Under the agreement, Morocco will open snail research centers in Marrakech and benefit from Italian expertise.
By Amal El Attaq
Morocco and Italy signed a partnership agreement on January 25 in Marrakech to organize the export of snails to Italy and to implement projects for breeding, valuing, and transporting snails. The partners say the projects will create more job opportunities.
The agreement includes snail research and training centers in Marrakech to benefit from Italian experience in the sector.
The Regional Center for Investment in Marrakech-Safi; the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Services in Marrakech-Safi; the Professional Federation of Snail Breeding in Morocco; the International Snail Institute of Shirasco; and the National Snail Breeding Society of Italy all came together for the agreement.
“This partnership aims to develop emerging markets for Moroccan production towards Italy, and to exchange experiences between Morocco and Italy on the snail sector,” said Nadia Ibrahimi, president of the Professional Federation of Breeding Snails in Morocco.
Talking to the press, she added that the agreement would implement joint technology development projects that meet international standards.
Barbara Bregato, the Italian ambassador to Morocco, said that “Italy has an international experience in snails breeding, and is willing to develop Morocco’s experience in this sector.” She pointed out that Italy views Morocco as a gateway to African markets.
Morocco produces more than 15,000 tons of snails per year, collected from nature, and exports 85 percent of its snails, mostly to Spain.
On international markets, snails cost €3-5 per kilo. Snail breeding farms can produce 10 tons per hectare in one production cycle. The molluscs are in high demand in Europe. Snails’ physical and chemical properties benefit human health, and they are also commonly used in cosmetics and health care.