There are many untapped agricultural businesses in Nigeria and snail farming is one of them.
The snail farming business in Nigeria is one of the most lucrative agricultural businesses for young business-minded people in Nigeria.
Many people consume snails in Nigeria, so starting a snail farming business in Nigeria would be a worthwhile business to do.
However, it is good to understand how the snail business works before you venture into it and that is why it is advisable to read this article on how to start a snail farming business in Nigeria to get started.
Why You Need To Start Snail Farming Business
The market opportunity for the snail farming business in Nigeria is massive but highly underrated.
Only a few people are into the snail farming business in Nigeria and yet snails are a huge part of the diet in many parts of Nigeria.
Hotels, individuals, and restaurants are always in constant need of snail; if you reared snail in commercial quantity, they would be your regular customers.
Before now, snails handpicked from the farm or bush had been the only way to get snails to the market and for individual consumption.
Nowadays, the demand for snails is higher than the supply, which is a sign that the snail business is invaluable both locally and internationally.
However, a snail-rearing business does not require a huge amount of money to start, but you are sure to receive your returns after a year.
People love snails because they are a very healthy source of protein, phosphorus, calcium, and iron, and are low in fats, sodium, and cholesterol.
However, there are different types of snails we have in Nigeria including milk snail, white garden snail, Burgundy snail, and the most popular one, the African giant snail.
Although there are many species of edible snails, differing in shape, size, and color, the giant African snail is the best species of snail to rear due to its demand and economic size.
Furthermore, , mating and laying eggs are the interesting part of snail farming, and snails can fertilize each other as soon as they are mature enough.
However, for the egg-laying to happen successfully, you should rear them on the appropriate soil with the right temperature and humidity.
Snail farming business gives you time to do other things, you can keep your present job and do the business part-time since it does not require much time.
How To Start Snail Farming Business In Nigeria
Many people ventured into the snail farming business in Nigeria and failed woefully because they did not start well.
The start of everything determines the end, and you need to plan well before venturing into the snail farming business in Nigeria to avoid situations that may lead to loss.
However, snail farming is a low risk business and also very worthwhile, unlike many other livestock businesses.
Snail farming does not require huge capital to start up. You can start with N100, 000 or N150, 000 depending on the size of your farm.
However, below are the tips on how to start a snail farming business in Nigeria.
1. Get Trained
It will be difficult to start a snail farming business in Nigeria if you do not know how to go about it. The best thing to do if you so much desire to venture into the business is to get trained.
The training might not be intensive or take several months to finish, you just need to understand the dynamics of rearing snails.
When you get trained in the snail farming business, you would make fewer mistakes rather than the ones that will fold up your business.
However, you can get trained physically or online on YouTube or any other learning site.
2. Decide Which Species Of Snail To Farm
There are different species of snails in Nigeria, and you have to choose the ones that are more demanded by people.
However, you cannot rear different kinds of snails on the same soil you would have to rear just one specie, and research has shown that snail species such as the giant African snail is the best for warm climate regions like Africa.
3. Consider The Soil type
It is important to consider the soil type when you want to start a snail farming business because snails majorly dwell in the soil, and soil contains some of the elements that they need to survive.
The soil type should be rich and contain a high level of organic matter, and the best soil for snail farming is sandy-loamy soil, it has a low water-holding capacity.
4. Set Up The House
The size of the snail farm determines the housing size and style. If you are rearing only a few snails, then you would not need a large place, but if you are planning a large commercial snail farm, then you would need a large and comfortable house for them.
There are different kinds of snail houses that can be built, but you must take into consideration the snails’ stage of development and habits before you start building anything.
It is important to note that your snail house must be spacious, and younger snails would require more comfortable housing, which should be protected to deter predators.
However, snails grow in dark and damp places; hence it is necessary to avoid direct sunlight or heat. You can use fresh leaves and cloth to restrain the temperature.
Your snail house must have enough space for your snails to move freely because overcrowding your snails might prevent them from growing well.
Also, well-spaced snail housing reduces the risk of disease outbreaks caused by overcrowding.
5. Purchase your Snail
After building your snail house, the next thing to do is to purchase your quality snail from the market or other snail farmhouses.
However, ensure you examine the snails before you buy them to avoid buying unhealthy ones that would die immediately.
However, the snails you will buy will afterward lay eggs and help populate your farm.
6. Prepare Their Feed
Snails eat mainly vegetables and fruits and can be fed with a wide variety of them such as cabbage, cucumber, mango, banana, eggplant, pear, tomato and paw-paw, cassava, okra leaves, or lettuce, pineapple, banana pawpaw, banana, watermelon, etc.
Snails also feed on green leaves and kitchen crumbs that have no salt. They also need calcium to grow their shell, therefore, egg shells and limestone should be added to their feeds.
Also, low calcium intake will stunt the growth rate and cause the shells to be thinner and prone to cracking.
Also, snails drink a lot of water, and the absence of an adequate water supply can make them easily dehydrated, which can lead to infertility and stunted growth.
Also read: How to Start Apple Farming in Nigeria
7. Watch Out For Pests and diseases
You need to know the pest and diseases that attack snails and try your best to keep them off because snails cannot defend themselves.
However, termites, snakes, earthworms, ants, fowl, geese, turkeys, etc. are the common predators of snails and should be prevented by all means.
Also, there are not many diseases identified in snails. The fungus and bacterial diseases are spread by contact areas due to overcrowded pens.
Snails lay eggs when they are sexually mature between eight and twelve months, and the fertile eggs hatch between four and six weeks.
Snails do not have a specified breeding period. Averagely they lay five to six clutches of eggs per year, and each clutch may contain 200 eggs.
After hatching, the baby snail stays in the soil for two to five days. The baby snails should be put in a separate place for maximum protection and growth.
9. Harvesting And Selling Of The Snails
It is advisable to harvest your snails when they are mature, and snails are fully matured in two years.
However, when harvesting your snail, do not harvest all the matured snails at once to sell in the market, remain some for breeding, and to serve as base stock for your snail farm.
You can use containers, bowls, boxes, and baskets to harvest snails and it is not advisable to forcefully stack them because of how fragile snails are.
Snail has good market demand and price. You can sell the snails at the local market, or export them to foreign countries to make more money.
That’s all on how to start a snail farming business in Nigeria, I hope this article helps you start yours.