumption increased after snails farms were established, Mapanja 29%, Bonjongo 37.5%, Mokunda 33.3% and Boana 29.2% when compared with other protein sources. It was concluded that if proper management of the snail farms around the MCNP can provide a better alternative of bush meat hunting, provide income and reduced human influence on the forest.
- Snail farming
- Mount Cameroon National Park
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