Despite the business potential in frog farming and its pursuit by many countries, it is still a surprise that Africa, where it is a staple food, is yet to leverage it.
In 2020, New Zealand exported frogs worth $109 million, making it the highest exporter in the world.
According to a report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Unions in 2020, frog meat is seen as a “Sustainable Development Goal”. This indicates the potential of frog farming to solve the food and nutrition shortage in Africa.
The meat contains nutrients such as protein and amino acids and reduces cholesterol and obesity. It also has iron bioavailability and high calcium content. It is recommended for patients with digestive disorders, allergies and osteoporosis.
The frog markets and demands
Though it is still on a small scale in most countries, it is on the rise in Asia. In China, the market, according to the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was worth $7 billion in 2017.
Marketing, however, determines the market’s profitability which varies from country to country and farm to farm. Also, the prices of the frog vary from one species to another.
Some Westerners consider just the frogs’ legs edible as a stable food, while in some other parts of the world, every part of the amphibian is considered food.
Annually, over $40 million worth of frog legs are sold globally. The top importers of this delicacy are France, Belgium and the United States, while the major global exporters are Indonesia and China.
It is estimated that people eat about 3.2 billion frogs annually worldwide. This excludes household consumption and includes frog farm production. Apart from being a stable food, there is also a market for frog skin. This serves as unique leather.
Some African countries that hunt and eat frogs
Though there is no notable frog farming in Africa, Africans consider it a delicacy. In countries such as Nigeria and Burkina Faso, there is a market for it. The people mostly hunt and process it into finished marketable food.
The African Tiger Frog – Hoplobatrachus occipitalis – is the most eaten specie in Burkina Faso. It is fried into tasty and crispy meat and sold in the market. The frogs are skinned, decapitated, cleaned, and dried to avoid the poison,
The frogs consumed in Nigeria are mainly from the northern savannah regions of Nigeria and neighbouring Benin, Chad and Niger.