Snail farming in Nigeria is very common mainly for it’s pleasant taste. As such, we’ll share with you the problems and one of the most reliable places to buy breeder snails, its species, and how lucrative the business of snail is.
Without gainsaying, domestic snail farming in Nigeria can meet up the family nutrition demands while its large scale farming can bring down the rate of importation of frozen meat or fish into Nigeria.
The species of snail are:
- Helix aspersa (Garden Snail)
- Achatina fulica (Giant African Land Snail)
- Helix pomatia (Roman Snail)
Without gainsaying, snail farming is of the most lucrative agricultural businesses around the World, not just in Nigeria.
How lucrative is snail farming is?
It’s lucrative because of its value to human body and the potential of turning snail farmer into employer of labour.
Here are some of the advantages of snail farming to human body and the economy which makes it to be one of the most lucrative farming in any part of the World, not just Nigeria.
1) First, you must know that there’s a huge demand for snail in markets in Nigeria for its distinctive taste and nutritional value.
2) Its meat is far better than any other red meat because it’s enriched with highly nutrition ingredients.
3) Snails have a huge universal popularity.
4) Snails are hermaphroditic in nature and highly reproductive, for instance, one snail can lay eggs 6 time within 365 days (a year) and could lay between 80 to 100 eggs.
Imagine another 80 set of snails laying between 80-100 each three times in year.
5) Snail meat contains a large amount of magnesium, protein, vitamin A, iron, calcium, and very low in fat.
6) Another reason why snail farming business is on the increase in Nigeria is because of its economic value. Some people consider snail farming in Nigeria as a good money making venture.
7) You can make good profit from snail farming in a very short period of time.
8) Snail meat is better than any other red meat. And it is rich with highly nutritious ingredients.
9) Snail meat is very tasty and widely accepted all over the country. And there is no religious or tribal sentiment attached to its consumption.
10) Snail has a great market all over Nigeria and in the West African regions.
11) Starting up a snail farm in Nigeria through the use of modern technologies, takes less capital investment and produce much in a very short period of time. Running costs is also very low.
12) Risk of losses are negligible when compared to other types of livestock farming system.
13) Every part of the snail body is useful.
14) You can earn ten times more profit from snail farming in Nigeria in a year without any risk.
15) Snail farming is not time consuming and there is no stress, odor, noise and irritation.
How to start commercial snail farming
To start snail farming in Nigeria, you have to go through some step by step process. I have described some of the steps here for starting commercial snail farming business in Nigeria.
- Suitable environment
- Suitable soil
Suitable Environment for Snail Farming in Nigeria
Generally, snails are easily dehydrated. Dryness take place in snails when there is moisture loss in the snails. Wind usually increase the proportion of moisture loss in snails.
Therefore, choose an appropriate location for establishing your snail farm. For preventing this moisture loss, you have to place the snail house (snaileries) in wind protected environment.
An area with lots of trees can be a perfect environment for snail farming in Nigeria.
Suitable Soil for Snail Farm
Soil is the main habitation of snail. For a successful snail farming in Nigeria, the designated land for this business must have to contain some of the components and chemical elements which are essential for the snails’ survival.
For this cause, all types of soil are not appropriate for commercial snail farming. The shell of the snail is mainly calcium and most of the calcium comes from the soil.
They drink water from the soil and also lay their eggs on the soil. For a successful farming, you must have to select a suitable place with availability of all types of essential facilities for the snails.
The selected soil must contain all the above elements. But be very careful. Keep proper balance. Never let the soil become waterlogged, too dry and the soil should not be acidic.
Always shun the acidic and clayey soil. Sandy-loamy soil with low water content holding capacity is perfect for snail farming in Nigeria.
Buy Some Fresh Snails
After making and selecting suitable land for snail farming in Nigeria, it’s time to buy some fresh quality snails from the market or any snail farm.
But some snail farming professionals are of the opinion that, getting some snails directly from the forest instead of purchasing from market makes good result in production.
Because, the snails gotten from the forest can quickly get used to the new environment than the farm snails.
If you are not able to get some snails from the forest, you can collect some snail from the bush through a very simple technique.
During rainy season, clear a little portion of land and sprinkle sweet fruits there like pawpaw, banana, plantain or pineapple.
In case you carry out this process at 5pm in the evening, go back there after 2 or 3 hours.
Collect all the snails gathered there. Keep repeating this practice until you gather enough amount of snails for your farm. There is an another method of getting some fresh snails.
Try to get some snail eggs in the market where it is sold. While gathering, check for the fertility of the eggs because some eggs lose fertility due to exposure to sunlight.
Then put the eggs in a container having wet sand and covered with cocoyam leaf. Within 21-28 days those eggs would have hatched into baby snails.
Start by feeding the baby snails. Progressively, they will grow up and then you can begin snail farming on large scale.
Where to buy snail in Nigeria (Special breeds)
In case you want special breeds, there are various online market places where you purchase snail, one of them is afrimash, where you can buy all kinds of agricultural products.
How to build Snailery (Small Snail House)
Snailery is very important for snail farming in Nigeria. A good snailery keeps the snails safe and fruitful.
In case of breeding in small scale, snaileries can fluctuate from a patch of fence-protected ground, protected from the wind to a covered box.
Make a solid pen with soil depth of about 10 inches or for larger and commercial production dig a trench, and cover it with screen or wire round about to prevent the snails from escaping.
Generally, snails love to stay in a cold and dark place. However, keep the snails free from damaging humidity level. For modifying the temperature, fresh leaves and cloth that is frequently wet can be used.
Avoid the harmful animals like snakes, rats and some other harmful predators from entering inside the snailry. Wire is a great explanation for keeping those animals away. You also have to prevent some harmful smaller ones like termites and ants.
Snails mostly eat fruits, green leaves etc. Food makes sure of the proper growth of snails. Food help the snails grow their tissues and they also need calcium for developing shells.
You can feed your snails with some leaves like cassava leaves, cabbage, cocoyam, eggplant leaves, okra leaves, lettuce leaves, or pawpaw leaves.
Among the fruits you can also feed them are banana, cucumber, eggplant, mango, oil palm fruits, pawpaw, pears, tomatoes etc.
How to market your snails
If all goes as planned, then your snails will begin to grow very fast. Separate the big from the small ones.
Usually, within a year most of the snails attain marketing size. Some snails take a longer time to grow.
However, snails have a good market demand and price. You can effortlessly sell the snails in your local market. Snail meat consumption rate is increasing at a fast rate all over the globe.
Hence, exporting in international market can be very profitable. Snail farming in Nigeria is a totally lucrative business idea.
The initial investment is low, the needed space or labor is low and you can do this business alongside your present profession.
If you have a spare half plot or less at the back of your home, you can start snail farming with just N50, 000 and grow it exponentially.
Do you want a step-by-step guide on how to set up your own snail farm? We’ve got you covered in our E-Book which has sold over 6, 000 copies across Africa.