If you are into agriculture business in Nigeria you will understand and agree with me that every agricultural product could be a source of wealth, be it crops, animal husbandry or by products and even snail farming business in Nigeria.
Today we want to discuss snail farming with you.
After reading this comprehensive post, you may contact us if you want to visit one of our associate snail farms, to come and see and learn snail farming, practically.
I will also give you my phone number, should you need our help.
In fact, you can use our experienced snail farmers to help you set-up your own snail business, professionally.
We’ll also give you a video to watch, as we go on in this post.
Let’s get started!
Introduction to Snail Farming in Nigeria
Snail rearing is a business opportunity which is sometimes overlooked because most people feel it can never be a source of income or wealth.
Aside that, some people also felt and have the conception that snail farming can never be regard as a business because people can easily pick up snail in the farms after rainfalls for consumption without setting them up as a business.
However, even despite that, snail farming as a business enterprise is one of the numerous approaches which will and has successfully transforms Nigeria’s subsistence agriculture.
The opportunities in snail rearing by far outweigh its challenges or problems.
This is so because snail’s feeds are very native, national or local.
However, snail farming business in Nigeria is a type or kind of agricultural venture that if one ventures in it diligently, he/she would not have any cause to regret.
Know that the demand for snail is large in Nigeria as such the market potential of snail is inexhaustible, domestically and internationally
so if you feel that you are not selling as much as you expect in Nigeria, then feel free to export your snail to other countries who also have a high demand for it.
Snail farming business can be very profitable in Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon, South Africa, and Nigeria.
But in Nigeria, snail farming business is not highly considered and put into consideration as how it is been done in other countries.
In Australia and USA, snail farming is a big business, providing opportunities to many farmers.
In UK, snails can be seen in many supermarkets and stores.
Looking on how serious other countries has taken snail rearing business, you will permit me to write in this article that we are really in a great deal lacking behind in snail production in Nigeria.
One thing you should know about snail farming (Heliciculture) which is the process of raising land snails specifically for human consumption or use is that, snail rearing is as easy as ABC.
The only considerable thing the rearing of snail requires is your attention, care and good management.
Another thing you should know is that snails reproduce rapidly.
They are capable of producing 100 eggs or more during reproduction.
The discovery of the Achatina Achatina, which is also referred to as giant Ghana snail or giant tiger land snail is very high prolific specie of snail which has the potential can lay up to 1,000,000 eggs or more.
I am sure you will agree with me now, that snail farming business in Nigeria could be indeed a profitable business.
Snail farming in Nigeria & the by-products of Snails
Snails are very sluggish in movement and due to this attribute it has traditionally been a symbol of laziness.
Snails are usually found in the forest or bush areas and are very active at night.
But nevertheless, this sluggish little creatures has high benefit that some of us who usually consumes snails has no idea that it has; from using it in producing other products to its healthy benefits.
Some of the byproducts of snail
If you really and ready to enter into snail farming in Nigeria you should be fully aware of the snail’s nutrients, its by-products or usefulness.
This is recommended so that when marketing your snail, your customers might be triggered to purchase your product if you inform them about things they don’t know about snail.
Same goes for every business.
Aside from eating snail as food, snail and most of its part can be used for other things.
This is the outer and harder part of the snail which the snail uses as protection from their predator or from danger.
Most times or sometimes, snail shell can be used for traditional medicine, ornament or beads, decorations, cowries or for local tools.
Snail eggs or snail caviar
These are the reproduced part of the snail (snail eggs) which will gradually transfer into adult snail.
Most people eat snail eggs or snail caviar; it is sometimes put into soups or been prepared for the sole aim of consumption, but for business purpose, it is advisable to preserve your snail eggs for reproduction.
This is a kind of mucus, an external bodily secretion which is produced by snails, gastropod mollusks.
It is jelly in nature. Apart from the part of snail which is been consumed as food, another important part of the snail is the snail slime.
Snail slime contains 91-98% water.
The slime is filtered multiple times to increase its concentration and ensure its purity.
Snail slime could be used for various purposes such as;
For traditional medication; long ago, snail slime was traditionally used medicinally from ancient Greece to the middle Ages internally against gastrointestinal ulcers, and in the form of syrup, to soothe a cough. Though now, some people believe in it healing capability and still also use it.
Use in the treatment of burns; In Cameroon, snail slime has also been used by the Bamiléké people of Cameroon to treat burns.
Use for cosmetics; if you do not know, now you know it; snail slime can be used for cosmetics and it has numerous benefits.
Know that most of these cosmetics snail slime are usually extracted from a snail variety known as Cornu Aspersum (previously Helix Aspersa).
- Snail slime is filled with nutrients such as hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein, proteoglycans, antimicrobial and copper peptides, which are commonly used in beauty products and proven to be beneficial for the skin. Though, these properties help to protect the snail’s skin from damage, infection, dryness and UV rays and likewise beneficially to human skin.
- For serums, facial masks, moisturizers and fading creams-; Snail secretion filtrate is widely used in Korean for beauty products. And these secretions have a neutral look, smell and texture.
- Snail mucin can be used to treat dry skin, wrinkles and stretch marks, acne and rosacea, age spots, burns, scars, razor bumps and even flat warts.It can also be used for anti-aging properties that it aids to kindle the development of collagen and elastin. It protects skin from free radicals, soothe skin, repair damaged tissues and restore hydration.
Having discussed the by-products and the usefulness of snails, lets quickly look at the health benefits of snail
Snail Farming & Health Benefits of Snail
These are the nutrients and vitamins that are been provided by snail for body regulations.
- Snail contains choline (an important water-soluble vitamin). This choline is known to be required in building and maintaining healthy cell membranes, protecting the liver from fat accumulation, help transport triglycerides from the liver, has the ability to break down fat so it is useful to prevent the buildup of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream and also essential for the fetus and infants to help the growth of the brain, therefore, the baby should drink breast milk that rich in choline.
- Snail contains high levels of magnesium; which is needed for more than 325 enzymatic reactions, together with been involved in the synthesis of fats, proteins and nucleic acids, neural activity, muscle contraction and relaxation, cardiac activity and bone metabolism.
- Snail is high in selenium which are important minerals and nutrients that fights diseases such as cancer and heart disease. It is also powerful antioxidants that help to prevent the aging and hardening of tissues through oxidation. Selenium minerals can be found in every cell of the body, which is mainly in the kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas, and testes.
- Snail contains Omega-3 fatty acids which is very useful for preventing diseases related to the heart because omega 3 can make arterial organ becomes more elastic than that, omega 3 can reduce the risk of high blood pressure. This Omega 3 is also good for improving eye health in general. In 100 grams of snails also contained 100 UI Vitamin A that is good for the eyes. And also assist in the development of the brain and memory of children. Omega-3 is very good to advance our brain health because it affects the growth of cell membranes in the neurological system in the brain. In addition, omega 3 can improve memory so it is suitable for those who often forgetful. Lastly, Children who frequently consume omega 3 it is very good to help the physical and mental development of children.
- Snails contain high percentage of protein (12-16%) and irons (45-50 mg/kg) they are low in fat and also contain almost all the amino acids needed by humans.
- Snail meat has a high medicinal value known to control hypertension and its blue liquid is used in stopping excessive bleeding from open wounds.
How to Start a Snail Farming/Rearing Business in Nigeria
- Be determined.
- Set up a business plan for your snail business.
- Determine your cost or capital.
- Select a fertile land and type of soil.
- Housing and Using of intensive system.
- Selecting the right breed and stocking.
- Feed your snail appropriately.
- Healthy management.
- Reproduction and maturity.
- Marketing your snail.
- Other issues; include possible pests and diseases.
Now that we have listed the points that we will be discussing about, now let’s explain them one after the other.
1) Be determined
It is one thing to think of a business plan, it is also another thing to be determined, set it up and nurture it till it grows.
To set up a snail farming business in Nigeria, you must be really determined and be sure that this is what you want to do.
No business is easy, not even snail farming in Nigeria.
Remember when you are determined, you loss procrastination.
2) Write a business plan for your snail business
In setting up a snail farming business in Nigeria, you must setup a perfect business plan for it.
A good business is one that has a business plan which is why I always use to emphasize on this when letting down a guard .
A business that has a business plan is one that has the high potential of succeeding well.
It is so because a business plan entails the amount of capital you intend to start with, your estimated gain, the amount of money you intend to spend in purchasing of equipment or building your facilities, the number of snail you’re starting with, etc, plus your marketing strategies.
When all these are documented, it will give you an insight of the direction your business is heading to; that is if you are gaining or losing in your snail farm business; this also applies to other business.
Another good reason why you should have a good business plan is because whenever you are in need of a loan, a good business plan would back you up to secure a faster loan from investors because the investors could see you as being serious and having a good insight into the snail business.
3) Determine your cost or capital
You should determine the scale and the amount of money you intend to start your snail farming business with.
Do you want to start the snail farming small or do you want to start big?
These are among the questions you should have an answer to before you start.
Some people start with a huge capital, while other start with little capital then as time goes on, they put in more snails as the profit grows.
This all depends on the size of your pocket, remember; the one good thing about snail farming business is that you can start it with low capital.
4) Selecting a fertile land and type of soil
When selecting a land for starting your snail farming business in Nigeria, select lands that are plain with adequate shade and the soil should not be waterlogged.
It must be balanced and it should not be too dry, and also it must not be acidic.
If possible, the most desirable and recommended type of soil for snail farming is sandy-loamy or loamy soil with low water holding capacity.
The reason why you need a good loamy soil for rearing your snail is because snails derive calcium which is used for forming its shell from the soil and it also gets its water from the soil and lays its eggs on soil.
So therefore, Snails cannot be reared on concrete floors.
5) Snail farming housing and using of intensive system
If you intend to construct and rear your snail in a snail pen, tank or drum and not on an open place or farm, then you are still on point.
This method is highly recommended, because you will keep a close watch on your snail and they also won’t be able crawl away in different direction.
When constructing this pen, tank or drum, or even in trampolines, it can be high or low fenced.
For those of you who intend to construct a high fenced pen, the walls should be a dwarf wall with bricks of about 1.5m high built all around it and it should have wire gauze at the top.
You should try to prevent ants or insects (who are snail’s predators) by digging some trenches around the underneath or foundation of the fence and pour some engine oil on it; this will help in prevent the gathering of ants or insects.
This same application goes for those constructing low fenced pens.
If you intend to construct a concrete floored snail pen; you should cover the ground of the soil with soil, (loamy soil) to give the snails a better condition.
Note; it is better and highly recommended that when constructing your snail pen (house for your snail), you build a pen that has a bare soil on the floor, and not cement it. Put fresh leaves or damp the soil to make the snail feeling at home.
(6) Selecting the right breed and stocking for your snail farm.
After constructing your snail pen, now it’s time to stock your snail pens with snails.
When selecting or getting your snail, you should select snails that are fresh; they should also have hard shells without damage, patches or nodes on the surface.
Also look for the ones that are sexually matured which weigh heavily.
There many species of nails in Nigeria. And they are;
- Zebra Nerite snail
- Tracked Nerite snail
- Horned Nerite snail
- Sulawesi snail
- Pond snail
- Apple snail
The best species are known as Achatina Fulica, Achatina Achatina and the Archachatina Marginata but for rearing snail, it is better and highly recommended that you get the Achatina Achatina (also known as giant Ghana snail or giant tiger land snail.)
The reason why it is recommended that you rear Achatina Achatina snail species is because it is big in nature, and most especially, this snail can lay many eggs up to over one thousand each year. This kind of massive reproduction is good snail farming business in Nigeria.
7) Feeding your snail.
Like I wrote before, rearing snail or snail farming is really not costly which is why it is a good business to venture into, feeding your snail is really not costly because snail feeds on fruits, sweet potato, cassava tuber, soya bean, maize chaff, palm kernel cake, fish meal, tomatoes, cocoyam, pawpaw fruits, cucumber and leaves, plantains, bananas, cabbage, lettuce leaves and guava fruits.
As you can see, snails are carefree animals that are not really selective of foods.
Just make sure that whatever fruit or food you are giving them is salt free that is, it has no salt.
8) Snail farming healthy management
Just because we having been saying that snails don’t fall sick as much or that snails are easy to manage does not mean you should not take care of your snail.
There is much mortality in snail, as it is in other animal husbandry too.
You should remember to take adequate care of your snail.
Put in mind that it is your business and source of income and don’t just treat it anyhow.
Know when to provide it food. Feed your snails regularly morning and night with drinking water and also avoid mixing with salt, mixing fruits and tuber leaves.
Always try to frequently clean the feed and water dishes and give them good water. Also Earthworms added to the soil help keep the pen clean
9) Snail farming reproduction and maturity.
Male and female snails fertilize each another, after mating which may take several hours, they lay their eggs in depressions under logs or fragments.
Though they start laying white eggs 8-12 months when they are sexually mature, Snail eggs hatches between 4 to 6 weeks.
After hatching, the baby snail stays in the soil for 2-5 days.
Then the baby should be put in a separate pen to give it available space to grow.
Moreover, it usually takes up to 1½ to 2 years to grow to adulthood. A well matured snail should have a thick, harder and if possible big brim/shell.
10) Other issues on snail farming; include possible pests and diseases
You should look out for possible pest or disease that could harm your snail. Parasites, nematodes, trematodes, fungi, and micro arthropods can attack snails, and such problems can spread rapidly when snail populations are intense. Also look out for and prevent rats, mice, moles, skunks, weasels, birds, frogs, toads, lizards and walking insects.
These are pests that could harm your snail.
11) Harvesting your snail.
When your snails are all matured, harvest them for selling.
Do not sell your snail when it is not yet mature. It is advisable not to harvest all the snail at once this is it is important so as to keep some for breeding and to serve as base stock for your snail farm.
12) Marketing your snail
Though it is better to do this before harvesting, sample your snail to available buyers who might be interested.
Market your snail to market women, hotels, joints and also restaurants.
But before you do this, do a market research to know how much snail cost in the market.
This will help you know the price to which you will be selling yours; so as not to sell above the normal price or below the normal price.
This section was reserved till now because it could be boring.
Below are some of the diseases odd snails you may want to be familiar with.
We may write details on them later on this blog.
- Operculum detoriation: holes, loss of operculum
- Snail inactivity
- Loss of tentacles or small tentacles
- Hole in the shell
- Thin and fragile shell
- Body disformation
- Detoriation of shell and operculum
- Discoloration in new shell
- Rough shell surface in new shell parts
- Reproduction problems
- Irregular growth of the shell
- Egg problem
Now you see; setting up a snail farming business in Nigeria has a lot of advantage from having a low cost in setting up to easy management.
Snail farming business in Nigeria is among the lucrative agricultural business opportunity that most people who knows the worth are embarking on.
The secret of making millions in any business is to master your game, dream big, try to differentiate yourself from competitors and work smarter.
You can watch the video we promised and see how you can get to one of our associate’s snail farms, for practical training HERE
We wish you best of luck!
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