MOSCOW, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - A Belarusian scientist has advised the country's businessmen to begin breeding edible frogs for export during the current economic crisis, Russia's Vesti TV channel said on Wednesday.
The former Soviet republic is home to three edible species of frogs - the Marsh Frog (Rana ridibunda), the Pool Frog (Rana lessonae) and the Edible Frog (Rana esculenta). All of them are considered a delicacy in various countries.
"Belarus has immense reserves of this delicacy. The republic could expect a huge foreign currency inflow if it developed the industrial breeding of these amphibians," said Ruslan Novitsky, a member of the country's National Academy of Sciences.
Novitsky said breeding frogs, which can measure up to 15 cm (6 inches) and weigh 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs), was easy and requires no special facilities. One kg (2.2 lbs) of edible frog meat costs approximately $40 in Europe and North America.
"Frogs could be farmed along with fish, in fish ponds," he said.
In addition, frogs could be sold to labs all around the globe. Each year, at least 10,000 frogs are required for scientific purposes worldwide. However, catching frogs in the wild is banned in many European countries, including Germany, the U.K. and Poland.
Despite all the possible benefits, the country's entrepreneurs have not yet shown an interest in the potential money-making scheme, Novitsky admitted.