Snail farming business is a business anyone can dive into due to its low capital intensity and presently it is providing one of the finest opportunities to make money within a short period of time. Snail has a huge demand in Nigeria market because of its unique taste and nutritional value.
Research shows that Snail farming in Nigeria is considered to be one of the most lucrative agribusiness you can start with low capital. Yet, it is one of the most neglected animal rearing businesses in Nigeria. Snail farming provides one of the finest opportunities to make money within a short period of time
Snail meat contain a high amount of protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and very low in fat.
Best Location and Suitable environment for Snail Farming
For preventing the snails from losing water form their body quickly, you have to place the snail farm in wind protected place void of any wind interference. An area with many trees can make perfect environment for snail farming in Nigeria.
The most suitable spot to locate your snail farm is a low plain, downhill site. The farm should not be exposed to excessive wind hence the location would dry out and dehydrate your snails. It is best to have trees like banana or plantain planted around your snail farm.
Depending on the scale of snail farming you want to go into, your snails can be reared in a large covered box if you are considering small scale snail farming, or in a concrete pen with soil flooring if you want to rear snails on a large scale
Snails are cold-blooded, they thrive best in areas with moderate temperatures and high humidity also when the temperature rises snails go into dormancy during the dry season this is one of the problem of snail farming. So the relative air humidity of your snail farm should not be near saturation, because it would encourage the development of harmful bacteria and fungi. In outdoor situations, it is clearly impossible to control climatic factors.
However, the magnitude of temperature and humidity fluctuations is reduced in areas of relatively undisturbed forest or fairly dense vegetation cover. Such sites should be preferred to open grassland or farmland areas.
How to Start Snail Farming Business in Nigeria
1. Get capital
Before you start your snail farming business, you need to get capital. Your capital could be savings or loans from family members and friends. These are the resources that allow the snail farming business to produce enough snails to sell to prospective customers. Small amounts of capital are required to start a snail farming business in Nigeria.
2. Buy or lease farmland
You need to buy or lease farmland before you start your snail farm. You can buy land from landowners in your area of choice, or otherwise lease farmland for a period of time from landowners at a stipulated fee.
When buying farmland, make sure you hire a lawyer to help you with the legal procedures, so you don’t get defrauded.
Also, make sure the farmland you chose for your snail farm contains nutrients which are conducive to the survival of your snails. Test the soil. The soil on your snail farm must be appropriate for the snails to lay eggs.
3. Build a snailery
So as to rear your snails properly, you have to build a snailery. A snailery is basically a snail pen constructed using a tank or drum. It is important you build a snailery because it helps protects the snails, such that the snails cannot escape or get attacked by insects or reptiles.
4. Write a business plan
A business plan is very crucial to the success of any business. Before you start your snail farming business in Nigeria, you should write down a business plan. A business plan is an official written document that contains business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved. A business plan is a written description of your snail farming business’s future. Writing down a business plan ensures the smooth running of your snail farming business in Nigeria.
5. Select and buy snails
The next step is to select the type of snail you want to rear on your snail farm. It is vital that you select the right species of snails. In Nigeria, we have the following types of snails from which you choose to rear on your snail farm. They are:
- Pond snail
- Apple snail
- Sulawesi snail
- Sebra Nerite snail
- Tracked Nerite snail
- Horned Nerite snail
- Ghana or tigerland snail
If you want to choose the best type of snail to rear on your snail farm, your best option is the Ghana snail or tiger land snail. This type of snail is also known as Achatina snail. Also, make sure you buy heavy snails that have hard shells and are sexually mature.
Another alternative to buying snails is to pick snails from the forest, bush or garden around your house. If you pick snails from the forest, it is better for your snail farming business because such snails easily adjust to the snailery, compared to the snails bred in farms which you get to buy.
If you choose to pick from your garden, you can follow a simple method. During the rainy season, clear a portion of the bush around your house or garden if you have one.
Drop fruits such as banana, paw-paw, plantain or pineapple all over the bush or garden, so you can attract as many snails as possible.
Make sure you do it late in the evening. Come back in the night, after about three hours.
You will be able to pick many snails. If you can replicate the process every day, you might have enough to start your snail farming business.
However, you cannot get enough snails through this picking method, so the better option is to buy snails from farms instead, especially if you are starting your snail farming business on a large scale.
6. Feeding of snails
You have to feed the snails you are rearing to ensure that they grow and mature properly. Feeding snails is not as expensive as you might think. You can feed your snails with fruits such as:
- Sweet potatoes
- Maize chaff
- Cocoyam, etc.
Snails can eat these fruits as well as their leaves. Make sure you feed the snails on time and give them clean water. Also, clean the snail food and water containers as often as possible. If the snails are fed properly and placed in a clean environment, they grow well and mature quickly, without any harm from diseases or pests.
7. Separate baby snails from adult snails
During the process of rearing your snails, the snails that are mature fertilize each other whether male or female. The snails lay their eggs in logs. Then, the eggs hatch between four to six weeks. Separate the baby snails from the adult (mature) snails, so the baby snails can grow properly. It takes about eighteen to twenty-four months for the baby snails to become adult snails.
8. Harvesting your snails
When the snails you are breeding are fully mature, it is time to harvest them for sale to potential customers. It is advisable you do not harvest all the snails, save for some, so that they may breed further snails. This way, the number of snails on your farm which will reproduce, and you can sell later, increases.
9. Selling your snails
After harvesting your snails, it is time to sell your snails to customers and make money. All you have to do is advertise your snails to prospective customers such as bars, restaurants, canteens, hotels and market women. It is advisable you reach out to these customers well in advance, so once your snails are harvested, they can buy them immediately. This makes the sale of your snails easier.
10. Snail Food and Feeding
Snails especially Achatina mainly feeds on green leaves and fruits though they can utilize other ranges of foods. Feed your snails leaves, fruits, or even formula from the feed store. Aside from food to grow tissues, snails need calcium to grow shells.
Leaves: Cocoyam leaves, pawpaw leaves, okra leaves, cassava leaves, eggplant leaves, cabbage and lettuce leaves.
Fruits: Mango, eggplant, pawpaw, banana, tomatoes, oil palm fruits, pears. and cucumber.
Once they start growing, separate the big ones from the small ones. It take more than a year for the Achatina type to grow to harvest size. Others mature in two years.
One hundred thousand snails after a year or two sold at the rate of N50 each (highly reduced price) will give you about N5 million! Isn’t that a good investment?
Healthy Benefits Of Snail
Snail contains Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega -3 fatty acid s are types of polyunsaturated fat that can be produced by our body and it is important and essential because it forms EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and ALA (a-linolenic acid).
The American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended that a person must meet 5-10 percent of daily calories from omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 needs for healthy adults is 1-3 grams per day.
Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle, and is also better at filling you up than carbs and fat. Many people look to seafood as an easy source of protein, but actually, snails have more. Snail contains 16.1 g or 32% DV protein. This amount is more than all sources except mutton which reached 27 grams in 100 grams.
Protein has a major role to speed up biological reactions. As a mean of transport and storage, the protein contained in hemoglobin and myoglobin helps to transport oxygen in erythrocytes. For mechanical support, the form of fibers of the proteins called collagen has a function to maintain the strength and durability of the bones and skin.
Snail is high in iron (about 3.5 mg or 19% of DV). Iron is a vital substance needed by the body to ensure the availability of the required number of blood cells every day. In the body these substances is very important for our survival because it helps to transport oxygen into the tissues of the lungs and transports electrons in the formation of energy in cells.
When transporting oxygen, iron need the help from other nutrients such as protein which later merged to creates hemoglobin (in red blood cells) and myglobin (in the muscle fibers).
Snails are also a good source of iron, essential for building red blood cells and carrying energy around the body. A lack of iron can lead to extreme fatigue and anaemia.
snail contain a lot of vitamin like vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, B3, B6 and B12. Vitamin A is helpful to the eyes, vitamin E may act as an antioxidant. while, Vitamin B1, B3, B6 and Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that is needed to prevent and control diabetes.
Snail contains vitamin that dominate vitamins such as vitamins A, E, niacin, and folate. Vitamin A is good for the eyes, vitamin E is good for cell regeneration and skin care, niacin has a role in the carbohydrates metabolism to produce energy, and folate is good for the pregnant women.
Often cited as the ‘energy vitamin’, B-12 is needed for making red blood cells, keeping the nervous system healthy, releasing energy from the food we eat and processing folic acid. Luckily enough, snails have lots of it.
Snails are also a good source of magnesium, which our bodies need to maintain a normal blood pressure, strengthen bones and also keep your heartbeat regular. Magnesium plays important roles in the body, which is needed for more than 325 enzymatic reactions, including the synthesis of fats, proteins and nucleic acids, neural activity, muscle contraction and relaxation, cardiac activity and bone metabolism.
United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends the intake of 400 mg of magnesium per day for men aged 19-30 years and 420 mg for those over 30 years old. As for women under 30 years recommended intake is 300 mg of magnesium per day.
Economic Benefit of Snail Farming in Nigeria
The main benefits of snail farming in Nigeria are listed below.
- Snails are hermaphroditic in nature and highly reproductive. Both male and female reproductive organs are available in each snail. As a result the snails can reproduce very fast.
- One snail can lay eggs 6 time in a year. Each time they lay more than 80 to 100 eggs.
- Snail meat is better than any other red meat. And it is enriched with highly nutrition ingredients.
- Snail meat is high in iron, protein, calcium and phosphorus and very low in cholesterol, sodium and fat. As a result, snail meat is highly recommended by the dietitians and doctors for the patients and general people.
- Snail meat is very delicious and widely popularly accepted all over the Nigeria. And there is no religious or tribal taboo consuming the snail meat.
- Snail has a great market all over the Nigeria and in the West African regions.
- The business tasks related to snail farming in Nigeria like financing, producing, servicing, processing, sorting, transporting and marketing can make a great sector of employment of unemployed people.
- Domestic snail farming in Nigeria can meet up the family nutrition demands.
- Commercial snail production can decrease the importation of frozen meat or fish from the foreign country. This can save money and make the economy of Nigeria strong.
- Through widely commercial snail farming in Nigeria, some extra income can be made along with meeting up the national demand.
- Establishing a snail farm in Nigeria by using modern technologies, require less capital investment and produce much within a very short period. Running costs also very low.
- Risk of losses are less compared to other types of livestock farming system.
- Every parts of snail body is usable.
- You can make ten times more profit from snail farming in Nigeria within a year without any risk.
- Snail farming is not time consuming and there are no stress, odour, noise and irritation.
- You can easily do snail farming business with your current occupation.