Do you want to start a snail farm in Nigeria? You should, since snail farming is a goldmine and a consistent source of revenue. However, far too many of us are unaware of how valuable this slow-moving critter may be to its farmers.
Snail farming is profitable only if you have the necessary expertise to succeed. However, guess what?
After reading this article, you will have a good understanding of how to start a snail farming business in Nigeria. To get greater conviction about beginning a snail farm in Nigeria, consider the advantages of the snail farming Business in Nigeria.
Did you know these interesting facts about snails?
- Snails slot in nicely as a nutritious favorite in many homes as more people take an interest in better living.
- Snails contain nearly all of the amino acids human bodies require, and the majority of their byproducts are used to make cosmetics and medications.
- Snail meat is an excellent remedy for cardiovascular illnesses such as hypertension, cardiac arrest, and stroke due to its low fat and cholesterol content.
- Aside from the delicious flavor and health advantages of snails, many people keep them as pets as souvenirs.
- Snail shells are used as decorative items.
- Furthermore, ground snail shells can be used in animal and cattle feed in place of bone meal and oyster shells.
Unfortunately, snails have drawbacks as well!
Snails, which some people grow or harvest for food, are also agricultural pests that inflict significant crop damage.
As a result, nations such as the United States and Australia have prohibited the importation of live snails.
Even with the prohibition, you may still prepare snails and export them to European or North American nations.
Exporting to the United States makes sense because the country imports hundreds of millions of dollars worth of snail meat each year.
Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Austria, and the Netherlands are all major overseas markets for snails.
Please keep in mind that before you can export snails to other countries, you must first get an export license from the Nigerian government authorities.
What snails are suitable for Snail Farming?
The Achatina genus has the finest snails for snail farming. Achatina is a genus of air-breathing tropical land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs in the Achatinidae family.
Here’s another fascinating snail fact! Sub-Saharan Africa is home to several Achatinidae species.
Because of their large size and colorful shells, certain snail species are preserved as tourist attractions. However, for the sake of snail farming, we will focus on only three species that are commercially viable, marketable, and, of course, lucrative.
The three African Giant snails that are suitable for snail farming are as follows:
- Achatina achatina is an African giant tiger land snail.
- Finally, there’s the Achatina marginata, a massive West African land snail.
- Fulica achatina
The image below is a collage of three African Giant Snails that are suitable for snail farming.
Steps To Starting A Snail Farm In Nigeria
When beginning a snail farm in Nigeria, there are a few things you should consider. They are as follows:
1. Choose a better location to establish a snail farm.
Snail farming takes a lot of room to get started. Depending on the scale, you may utilize your backyard, indoors, or in open spaces. Dirt is an important component of a snail’s environment. The makeup of the soil, the amount of water in it, and the texture of the soil are all significant variables to consider when choosing a location.
The soil should be humus or loamy and capable of supporting vegetable growth. It must be organically rich and neither waterlogged or acidic. If your soil becomes too wet or waterlogged, dangerous bacteria and fungi will thrive.
In addition, the site should have a level topography (flat land surface) and enough shade. Snails thrive in settings that offer cover, moisture, and food. They will, however, thrive in one that closely resembles their native environment.
2. Understand the climatic conditions that influence snail farming.
Snails are easily dehydrated, and wind accelerates the rate of fluid loss in the snail, causing the animal to become dehydrated. Snaileries (snail houses) should be located in wind-protected areas to keep snails from drying out.
Furthermore, the temperature and humidity levels in the region should be reasonable.
3. Construct a snail farming home to house the snails.
The size and shape of your snailery are primarily determined by the snail growth technique you pick and the quantity of snails you plan to generate.
The snail’s age, temperature, location, weather, and sensitivity to floods are all aspects to consider. In general, your garden should be large and well-protected from insects and predators.
It must also be conveniently accessible for management purposes and keep snails from escaping.
4. Purchase viable snails for snail farming.
After a wet day, collect snails from the surrounding shrubs (especially at night when they come out to feed). Snails may also be obtained from the bush using this method; remove a small space in the bush and scatter fruits such as plantain, pineapple, bananas, or pawpaw in the cleared area between 4 and 5 p.m.
When it becomes dark (7 – 8 p.m.), return to the cleared area to collect snails appropriate for farming. This technique can be repeated until you are pleased with the results.
Buying gigantic breeders from existing snail farms or merchants is an alternative to the approach described above. If you’re just starting out with breeders, you’ll need to prepare ahead of time for hatching your snail eggs.
5. Discover what snail food is and how to feed snails.
Snails mostly consume leaves, fruits, flowers, tubers, and human excrement (peels of fruits and tubers like pawpaw, pineapple, yams, and potatoes).
Plants with hairy leaves or those that produce poisonous compounds are inedible to snails. For shell development, optimum health, and maximum output, snails require a steady supply of calcium and phosphorus.
This is present in calcium carbonate, eggshell, bone meal, oyster shell, and other products.
6. Determine the best time to harvest snails for the market
Snails in the forest can take up to two years to mature, but properly farmed snails can be ready for sale in six to eight months under favorable climatic conditions and a decent diet.
As a measure of identification, the brim of an adult snail’s shell is generally thicker and tougher than the rest of the shell. When gathering snails for sale, don’t take all of the adult ones.
Keep a few of them as seedlings for future breeding and multiplication.
7. Know the pests and diseases that affect snail production
Pests that eat snails include mice, rats, frogs, crows and domesticated birds like ducks and turkeys, as well as lizards, snakes, millipedes, and centipedes.
The only snail illnesses that have been discovered are fungi and bacteria. Snails suck slime from one another’s bodies and spread it through physical contact.
To avoid illness transmission in your snail farm, several hygienic precautions may be used.
8. Determine the ideal moment to begin raising snails.
The months of June through October are ideal for starting a snail farm. These months share one feature. Yes! Your estimate is just as valid as mine. It’s raining! Rainfall during these three wettest months flushes Giant African Snails from their dormant state in the woods.
Because of the increased availability during the rainy season, the price of snails on the market, at your local fast-food restaurant, on snail farms, and even on your plate, remains stable. Prices often rise from December to March, when snails are in limited supply.
Hotels, restaurants, resellers, and other snail fans will beg you to supply them at this time.
9. Calculate the Cost of Starting a Snail Farm
I know you’re shocked to see capital listed as the final topic for discussion. The advantage of starting a snail farming business is that you may start with practically “any amount.”
The materials required for snail farming are less expensive than those required for pig or goat cultivation. The only expenses will be the establishment of a snailery and, most likely, food supplements (limestone, bone meal, and so on).
The money required to start a snail farm should be considered for a more complex farm.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Snail Farming Business in Nigeria?
If you’re wondering how to start a snail farm, you’ll need to budget for housing, buying fresh snails, feeding, handling and processing the snails, marketing, and transportation.
You can begin the company with N60,000 or N100,000, depending on the size of your snail farm. Aside from your initial investment, you may now generate 1,000,000 snails valued more than N5 million twice a year.
This is made feasible by the availability of the extremely prolific Achatina achatina snail, which lays 200 – 400 eggs in a single batch two to three times a year. If you manufacture 100,000 snails that sell at N250 apiece (N250 X 100,000), you will earn N2,500,000. If you generate 1,000,000 snails, you will earn N25,000,000 per year or more.
Summary of the 9 interesting steps to success in snail farming business
- Select a suitable site for starting a snail farm
- Know the climatic factors that affect snail farming
- Build a snail farming house for keeping the snails
- Get viable snails for snail farming
- Learn about snail food and how to feed snails
- Determine the best time to harvest snails for the market
- Know the pests and diseases that affect snail production
- Determine the best time to start keeping snails
- Evaluate the Cost of starting snail farming business