The story of the snail farm in Peresecina begins on the day when the farm owner, Vilen Cebotari, received a present from France — a plate of frozen snails. He tried them and it struck him — if this business is blooming in France, why would it not work in Moldova — both as raw material and the end product?

‟Any idea, no matter how crazy it might seem, has the right to exist. Even if your neighbours, relatives, wife are all sceptical about it, if you believe in it, or better to say, you are passionate about it, you can do it,” reveals Vilen Cebotari his secret about how he began his business project. Due to the innovative concept and enthusiasm of the team, his company received UNDP Moldova’s support under the Moldova Innovation Challenge Scheme (MICS).

The snail meat is healthy. It contains only 0.5% fat, 16% proteins and 9 of the 10 amino acids that are essential for humans. However, the Moldovan people are not yet used to the new snacks and prefer eating meat or fish. The owner also noticed that women enjoy more the taste of snails than men.

The owner of the company, Vilen Cebotari, manually packaging the ready-to-consume snails
The owner of the company, Vilen Cebotari, manually packaging the ready-to-consume snails

It should be noted that MICS also helped other innovative businesses and unusual solutions as part of business operations, such as a swine breeding farm, souvenirs made from biodegradable material, wooden educational toys for children and other initiatives.

”With the help of the grant we started growing and exporting snails as raw material to European countries. We were exporters of live snails. It is a pity, however, to produce raw material and to sell it to someone else to process it. Therefore, with UNDP Moldova’s support we established a small production facility, where we produced the end-product, including for the local market. The end-product was ready to be consumed — once heated up, it teleports you from home directly in the atmosphere of a French restaurant,” noted Vilen Cebotari, the farm's owner.

The grants were provided under the UNDP’s ‟Innovative Businesses Development for Local Sustainable Economic Growth” project, financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other donors as an immediate response to the National Innovation Strategy adopted by the Government of the Republic of Moldova in November 2014.

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