Snail farming in Nigeria is very popular mainly for local consumption given the delicious and health benefits of snail consumption.
Snail has a huge demand in Nigeria market as well as huge global market. Snail meat contain a high amount of protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and very low in fat. This has made snail consumption popular, consequently, made snail farming business in Nigeria appealing.
Some people consider the snail farming in Nigeria as a good money spinning venture and rightly so. One can make good earning from snail farming within a very short time.
Some advantages of Snail Farming in Nigeria includes;
Snails are hermaphroditic in nature and highly reproductive. Both male and female reproductive organs are available in each snail. As a result snails can reproduce very fast. One snail can lay eggs 6 time in a year. Each time they lay more than 80 to 100 eggs.
Snail meat is better than any other red meat. And it is highly nutritional.
Snail meat is high in iron, protein, calcium and phosphorus and very low in cholesterol, sodium and fat. As a result, snail meat is mostly recommended by the dietitians and doctors for certain patients and sometimes, generally recommended.
Snail meat is very delicious and widely accepted all over Nigeria. Add to it that there is no religious or tribal taboo attached to consuming snail meat.
Snail has a great market all over Nigeria and in the West African region.
The business tasks related to snail farming in Nigeria like financing, producing, servicing, processing, sorting, transporting and marketing can make up employment opportunity for unemployed people.
Domestic snail farming in Nigeria can meet up the family nutritional demands. While commercial snail production can decrease the importation of frozen meat or fish from foreign countries. This can trigger some internal economic edge for Nigeria and her people.
Establishing a snail farm in Nigeria by using modern techniques, require less capital investment and produce much more, within the very shortest possible time. Running costs are also very low.
Risk of losses are less compared to other types of livestock farming. Add to it that snail farming is not time consuming and there are no stress, odour, noise and irritation.
One can easily do snail farming business with his or her current occupation, irrespective of how busy one may be.
Starting Snail Farm in Nigeria
For starting snail farming in Nigeria, one has to go through some step by step process.
The first thing to consider is suitable Environment. Generally snails are easily dehydrated. Dryness occurs in snails due to moisture loose in snail. Wind increase the rate of moisture loose in snails. There, a conducive environment for snail farming must help prevent the snails from losing water from their body quickly, so they have to be placed in a moisture snail house (snaileries). An environment with many surrounding trees can be perfect for snail farming in Nigeria.
The snail farmer also needs to consider the soil to ensure it is suitable for snail Farm: Soil is the main habitat of snail.
For successful snail farming in Nigeria, the selected soil for this business must have to contain some of the components and chemical substances which are necessary for surviving the snails.
For this reason, all types of soil are not suitable for commercial snail farming. The shell of the snail is mainly calcium and they derive most of the calcium from the soil.
They drink water from the soil and also lay eggs on the soil. For successful farming you must have to select suitable place with availability of all types of necessary facilities for the snails.
The selected soil must contain all the above elements. But also be careful to keep proper balance. Never let the soil to become waterlogged or too dry and the soil will not be acidic. Always avoid the clayey and acidic soil. Sandy-loamy soil with low water holding capacity is perfect for snail farming in Nigeria.
Buy Some Fresh Snails: After making suitable environment and selecting suitable soil for snail farming in Nigeria, it’s time to buy some fresh quality snails from the market or any farm. However, some snail farming experts say that, getting some snails directly from the forest instead of purchasing from market make good result in production.
This they say is because, the collected snails from forest can easily adopt themselves with the new environment than the farm snails. But if you are not able to collect some snails from forest, you can collect some snail from the bush through a very simple technique. During rainy season clear a little portion of land and sprinkle spicy fruits there like banana, pawpaw, plantain or pineapple.
Suppose you have done this process at 5 pm in the evening. Then go back there after 2 or 3 hours. Collect the snails gathered at the place. Repeat the process until you get sufficient number of snails for your farm.
There is another way of getting some fresh snails. Try to get some snail eggs littered in the market where it is sold. While collecting, check the fertility of the eggs considering that some eggs has already lost fertility because of their exposure to sunlight.
Then put the eggs inside a container containing wet sand and cover with cocoyam leaf. Within 21-28 days, those eggs would hatch into baby snails. Start feeding the baby snails. Gradually they will grow up and then you can start your snail farming in business.
Snailery (Small Snail House) and how to Keep it:
Snailery is very essential for snail farming in Nigeria. A good snailery keeps the snails safe and productive. In case of breeding in small scale, snaileries can vary from a patch of fence-protected ground, sheltered from the wind to a covered box. Make a concrete pen with soil deep of about 10 inches or dug a trench, and cover it with screen or barbed wire all around to prevent the snails from escaping, this is especially for larger and commercial production. Generally snails love to stay in cold and dark place. But keep the snails free from harmful humidity level.
For regulating the temperature, fresh leaves and cloth that is regularly wet can be used. Prevent entrance of harmful animals like snakes, rats and some other harmful predators. Barbed wire is a great solution for keeping those animals away. You also have to prevent some harmful smaller ones like termites and ants.
Feeding: Snails generally eat fruits, green leaves etc. Food ensure the proper growth of snails. Provided food help the snails grow their tissues and they also need calcium for growing shells. You can feed your snails some leaves like cassava leaves, cabbage, cocoyam, eggplant leaves, lettuce leaves, okra leaves or pawpaw leaves. Among the fruits you can feed them includes; banana, cucumber, mango, oil palm fruits, pears, pawpaw, tomatoes etc.
Marketing: If everything goes well then your snails will start growing very fast. Separate the big ones from the small ones. Generally, within a year most of the snails would reach marketing size. Some snails take more time to grow. However, snail has a good market demand and price. You can easily sell the snails in your local market. Snail meat consuming rate is growing very fast throughout the globe. So, exporting in international market can make more money.
In conclusion, Snail farming in Nigeria is absolutely lucrative. The initial investment is low, required space and labor is also low and you can do this business along with any other engagement without any stress, at all.
It is recommended that one who is about to commence snail farming in large scale may consider visiting a nearby snail farm, for some practical exposure. But when the simple steps described in the piece is followed, one need not borther with visiting any snail farm to establish one.