– By Tayo Faloye
Did you know that snake venom is more expensive than gold in the international commodity market?
When Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Buratai revealed that he breeds snakes and other exotic animals after being accused of allegedly owning properties in Dubai, many doubted his claims as the source of his wealth. However, the Tukur & Tukur Snakes Farm is the first of its kind in Nigeria and had carved a niche for itself long before snake business became known in the mainstream market.
Snake farming is one of the most profitable businesses one can start, considering the high prices of snake venom. Since venom is used on a large scale in the pharmaceutical, beauty and cosmetics industries. It is sold for incredibly high prices.
Collecting venom from the poisonous snakes is the main reason for snake farming in modern way. Price varies for various species of snake venom in the world market. Some venom sell at a price from $2000 – $4000 per gram. Only for this high price of venom, people deals with the deadliest snakes.
|Tukur Buratai at his snake farm before becoming Nigeria’s COAS.
Photo: Greg Nwoko
Aside the venom from some species, the purchase of snakes for their health supplement and delicacies like snake soup consumed around the world is another source of income for snake farmers.
Snake-skin business is extremely lucrative too though often illegal. Only snakes that are bred in captivity are allowed to be sold in the market. The high demand for handbags and other fashion items in Europe is fuelling exports especially for Python skins.
Tourist attraction and research are other reasons for breeding the reptiles and are revenue generators too. It’s not a business for the lilly livered. They are to be handled with extreme caution and professionalism by those skilled in snake management. Snakes are mostly fed with frogs, rats and other rodents.
The average life span of a snake is over 20 years, but some species may live up to 50 years or more. From one snake venom is collected several times in a year, even it may be up to 4 times. Reproduction system of snakes’ is quite interesting. Most of the species lay egg, and increase their generation. But there are a few species those give birth of babies.
Snake farming is a business for courageous, adventure-seeking entrepreneurs. If you are considering starting your own snake farm, be rest assured it’s a profitable venture.
Do you still disbelieve that Snake and exotic animal farming could have made Nigeria’s COAS, Buratai, wealthy?
Let’s hear your informed opinion in the comment section.
© GRANDSCOPE Media