Sunday, April 14, 2024

Earn extra income from snail farming

Snail rearing is one of the unassuming, lucrative arms of agriculture in Nigeria and the most neglected animal rearing business in the country.

Unlike other climes like the United States and the United Kingdom, where you can only find snails mostly in many supermarkets and stores, it can be found almost everywhere in Nigeria, and with a very high demand.

Despite the large demand for edible snails, many people stay away from the business as they only choose to purchase the snails in markets, while they focus on other agribusiness endeavours. A large reason for this is the great misconception that snail farming in Nigeria or anywhere else in Africa can only be done by handpicking the snails in vegetative environment. This reasoning generally places the idea of snail farming as one only done in the rainy season, and is majorly carried out in the villages.

In order to make ends meet, you need to understand that West Africa is the home to the largest species of land snails, which is the Achatina species, in the world. This species is known to grow to as long as 30 cm, lives primarily in the tropical rain forest, and can majorly be located in Nigeria, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and a host of other African countries.

With the exploding African population and the hidden potentials in snail farming, new and existing farmers that choose to look in the direction are reaping good benefits from the agribusiness, because the supply, especially, cannot meet the demand. This reason has not only made the industry more valuable, but one with large, long-term business opportunities.

It is advisable to get snails directly from the forest instead of buying from the market, because most of the ones that are sold in the markets have been exposed to sunlight and have become dehydrated



  • Easy to handle
  • Start-up capital is little
  • Snail feed is cheap and easy to find
  • Shells used for ornaments

Apart from its edibility appeal, the shell of a snail serves variegated purposes. It’s used for decorating the interior of homes and can also be used to create intricate pieces. It’s useful too, for a wide range of ornaments.

Its crisp shell structures can be recycled to make the wonders with the help of natural colours or by colouring them. The snail shells make beautiful pieces but are too delicate.

Have a look around once you are on the beach. Gather the calcium-composed shells, bring them home and make easy in pocket crafts. They can as well be used to make crafts which can be hanged on the walls or placed on the tables or in your decor shelves, among others.

Chief Executive Officer, Eddy Flo Farms, Ota, Ogun State, Mr. Akintunde Akinmolayan, explained that the good thing about this venture is that you can make a million naira annually, depending on the scale you start with.

If you invest about N15, 000 to buy or build containers for snail rearing and about N5,000 in sourcing for about 20 or more snails, you can make as much as over N100,00 or more after six months. To a large extent, the profit level looks good for a small-scale enterprise in the Nigerian society.

Within a year, your stock is expected to increase by over 300 per cent. The business is less stressful as the snails do not require special drugs and food but plantain leaves, pawpaw and water leaf, among others.

You need to consider the environment to use for rearing. It should be protected from wind as snails are easily dehydrated. A low plain, downhill area or site surrounded with enough trees is perfect for snail farming. You may plant plantains and bananas around your snail farm to prevent the impact of wind.

It is advisable to get snails directly from the forest instead of buying from the market, because most of the ones that are sold in the markets have been exposed to sunlight and have become dehydrated and this can reduce their fertility capacity.

For you to get snails easily from the bush, you can clear a little portion of land during rainy season and sprinkle spicy fruits like pineapple, pawpaw, plantain, banana, etc, in the evening; afterwards, you leave the spot for two to three hours. Then, you go back there to pick up snails suitable for rearing. You may repeat this procedure until you get enough quantity.

Your snailery can vary from a patch of fence-protected ground, sheltered from the wind to a covered box, if you are breeding in small scale. For larger population of snails, you can dig a trench or make a concrete pen with soil, deep of about 10 inches, and cover it with screen or wire all around, to prevent the snails from escaping. Remember that snails can reproduce fast and become pests when their breeding is uncontrolled.

“Since snails love dark and cool places, make sure the humidity does not drop to levels harmful to the snails as you can use fresh leaves and clothes that are regularly wet to regulate the temperature. The construction must be able to keep predators away. For example, the wire is useful in keeping away rats and snakes from eating the snails. Also, you should be wary of small size but ‘big’ predators like ants and termites,” Akinmolayin, Eddy Flo Farms CEO, counselled.

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