How to Start a Snail Farming Business in Nigeria in 2021
Snail farming business in Nigeria is one of the most profitable agribusiness you can start with low capital an earn up to N5million annually.
Snail farming is very popular in Nigeria mainly not for its economic value but for family consumption due to its nutritious value as it is rich in protein, calcium, vitamin A, iron, magnesium and also it helps to lower cholesterol.
Many people especially Nigerians forgot that snail breeding is a very big lucrative business that can yield millions of money within a short period of time.
So in this article,"snail farming business in Nigeria", you will learn many things about snail breeding and how you can start with N100,000 or more depending on the size of your farm and earn millions of Naira within a short period.
Snail Farming Business In Nigeria
Snails belongs to the animal group known as Phylum Mollusca because they don't have backbones and they are widely accepted nationwide due to its nutritious value and it's environmental friendliness.
Based on research, snails meat are high in protein, vitamins, low in fat and contains all the amino acids needed by humans.
For many years now, people do think that snails is not a profitable business in Nigeria because it's being handpicked by many in the bush during the rainy season thus the concluded that it's only used for family consumption and that it doesn't have any economical value.
Some knows that snails have an economical value but they don't have an inside knowledge on how to breed them, the think that the only way to find and sell snails is by going to the bush during the rainy season to handpicked them.
The techniques are often confidential, but the truth is that snail breeding is as easy as ABC. The only difficult thing in snail is that it constantly requires your attention and care.
Currently, the demands for snails is higher than the supplies, an indication that the market potential of snails is inexhaustible, both in Nigeria and the rest of the world.
Benefits Of Snail Breeding In Nigeria
- Snail rearing is a very lucrative business in Nigeria that can be started with N100,000 or more depending on land and can yield you millions of Naira per annum
- Snail breeding does not necessarily need strong vaccination or drug administration as snails are generally very strong
- Snails are rich in protein and low in cholesterol (Fat).
- Snail farming does not require large portion of land because a small land can be used to rear thousands of snails
- Snails are environmentally friendly, easy to handle and does not constitute any form of disturbance at all, the droppings are odourless, easily cleared and cleaned
- Mixture of snails blood and palm kernel oil in equal parts when rubbed on the body reduces the severity of Stoke and severe headache (Fature, 1990). The snail blood is the bluish fluid found when the shell is broken.
- Snail shells serves as calcium used for animal feeds.
How Lucrative/Profitable Is Snail Farming Business In Nigeria?
During dry season, snails becomes increasingly difficult to find until the wet season. This makes the supply of snails very seasonal in Nigeria and it can fetch you millions of Naira especially during the dry season (December to March) when it's supply fails to meet its demands. This is why you need to cultivate snail at your backyard to make huge profits.
Now let's take a mathematical example on how profitable is snail farming business in NigeriaApproximately, From the day the egg is laid it takes 5 to 6 months to mature and extra 6 to 15 months to be sexually active (to produce) depending on weather and the availability of calcium you feed them.
Some species especially Achatina Achatina lays 200 to 400 eggs three(3) times per annum. In Nigeria, the price of raw, matured snails ranges from N200 to N600 depending on the size and location.
Now, let's assume that you have 500 snails and each laid a minimum of 200 eggs three times per year. That is, 200 minimum eggs × 3 times they laid in a year = 600, so 500 snails gives you a minimum of 300,000 snails/year.
Now, let's assume that the price of 1 snails in Nigerian market is N200 and you sold 300,000 pieces of snails per year, your earnings per annum is N200 (price of 1 snail) × 300,000 snails = N60 million profits per annum.
300,000 snails which you sold in a year is approximately 25,000 snails/month sales because 300,000 snails ÷ 12 months = 25,000 snails. So in 30days you earn N5 million from 25,000 snails sold by you per month. Isn't that a lucrative business to start in Nigeria?.
Note: snails are also needed for other purposes in Nigeria such as for traditional medicine, cosmetics, beads, curing of cardiovascular diseases in human body.
Types Of Snail Species In NigeriaThere are more than four types of snail species in Nigeria, but the most popular ones are:
- Achatina Achatina (AA)
- Achatina Marginata (AM)
- Achatina Fulica
This specie is believed to be native to West Africa, within 160 to 300km of the coast of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast and Benin. It is the 2nd largest in the world and the 2nd most popular breed in Nigeria.
What differentiates it with other breeds is that it has a yellowish and darkish spine on the shell which resembles the colour of a tiger, it also has a V shape on their tail just like the Achatina Fulica with 7 or more round curves rings on its shell.
Achatina Achatina is also known by many as simply, African Giant Snail or Giant Ghana African Snail One thing to note about this AA is the rate of its egg production Because, it has the ability to lay from 200 to 500 eggs in a single clutch. It can do so at least 3 to 5 times per year, it also takes 21 to 30 days for the AA eggs to hatch.
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It takes between 4 to 6 months before Achatina Achatina can get matured and start laying eggs and the shells of these snails often grow to a length of 18 centimetres (7.1 in) with a diameter of 9 centimetres (3.5 in).
Achatina Marginata (AM)
Also known as the Giant West African Snail or Banana Rasp Snail. Achatina Marginata is the largest of all the snail species. It has a brownish yellow spots and a zigzag lines that are dark brown or reddish in color. The apex of the shell is slightly flattened, bulbous, large and pinkish in color. The body color of these snails are variables. The shell when magnified has the appearance of a woven texture. AM can live up to 10 years.
It takes between 8 to 9 months for AM to start laying eggs. the shell of this snail can grows up to 20cm in height, and 13 cm in diameter and weight up to 800 grams. They lay between 5 to 15 eggs per clutch and lays 2 to 3 times per annum which enables them to lay from 40 to 80 eggs per year.
Achatina Fulica originated in the coastal areas and island of east Africa where it presumably got the nickname "Giant African Snails". Achatina Fulica is a fast growing polyphagous plant pest that has been introduced from Africa to other parts of the world as a commercial food source for human, fish and livestock and as a novelty pet.
The most common trait of Achatina Fulica is in its egg production rate. They lays from 200 to 400 eggs in a clutch and can lay between 2 to 3 times in a year.
AF is smaller in size compared to AA and AM. But can grow between 20 to 30 centimetres (CM) in length, with a shell length up to 20 CM with a diameter of up to 4 inches (10 centimeters). It has a physical features that are associated with the Phylum Mollusca.
Achatina Fulica is conical, its spiralled shell is predominantly brown with weak, dark banded marking across the spiral. It also has a pointed tail similar to Achatina Achatina (AA) and they can live on an average between 3 to 5 years with some individuals reaching as old as 10 years.
Tools And Equipments Used In Snail Rearing Business In Nigeria
- Water tanks (snails need water for its survival)
- Watering can (this is needed for spraying water over the soil on a daily basis
- Cutlass and hoe
- Weighing Scale (digital preferably, it is needed in determining the weight of snails
- Feeding Trough (when it's time to feed your snails, a feeding trough is needed to place all your food so that they can eat from it. You can also use feeding trough in providing snails with water)
- Shovel and rake.
How To Start A Profitable Snail Farming (Rearing) Business In Nigeria
Step 1 - Be Prepared and Be determined
Step 2 - Location
Step 3 - Snail Pen
The place where snails are housed is known as "Snailery or snail pen". So constructing a Snailery is an important Requirements needed before starting a snail rearing business in Nigeria.
Before constructing a snail pen, you have to consider certain factors that are harmful to snails like pest and predators such as Termites, snakes, lizard, geese, ant, cockroaches etc should be prevented prevented by all means.
According to research, constructing your snail pen (house) through wire mesh is an excellent security measure to keep away pest and predators and also to prevent the snails from escaping. However snail pen can also be reared in boxes made of suitable substance like wood or straw and also must have enough space for your snails to graze freely.
Overcrowding your Snailery (snail house) hinders the development of snails and therefore should be avoided at all costs because, snails are highly reproductive and grow better when they have space.
Since snails are known to love a dark and cool environment, you can use fresh leaves and cloth to regularly wet their house in order to regulate the temperature.
Step 4 - Source your Snailery (snail pen)Now that your snail pen is ready, don't you think that it's high time to source your newly build snail pen? Snails are hermaphrodites which means that they have both male and female reproductive organs and they reproduce heavily. When sourcing for snails go for the healthy, fully grown snails that will lay eggs and populate your Snailery.
It is very important that you source your snails directly from the forest instead of buying from the market. Because best and most fertile snails are found in thick bushes, farms or at your backyard mostly during rainy season (June to September) where as, snails sold in the market are only good for consumption because they have been exposed to heat and sunlight, they have also been dehydrated and the stress of dehydration can affect their fertility badly.
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During rainy season, clear a portion of land on the day time, come back at 5pm Nigerian time and sprinkle spicy fruits like pawpaw, banana, pineapple, plantain and some of its food on the ground. After 2 to 3 hours, go back there and you will see plenty of snails suitable for farming. Apply this trick daily.
Step 5 - FeedingSnails are vegetarian and there feeding is less expensive when compared to others. They feed on leaves and fruits and also any food rich in calcium is great for snails because calcium helps to speed up their growth rate and also thickens their shells and according to research, there is a huge calcium deposits in limestone.
They types of leaves they feed on are pawpaw leaves, cassava leaves, cocoyam leaves, okra leaves, eggplant leaves, cabbage and lettuce leaves. While examples of fruits they eat are mango, cucumber, eggplant, banana, pawpaw, pears, watermelon and oil palm fruits.
Step 6 - Harvesting and marketingIt usually take 24 months for snails to fully mature and when your snails are all matured, harvest them for selling purpose and take some home for family consumption.
Do not sell your snail when it is not yet matured. To identify matured snails, Check the brim of the shell and when it is thicker and harder than other parts of the shell know that, that particular snail is matured.
After Harvesting, the next step is marketing. Find a suitable place to market your snails be it at a local market, hotels, restaurants or you can export them international. The exportation option is more profitable but you must harvest large quantities to meet the demands of the international market because according to research, the USA government imports imports more than $4million worth of snails annually in Nigeria and some parts of the world.
Note: Do not harvest all the matured snails at once, keep a few for breeding and to serve as base stock for your snail farm. Snails are usually scarce and expensive from December to March. So it is the best period to market your snails in Nigeria.
Basic Facts About Snails Rearing
- Snails produces a thick slime which protects and gives them the ability to crawl on sharp object like the edge of a razor without being hurt
- Snails are hermaphrodites they possess both the male and female reproductive system
- Snails has a lifespan of more than 10 years
- Snails have the ability to hibernate during cold or dry season by forming a protective covering which can sustain them for months
- Snails are nocturnal animals because they are more active at night.