Snail farming involves the rearing of snails for consumption and other economical purposes either on a small scale or commercial scale. Basically, we are looking at Commercial snail farming and how you can profit from this unexplored viable agribusiness opportunity.
The annual snail consumption in Nigeria is still unknown. The international trade on snails is flourishing in Europe and North America. The United States is the highest importer of not more than $4 million worth of snails annually from all over the World. Africans are yet to profit from this goldmine as a result of lack of adequate knowledge on the production, management practices and negligence.
Commercial Snail farming has become a lucrative livestock venture as it offers new business opportunities. It yields quick money if the farmer understands the nitty-gritty of the modern techniques and viable species that are in high demand in the local and international markets.
REASONS TO GET INVOLVED IN SNAIL FARMING
- Snail farming is one of the most lucrative venture that requires far less capital investment and much profit is generated faster when compared to any other livestock farming. It provides you the finest opportunity to make money within a short period of time.
- Snail farming has low risk compared to other livestock farming.
- Snail is an export commodity, the demand for it in the international market is on the increase and is a foreign exchange earner in our time.
- Our climate is suitable for breeding snails in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
- Snail feeds are cheap materials of vegetables, fruits and calcium supplement.
- Housing for snails is very cheap to construct.
- Snail breeding is environmentally friendly, it does not cause stress or any form of pollution.
- Snail meat has high health benefits, with low fat and cholesterol contents.
- The demand for snail is higher than the supply, the market potential inexhaustible locally and international.
BEST SPECIES FOR SNAIL FARMING.
There are 3 major snail species used for snail breeding because they are commercially viable, marketable and profitable. They are-
- Archachatina marginata: This is also called West African Giant Snail. It is high sought after and sells faster in all the local and international market. It is known to have high adaptability rate and prolific as well as fleshy. Has high resistance to parasites and diseases. They are capable of reproducing hundreds of eggs which hatch into snails. The mature adult can weigh an average of 600gm-800gm and is more adapted to unfavorable climatic condition than Achatina achatina.
- Achatina achatina: The body is silver brown in colour. This is commonly known as Giant Ghana Snail. This species is good for commercialization and has high profitability. Each Achatina lays about 200 to 500 eggs at a time in clutches, three times in a year. Starting your farm with 1000 of these Achatina achatina snails will produce about 1.5million snails in one year.
- Achatina fulica: This is the smallest in size among all the desirable species and the shell is reddish-brown in colour with weak yellowish vertical markings. It is referred to as the East African Land Snail. Mature adult weigh between 20gm-35gm. It lays 10-15 eggs per clutch. It has lower economic value compared to Archatina marginata.
Among these three species, Archachatina marginata: is the most desirable for farmers because it grows so big to become the biggest snail species in the world.
STARTING YOUR SNAIL FARMING
Before you kick-start your snail farming.
It is advisable to consider the below factors that will enable you maximize your profit effectively.
- Choose a suitable Site: Your farm site location should have favorable climatic condition that doesn’t cause rapid dehydration, avoid areas with high wind direction. The land must be flat with enough shade and the soil should be humus or loamy that has high organic content and avoid water-logged or acidic soil.
- Build your Snailery (Snail Pen): Your snailery will depend on the snail housing system you want to use and the quantity you desire to breed. Your snailery should be in shady environment that has cover plants such as plantain, banana, etc. to prevent impact of wind .
There are different housing types such as Old tyres, drums, baskets, Cages, High fenced pen or low fenced pen.
- Source for Foundation (base) Stock for breeding: You can source your Snail foundation stocks from snail farmers, open markets, Research Institutes, or in the bush. Carefully choose snails of the same breed with strong shell and has no form of deformity. The fleshy part must be slimy with ensilivation on the surface. While transporting them to your snailery ensure they are carefully transported in a clean, ventilated, cool container. You can handpick from the bush during the raining season.
- Feed Your Snails: Snail has radula in the mouth that serve as teeth for digestive functions. Snails are nocturnal animals that feeds mainly in the night, dusk or during the day when there is dark cloud or rain. Feeding is very important to snails to help them grow, reproduce and attain maturity faster. Snails feed on vegetables, fruits and calcium supplements and other materials. Since snails are more active at night, Feeds should be given between 5pm-7pm, the next day discard the leftover. Also, place a shallow dish filled with non-chlorinated water to drink.
- Harvesting Mature Snails: Farm snails can be ready within 8-12 months of breeding them. Check the brim of the shell of the snail to see if is thicker and harder than other parts of the snail, that is how to know that your snails are mature.
- Marketing: Your ready mature snails are ready to be marketed to interested buyers. There is a huge market for snails both locally and internationally. You can sell to fast food, hotels, Restaurants, Super Markets and other regular customers. At the international market, you can go further to process and package your snail meat in good condition, the global buyers are already available.
Indeed Snail Farming is worth venturing today. Get started today and begin to profit from this huge untapped livestock farming to enable you generate income and become self-sufficiency in season as this.
If you need Good Quality Breeder Snails (Archachatina Marginata | African Giant Snail | 200-250g)
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