Snail farming may not be the first thing that jumps to mind when you’re brainstorming ideas for starting your own business, but right now, before snail farming becomes one of the most popular businesses in Nigeria, is the right time to jump into this industry.
If you’re ready to open a new, successful page in your life, here is a complete guide on how to start snail farming in Nigeria. Who knows, maybe you’ll become the first Nigerian snail magnate?
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1. Why snail farming?
If you’re not entirely convinced that snail farming in Nigeria is the right industry to join, check out a few tips why snail rearing is definitely here to stay.
- Snail meat has exceptionally high nutritional value and is better for your health than any red meats.
- Snails are a valuable protein around the world and are part of many delicious recipes from the most exquisite cuisines.
- Snail meat is consumed all over Nigeria and beyond its borders; plus, there are no religious restrictions concerning snails.
- Snails are famously reproductive and hermaphroditic, which means they can reproduce at a very fast pace – one snail can deliver up to 600 new snails per year.
2. Snail farming business plan
One of the most essential aspects of snail farming for beginners is creating a business plan, which is the only reliable way to calculate your expenses, potential profit, risks, and outline your steps towards starting the business.
The mandatory expenses you need to account for if you’re wondering how to set up a snail farm include: housing, buying fresh snails, feeding, handling and processing the snails, marketing, and transportation. You’ll also need to conduct a feasibility research and a study of competitors to calculate how viable your business is going to be and what your obstacles are.
3. Snail rearing methods
In Nigeria, most of the snail farming happens outdoors, although in other parts of the world snail farmers usually construct special sheds. That is why, if you want to find out how to rear snail at home, you’ll be delighted to know that you can start a small snail business in your back yard.
Even though your snails will live outdoors, you still need to construct a snailery, which functions as a protection against predators and as a means to keep the snails from escaping. For a viable snail farm construction, you’re going to need some termite-proof timber, large sheets of polyethylene, and mosquito nets.
Mating and laying eggs are a vital part of snail farming. Typically, mating occurs during spring and summer. As hermaphrodites, snails can fertilize each other as soon as they are mature enough. In order for the egg laying to go over smoothly, you should use high-quality soil with the right temperature and humidity. Keep in mind that not all snails are going to make it past the mating period – some will deteriorate in health and pass away.
4. How to farm snails at home
The different snail farming techniques give any Nigerian an opportunity to start a successful business with a small starting capital. Follow these steps to set up your own snail enterprise.
- Make sure the environment is right for snails. The area for snail rearing should be thoroughly protected against the wind, athe windnd makes snails dehydrate at a fast pace and eventually die.
- Get the soil. Not all types of soil available in Nigeria is suitable for snail farming: for example, clay soil is definitely a bad choice. Soil is the main source of water and calcium for building shells, so make sure your soil is high quality and enriched with nutrients.
- Select the breed of snails you want to farm and go to a market to buy a fresh batch. The most popular breeds for snail farming in Nigeria include Achatina Fulica, Achatina Achatina, and Archachatina Marginata.
- Establish a snailery using the tips you can find above.
- Prepare the feeding for your snails. To maintain the health and reproductive abilities of your snails, their menu should include green leaves of popular Nigerian plants, as well as fruits and vegetables, such as mango, banana, pears, cucumbers, tomatoes, palm oil fruits, etc.
- Market and sell your snails. Approximately in one year after mating, young snails reach a marketable size and can be sold. You can sell them in a local market, in batches to bulk buyers, or try and conquer the international snail market.
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