Many aspiring young entrepreneurs in Nigeria are unaware of the high economic value of snail farming. When thinking of lucrative business opportunities to invest in Nigeria, snail farming rarely comes to mind. Unknown to many people, snail farming is one of the most profitable agricultural business ideas that you can exploit in Nigeria. With a minimal starting capital of about N60,000 to N100,000, you can grow a snail farm that will yield a profit of more than N10,000,000 per annum.
What Makes Snail Farming So Profitable?
There is a high demand for snails in not only Nigeria but in the whole of Africa as well. Snails are considered a tasty and highly nutritious delicacy. And as they are often a scarce commodity, the cost of buying these snails is usually high. A raw, matured snail doesn’t go for anything less than N250 to N600.
It doesn’t take much to farm these snails either—only a bit of your time and attention. Their feeding supplies are easy and inexpensive to obtain. Snails eat mostly vegetables and fruits. Fruits like pineapple, paw-paw, mango, banana and so on are enough for them.
Unlike other types of livestock farming like fowls or goats, snails are rarely prone to disease breakout, so there is zero to the little risk of you losing your snails.
Another major factor that makes snail farming so profitable is their reproduction system. There is no male or female gender for snails as they are hermaphrodites that have both male and female genitals. And snails can reproduce more than 200 eggs at once. So check it out, if 100 of your snails reproduce at once, that will be about 20,000 additional snails in your snail farm. When those snails mature and you sell them for N500 each, you’d be counting millions in a year’s time.
How To Get Started With Snail Farming
Starting a snail farm is neither a long nor complicated process. These five basic steps outlined below will have you well on your way to owning a profitable snail farming business:
Decide On The Specie Of Snail To Farm
Your snail farm has to consist of only one species of snail. If you are establishing your snail farm in Africa, Achatina achatina species of snail is the best species to use—based on research.
Construct Your Snail House
Your snail house should be escape proof because snails have a flair for making their way out of where they are kept. It should also be spacious and accessible to the soil. Avoid overcrowding your snails as that will stunt their development and also put them at risk of a disease outbreak.
Get Your Snails
Of course, you can’t start a snail farm without getting some snails just as it is impossible to grow a plantain plantation without getting some plantains. The best way to go about getting snails that will breed for you is by either purchasing some healthy and fully grown snail from the market or a snail farm. A fully grown snail will have a lip at its shell—that’s how you know it is fully grown. You need those snails that are already sexually matured enough to populate your farm.
Start Rearing And Feeding Your Snail
Like was earlier stated, snails eat fruits and vegetables: cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, mango, tomato and so on. For their egg-laying process to go smoothly, you need to use high-quality soil with the right humidity and temperature.
Harvest And Sell Your Snails
Hurray, this is where you start enjoying the fruit of your ‘light’ labor. Once your snails are matured, you can start selling them. Note, don’t harvest them before they are matured and don’t sell all your matured snails at once. You need to leave some of the matured ones to carry on with the breeding in your snail farm.
Your major customers could be hotel or eatery managers. You can also take your snails to the local market to sell or export it in the international market—snail trade is also flourishing in North America and Europe.
Can you see how easy it is to start up a snail farm? You can even construct a snail house in your backyard if you live in a house with a large compound.