Snake Firm

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Background

This profile envisages the establishment of a snake farm for the production of venom with a capacity of 100 gm per annum. The present demand for the proposed product is estimated at 5,500 kg per annum. The demand is expected to reach at 11,434 kg by the year 2022. The plant will create employment opportunities for 27 persons. Venom is a poison of animal origin usually restricted to poisons that are administered by biting or stinging. The most familiar venomous animals are certain snakes and insects.

Snake venous are complex mixture of enzymatic proteins and different toxins. Venom is extracted for the production of anti-venom serum, which in turn is effective in the treatment of ailments like cholera, small pox, typhoid, hepatitis and rabies. The anti- venom serum is also careful antidote to snake bite Apart from the production of the anti-serum, the snake farm, serves other important functions as well. It plays a major role in educating the public about snake and their ecology. Furthermore, snake meat is very nutritious, high in protein, minerals, and good for the blood. A kilogram of snake meat can be sold from USD 16 to 29. Therefore, meat could be another product of the snake farm.

Snake venom is highly modified saliva that is produced by special glands of certain species of snakes. The gland which secretes the zootoxin is a modification of the parotid salivary gland of other vertebrates, and is usually situated on each side of the head below and behind the eye, invested in a muscular sheath. It is provided with large alveoli in which the venom is stored before being conveyed by a duct to the base of the channeled or tubular fang through which it is ejected. Snake venom is a combination of many different proteins and enzymes. Many of these proteins are harmless to humans, but some are toxins. Worldwide, about 30,000 to 40,000 people die annually of snake bite. The only effective cure for serious snake bites is anti-venom serum made by immunizing horses with gradually increasing doses of raw snake venom than collecting the anti-venom from the animal’s blood. Consequently, stocks of snake venom of the medically important species are always needed. As a result, snake venom has high demand in the international market.

The major suppliers of snake venom in the international market are China, India and Thailand. The only available data on import of snake venom is for European Union (EU) member countries. According to Eurostat (2004/2005) in 2004, a total of 2,789 Kg of snake venom was imported by EU member countries. Germany was the leading importer; accounting for more than 20 percent of the total other leading importers were Netherlands (13%), France (12%), the UK (11%) and Spain (9%). Assuming that EU countries account for half of the world total demand for the product, the total global demand is estimated at about 5,500 kg which is consider as the current global demand for snake venom.

Why a snake farm for anti-venom ?

■ > 1 million snakebites each year
■ > 500,000 envenomations needing treatment
■ > 20,000 deaths (4%)
■ > 100,000 episodes of permanent disability (20%)
– Amputation
– Blindness
– Necrosis
– Stroke

But,

■ Declining availability of antivenom is due to reduced supply: “not enough antivenom is being produced” ■ Manufacturers have reduced supply because of:
– Poor profitability
– High expenses
– Onerous regulation
■ There exists a great demand for antivenom
– High need = high demand

Based on past trend it can be assumed that the market for snake venom grows at an annual average growth rate of 5%. Accordingly, by taking the...
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