Have you ever thought of making up to N12.5m after a year of rearing snails? Let’s do the math: If you have 50,000 snails, sold at an average unit price of N250 to N400 each, it will give you between N12.5m and N20m. With a start-up capital of N100,000 you can generate the sum of of N1m in one year. If you start with 50 snails, it can produce up to 200,000 snails in a year, worth millions, depending on the type. Snails are a proven medium for protein, and are proven to be a healthy alternative for those whom have cut off red meat from their diet. Approximately, 300,000 tons of snail meat is consumed yearly, worldwide. Back in the day, it was customary that people only got snails after it had rained from the bushes at night. Today however, it has been discovered that you can effectively run a snail farm in order to meet the gaps in the market. Snail farming has become popular recently because it requires little capital and space to start. Snails reproduce fast and in large numbers, producing over hundreds of eggs that hatch between 10-28 days, and mature within five to eight months. Here are different species of snails and they include; Achatina Fulica, Achatina Achatina, Achatina Marginata, and so on. Experts recommend Achatina Achatina for commercial purpose because it is highly profitable as it can lay up to 300 to 500 eggs at a time, and lays about three times a year.
It is very important that the snail farm – Snailery – be conducive, because that would determine the growth and survival of the snails. Soil, water, and plants around the pen is necessary, as snails need calcium for forming their shell and this is obtained from the soil and some of the plants. It also gets its water from the soil and lays his eggs in the soil that is why the soil needs to be wet, but not waterlogged. Snails love dark and cold places, it favours their existence. Therefore, it is advisable that you build a pen 10 inches deep into the soil, and covered with screen or wire to prevent the snails from escaping. This screen will also serve as a protection against rats, snakes, frogs, millipedes and other predators. Be wary of smaller predators like ants and termites while building the snail farm and while rearing them, as they cause more harm than the big ones. There are other kinds of pen built for snail farming, but building this type of pen allows them to have a feel of their natural habitat. The snail farm should be shielded from excessive wind. Trees like banana or plantain should be around the farm. The snails should however not be overcrowded in order to prevent disease. Snails are also affected by dry and acidic surfaces, therefore it is pertinent to keep the pen wet, especially during the dry season.
Sourcing for snails eggs
It is best that you obtain your first snails from the bush, which is their natural habitat as they would be in good conditions. They will be fertile because they wouldn’t have been exposed to much sunlight as this leaves them dehydrated. When you cannot go to the bush, you can buy the eggs in the market, leave them in wet sand, covered with cocoyam leaves, and then leave them to hatch. The hatching process takes about 21-28 days, after which you can start rearing your healthy snails from the beginning. You should know about the different types of snails before going to buy snails.
Snails feed on biodegradable foods such as green leaves, fruits, cocoyam leaves, okra leaves, lettuce, cabbage, cassava leaves, eggplant, pawpaw, banana, and cucumber. Feeding snail is not expensive this is usually once during the day. This is because snails mostly feed at night as it is their most active time. It is recommended therefore, that they are feed with foods rich in calcium as this helps them in growing their shells.
There is a substantial market for snails. Basically, you can sell or introduce them to major restaurants across the country. You may also design a platform that enables you to sell directly to families, and end users. To achieve great sales, you have to use extensive campaigns in order to let people know about your product. Media campaigns and social media campaigns will also be an added advantage as it will attract people to you. You then need to plan how you will distribute to them. Please note that to be successful in snail farming, you need to understand the best conditions to breed snails in, how they reproduce (snails are basically hermaphrodites), how they feed, and factors that militate against their growth. There are still some other steps that you need to take before embarking on this lucrative business, but one of the most important of these involves conducting a feasibility study, and then preparing a business plan. These can be provided upon request.