Snail farming is the process of grooming snails for domestic or commercial purpose. Snail is one of the most eaten and enjoyed delicacies in Nigeria. Snail is enjoyed with different delicacies, soups and stews by millions of Nigerians. Snail is in high demand in the Nigerian market.
Therefore, snail farming is a very profitable business in Nigeria. So, how can you start snail farming business in Nigeria? Here is a comprehensive guide.
How to Start Snail Farming Business in Nigeria
Follow these steps to start a snail farming business.
1. Write a business plan
A business plan is very crucial to the success of any business. Before you start your snail farming business in Nigeria, you should write down a business plan. A business plan is an official written document that contains business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved. A business plan is a written description of your snail farming business’s future. Writing down a business plan ensures the smooth running of your snail farming business in Nigeria.
2. Get capital
Before you start your snail farming business, you need to get capital. Your capital could be savings or loans from family members and friends. These are the resources that allow the snail farming business to produce enough snails to sell to prospective customers. Small amounts of capital are required to start a snail farming business in Nigeria.
3. Buy or lease farmland
You need to buy or lease farmland before you start your snail farm. You can buy land from landowners in your area of choice, or otherwise lease farmland for a period of time from landowners at a stipulated fee.
When buying farmland, make sure you hire a lawyer to help you with the legal procedures, so you don’t get defrauded.
Also, make sure the farmland you chose for your snail farm contains nutrients which are conducive to the survival of your snails. Test the soil. The soil on your snail farm must be appropriate for the snails to lay eggs.
4. Build a snailery
So as to rear your snails properly, you have to build a snailery. A snailery is basically a snail pen constructed using a tank or drum. It is important you build a snailery because it helps protects the snails, such that the snails cannot escape or get attacked by insects or reptiles.
A wire guaze should also be used to protect the snailery. It is not expensive to construct a snailery.
5. Select and buy snails
The next step is to select the type of snail you want to rear on your snail farm. It is vital that you select the right species of snails. In Nigeria, we have the following types of snails from which you choose to rear on your snail farm. They are:
- Pond snail
- Apple snail
- Sulawesi snail
- Sebra Nerite snail
- Tracked Nerite snail
- Horned Nerite snail
- Ghana or tigerland snail
If you want to choose the best type of snail to rear on your snail farm, your best option is the Ghana snail or tiger land snail. This type of snail is also known as Achatina snail.
Also, make sure you buy heavy snails that have hard shells and are sexually mature.
Another alternative to buying snails is to pick snails from the forest, bush or garden around your house. If you pick snails from the forest, it is better for your snail farming business because such snails easily adjust to the snailery, compared to the snails bred in farms which you get to buy.
If you choose to pick from your garden, you can follow a simple method. During the rainy season, clear a portion of the bush around your house or garden if you have one.
Drop fruits such as banana, paw-paw, plantain or pineapple all over the bush or garden, so you can attract as many snails as possible.
Make sure you do it late in the evening. Come back in the night, after about three hours.
You will be able to pick many snails. If you can replicate the process every day, you might have enough to start your snail farming business.
However, you cannot get enough snails through this picking method, so the better option is to buy snails from farms instead, especially if you are starting your snail farming business on a large scale.
6. Feed snails
You have to feed the snails you are rearing to ensure that they grow and mature properly. Feeding snails is not as expensive as you might think. You can feed your snails with fruits such as:
- Sweet potatoes
- Maize chaff
- Cocoyam, etc.
Snails can eat these fruits as well as their leaves. Make sure you feed the snails on time and give them clean water. Also, clean the snail food and water containers as often as possible. If the snails are fed properly and placed in a clean environment, they grow well and mature quickly, without any harm from diseases or pests.
7. Separate baby snails from adult snails
During the process of rearing your snails, the snails that are mature fertilize each other whether male or female. The snails lay their eggs in logs. Then, the eggs hatch between four to six weeks. Separate the baby snails from the adult (mature) snails, so the baby snails can grow properly. It takes about eighteen to twenty-four months for the baby snails to become adult snails.
8. Harvesting your snails
When the snails you are breeding are fully mature, it is time to harvest them for sale to potential customers. It is advisable you do not harvest all the snails, save for some, so that they may breed further snails. This way, the number of snails on your farm which will reproduce, and you can sell later, increases.
9. Selling your snails
After harvesting your snails, it is time to sell your snails to customers and make money. All you have to do is advertise your snails to prospective customers such as bars, restaurants, canteens, hotels and market women. It is advisable you reach out to these customers well in advance, so once your snails are harvested, they can buy them immediately. This makes the sale of your snails easier.
If you are looking to start a farming business in Nigeria that requires low capital and has a high return on investment value, the snail farming business is your best option. There is little to no risk involved and you will always have customers lining up to buy your snails. There are other business opportunities in Nigeria you can check them out.