Earlier, I shared 50 lucrative agriculture business ideas on this blog. This article, as part of my efforts to shed more light on all the business ideas mentioned in that article, will give you a detailed guide on how to start a profitable snail farming business in Nigeria with little capital.
Many people dream of venturing into a profitable livestock production business but have never considered snail farming. Most will rather opt for the more time demanding and cost intensive livestock production ventures like poultry, goat and cattle production, fish farming, etc.
You are reading this article because you may have given snail farming business some thought. I’m here to help convince you on why you start this lucrative business. I will also show you how you can start your own small/big scale snail farming business in no time.
Snail farming business is one of the most lucrative livestock businesses any entrepreneur can venture into. Unfortunately, it has been neglected perhaps due to fears the technique required to start the business are complicated. The truth is, snail farming business is not rocket science; it is very simple to start and very profitable too.
This article promises to reveal all the technique necessary to start a snail farming business, thereby unlocking the door to huge income earning opportunities. Let’s get started.
Snails are basically boneless, shell bearing animals commonly found in African countries. They are considered special delicacies in most cultures. Snail meat is in high demand in Nigeria and most Africa countries. Furthermore, there is a growing demand for snail meat in Europe, particularly France, Spain, and Portugal.
BENEFITS OF SNAIL FARMING BUSINESS
The benefits of starting a snail farming business are many. Apart from being good source of high income with relatively low capital investment, snail farming brings much more benefits to the table. It is almost effortless, as managing the farm requires relatively less work. Other benefits include.
- Snail farming is environmental friendly as there is no noise; their droppings are firm, odorless, and easy to clean.
- Snail meat is a good source of animal protein, hence their high demands.
- Snails are hermaphrodites having both male and female reproductive organ. This feature makes them highly reproductive – a healthy snail is capable of producing an average of 200-300 eggs in one batch 2-3 times a year.
- The business is not time-consuming, and can be combined with other business.
- Any agriculture business idea is beneficial because it has to do with feeding a nation.
Having established that snail farming is a very lucrative business filled with mouth-watering benefits, and that succeeding at it is very simple. Let us now go ahead to discuss the necessities of starting up the business.
REQUIREMENTS TO START A SNAIL FARM
The procedure of starting a snail farming business basically includes: sourcing the snails for rearing, constructing the snail farm, and getting feed for the snails. Other necessities include, capital (everything requires capital), marketing, etc. Most of the materials required to start-up a snail farm are basic – they can easily gotten from the environment with little or no cost.
SOURCING THE SNAILS FOR THE FARM
Your first step into the world of snail farming must begin with knowledge of the best species of snail to rear. Lack of this knowledge might sabotage your entire efforts.
There are generally 4 different breeds of snail all of which are commonly found in Africa, particularly Nigeria. They include; Archachatina marginata (giant West African snail or banana rasp snail), Achatina achatina (African giant snail), Achatina fulica (giant African land snail), and Limicolaria spp
Of all four breeds only the first two (Archachatina marginata, and Achatina achatina) are well suitable to be reared. This is mostly due to their large size with matured adults reaching 600-800gm. They are more adaptive to unfavorable conditions and are more profitable to the farmer as they have the capacity to lay 150-450 eggs per clutch.
On the other hand, the last two breeds (Achatina fulica, and Limicolaria spp) are less economical for farming because they are of smaller size with their adults reaching 20-35gm, and laying about 10-25 eggs per clutch.
The best place to source for live snail for a snail farm is deep in the forest. However, you can also get snails from already existing farms. You should take care not to source for snails from the market, as most of them are stressed out and only good for eating.
CONSTRUCTION OF A SNAIL FARM
Snails do better in humus, loamy soil which permits the growth of vegetation. The farm must be a flat surfaced, well ventilated, and adequately wet but not water-logged.
Depending on the finance available to you, the entrepreneur, you can build a snail farm in different sizes. However, you must take steps to make the farm adaptable and comfortable for the snails.
You can construct a small-scale farm using simple materials like old tires, baskets, old drums etc. The goal is to create a spacious environment where snails can be kept and where they can feed and reproduce.
You can also build a small-scale snail farm using an old water tank. Just make sure to perforate the sides of the tank to allow ventilation. Also cover the floor with humus soil and place dry leaves on it.
If you can afford it, you can also construct larger farms. The most common of these are a cage, high-fenced pen, and low-fenced pen.
The advantage of a large farm over a small one is mainly its durability and higher capacity for profit. Whether you go big scale or small-scale, snail farming is still a profitable business.
What do snails feed on?
Snails are nocturnal animals – they have the tendencies to eat mainly at night. They feed on a wide range of decaying or fresh plant and animal.
Cost of feed is almost negligible; snails can feed on peels of cocoyam, sweet potato, rice, maize chaff, etc. The most important element vital for the proper growth and reproduction of snails is calcium, and calcium can be cheaply gotten from green outer leaves of cabbage, pawpaw leaf, pawpaw fruits, etc.
Snails are survivors – they can survive harsh conditions. To ensure proper growth and reproduction, you must ensure the farm is always clean and free from potential threats such as ants, carnivorous birds, and termites.
MARKETING OF SNAILS
The demand for snails is now higher than the supply both locally and internationally. On a small scale, you may choose to market your snails locally, supplying to hotels and restaurants. While a large-scale farmer may find that exporting could be a much more profitable option. Ultimately, the goal of the business will be achieved and high profit generated with minimal cost and effort.
It would be almost pointless to quote a particular startup cost for snail farming business because cost of things will vary with time and place. The important thing is to follow the procedure and catapult yourself into riches and delicacy. You can do a research and see how much you are able to gather some of the equipment mentioned earlier.
Here are some other articles you will find very useful whether you go with snail farming or not:
- Practical ways to raise startup funding for your business
- 50 Agriculture Business Ideas for the Nigerian Entrepreneur
- Top 15 Businesses that will Take Center Stage in 2017
- How to get Government Grants for Rice Farming in Nigeria
Do you anyone who might learn to prosper by reading this article? Share it on your social media channels so they can see it.
I’d be interesting to hear what you think about snail farming business. Is it a business you are interested in starting? Post a comment and let me know.
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