National collection day hauls in 1,220 pounds of snails

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To kick off the Christmas season, the Plant Protection Unit attempted to reduce the population of the country’s pesky national guest, the Giant African Snail that made a home in Antigua in 2008.
Janil Gore-Francis, Ph.D, chief plant protection officer, said that from December 2 to 4, an estimated 1,220 pounds were collected from 57 participants in the first National Collection Day organised by the agriculture ministry.
On Saturday nine groups collected more than 1,100 pounds, on Sunday, a small group of three collected 60 pounds and yesterday, 15 lbs were delivered to the Unit.
Gore-Francis said that “the objective of the whole exercise is to encourage participation” that will continue until the Giant African Snail presence is drastically reduced in dozens of communities around the country.
Although no second national collection date has been set, the chief plant protection officer said the unit will be following up with groups that “promised” to assist with the eradication, saying that those who attended over the weekend, “have already agreed that they will continue to do this collection on a weekly basis or continuously, and that is what has to happen.”
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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