Snail Farming in Nigeria is now one of the leading businesses that have the potentials to change the financial status of any entrepreneur.
Initially, whenever people hear snail farming in Nigeria, they think it’s something that is supposed to be meant for kids and not adults.
But since its profitability was proven beyond doubt, people began to change their perspective about the business.
In a list made by INVOICE, Snail Farming made the number 4 among the 8 most lucrative agricultural businesses in Nigeria.
Despite the lucrative nature of snail farming in Nigeria, it still seems to remian remain one of the untapped businesses, as many people still don’t know much about it.
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What is A Snail?
Snail is an animal which usually have a very soft body without bones and its always covered in a cone-like shell.
In a biological language, a snail could be said to be a gastropod mollusk which mostly inhabit a cool moist environment.
Snail always have tentacles which it uses for sensitivity since it doesn’t have eyes, and is well known for its slow movement.
Different Types of Snail
According to MayTurr,
there are actually about 43,000 species of snails which can be categorized into:
• Land snails
Though there are many species of snails, but in the course of this article, we shall be looking into only 3 popular species of snails; and they are:
- African Giant Land Snail (Achatina fulica)
This species of snail is known to be of African origin, and it’s one of the largest snail species measuring up to 20cm.
Just as the name suggests, African Giant Land Snail is one of the species of snails that are known to live on land, unlike others that may inhabit the sea or freshwater.
- Garden Snail (Helix aspersa)
The garden snail is usually a smaller species of snail which can measure up to a height of 1.3 inches. It also has a unique shell design that distinguishes it from other species of snail.
They are known to originate from the Mediterranean region, Western Europe, part of Asia and northern Egypt.
This species of snail is known to inhabit cool, damp environments, because they can easily lose moisture/water from their body.
- Roman Snail (Helix pomatia)
This species usually have a larger shell that can measure up to a height of 30-50 mm, and a width of 32-50mm.
They can mostly be found naturally in grassy areas, forests, gardens and orchards where they can easily see food to eat.
Factors To Consider In Selecting The Best Species of Snail For Farming
Thinking of starting snail farming in Nigeria, one of the most important things you should first understand is the idea species of snail that may guarantee your success in the business.
Of course you already know that snails differ, there are actually different types of snails as we have discussed earlier in this post.
Most of them as discussed may actually be ideal for farming, but for you to make a better choice on the best for you, there may be some important factors you would really need to consider:
Since you want to venture into snail farming in Nigeria for the purpose of business, then the size of the snail would really be important for marketability.
While some species of snail can grow to a very large size within a very short period of time, there are some that would really take a long time to grow to a significant size.
Research shows that some species of snails can grow to a very large size, to the extent of weighing up to 500g, and measuring up to a length of 20cm. But there are still some species that can never attain to this size even at full maturity.
Since you are really apt for business, you may not really want to spend your money, time and energy on a species of snail that would only reproduce just few eggs/offspring.
Planning to start your snail farming in Nigeria, you really need to look out for those species of snails that would be able to produce a large number of eggs within a very short period of time, since this would really determine your profit in the business.
Depending on the species, there are some snails that can produce massive number of eggs with little efforts invested in them, while there are some that would never produce much eggs no matter the quantity of food and care given to them.
Some species of snails are known to be more tasty and more nutritious than others, and some are even known to be poisonous though the poisonous species are scarce in Africa.
So for you to excel in your snail farming in Nigeria, there is need to think about the easy marketability of your snail by going for the more nutritious and tasty ones which consumers are looking out for.
While some species of snail can leave up to years if properly taken care of, there are some species that don’t actually live long and can die off within few months.
So for you not to lose all you have spent in your snail farming in Nigeria, you really need to consider going for the species of snail that can stay long in your hands until you are able to market them.
Which Type Of Snail Is Good For Farming?
Having outlined some relevant factors above, let’s now look into knowing the best species ideal for your snail farming in Nigeria.
All the factors we have talked about above are all geared towards making the right choice of snail species that would guarantee profitability of your snail farming in Nigeria.
So in this view, we have made serious research and have come up with the best species of snails that would be highly profitable for you if you really want to venture into snail farming in Nigeria.
African Giant Land Snails (Achatina species)
Having put into consideration some factors, we have recommended the African Giant Land Snail as the ideal species for your snail farming in Nigeria.
These African Land Snails usually come in three major species, which include:
- Achatina achatina
- Achatina fulica
- Archachatina marginata
Having also considered their compliance to four factors we discussed earlier, we are recommending Archachatina marginata as the ideal species for snail farming in Nigeria.
Archachatina marginata, also called
Banana Rasp Snail is one of the largest species of land snails, and is actually the major delicacy in Nigeria.
It is actually the major species that is highly demanded both in rural and urban areas because of its high nutritional value than most other species of snail.
Why Achatina marginata Is Good For Snail Farming In Nigeria
There are actually some interesting facts that certify that the African Giant Land Snail is very suitable for farming in Nigeria.
Firstly and most importantly, since you cannot afford to grow a species of snail that would die off in your hands due to unavoidable weather; then there is really need to go for the species that can survive Nigerian weather.
In this, it has been proven that Archachatina marginata can adapt and survive in the the weather condition of Nigeria, hence very ideal for snail farming in Nigeria.
Achatina marginata is also known to grow faster within a short period of time, than most other species of snail.
When mature, the Archachatina marginata always give an encouraging size and weight; measuring up to a length of 20cm and weighing up to 500g.
Being so productive, Achatina marginata can start producing numerous and viable eggs as early as possible.
Most of them can start producing eggs when they attain the weight of 100-125g; sometimes from the age of 4 months if special feed is provided for them
The specifies is also known to live longer than most species, as they can live up to 10 years if taken good care of.
How To Identify Achatina marginata
Since most of these species of snail sometimes look alike, we have decided to put these distinctions together to help you identify Achatina marginata whenever you see it.
Its head is dark grey in colour, and is usually darker than other parts of the body.
The tip or apex of the shell is usually blunt and less pointed than some other snail species; that is, the shell usually looks like a woven texture.
When fully grown or mature, the shell can measure up to 21cm in height and 13cm in diameter.
The tail of an Achatina marginata usually have a V-shape.
This shape can easily be felt if you run a wet finger over the tail.
The skin of Achatina marginata is usually more finely textured than other snail species.
Another distinctive feature of Achatina marginata is the outer lip which is always blueish-white in colour.
Achatina achatina also known as African Giant Tiger Snail, is another recommended species for snail farming in Nigeria.
Though it produces greater number of eggs than Achatina Marginata, but there are still some little limitations or disadvantages Achatina achatina has compared to Achatina marginata.
Just as said, Achatina achatina has a greater number of egg production than Achatina marginata, and can grow up to a length of 30cm. But one striking limitation of growing this species is that it is very selective in terms of feeding; it doesn’t feed on varieties of foods.
This is always a big challenge for the farmers since it would be difficult sometimes to actually get the particular feed the species would like; and this particular scenario can negatively affect the productivity of the snail since snails have to eat a lot inorder to grow to a large size.
Despite this, improvement in the field of snail farming in Nigeria has made it possible and easier to see the particular feeds that Achatina achatina would always love.
Unlike Achatina marginata that can weigh up to 500g, Achatina achatina can only weigh an average of 250g.
How To Identify Achatina achatina
To help you know whether you are dealing with Achatina achatina or any other species, we have put some distinctive features that would guide you right.
The tip of Achatina achatina is always fairly pointed, not sharply pointed.
The entire shell of this species is usually brownish in colour, and has a characteristic stripe pattern which is why they are called Tiger Snail.
The body of Achatina achatina is always silver brown.
When mature, Achatina achatina can measure up to the average length of 18cm, with an average diameter of 9cm.
Having talked extensively on the type of species to go for while thinking of starting your snail farming in Nigeria, we would therefore suggest that you grow both Achatina marginata and Achatina achatina.
This would really help to maximize your profit since there are some advantages each of them has over another.
What Are The Things You Need To Set Up Snail Farming In Nigeria?
Snail farming in Nigeria is really one of the lucrative businesses that don’t require a lot of materials to set up.
With just few materials and the right knowledge, you can easily have your snail farming in Nigeria running successfully.
Having made up your mind to start snail farming in Nigeria, here are the few things you may be needing to get started, which maybe dependent on the type snail species you want to farm:
- Snail Pen/Housing
- Healthy Snails
How Much Does It Cost To Start Snail Farming In Nigeria?
Just as stated on the headline of this article, you may not really need huge amount of money to set up snail farming business in Nigeria. Depending on how large you want the farm to be, you can actually start your snail farming in Nigeria with a cost as low as N60,000, N100,000 and above.
Having seen above, the list of major things you need to get started, you would actually believe that you don’t need huge amount of capital to get started. The major thing you need there is just a protective housing that has a favourable environment for your snails.
Starting With 60k
Addressing from the angle of our headline, you can actually start snail farming in Nigeria with N60,000.
Let’s look at the breakdown:
Having known the necessary things you need to get started, you may wish to divide your 60k into three.
- 25k For The Housing
Since you are just starting, you may not really need a storey building to stuck your snail; more over what snails need is just a protected, cool and moist environment.
So, to reduce the cost of the housing, you may even use a mud block with tactch/grass roofing instead of going for cement block with zinc roofing.
The mud housing with tatch roofing may even provide a cooler environment than the cement block with zinc roofing.
So, with this strategy, you may not even be spending up to 25k as stated.
You can check the image below to see how a snail housing looks like:
- 25k for buying your fresh snails
Having stated earlier that the cost of a raw snail in Nigeria ranges from N250 to N600, depending on the size.
You may actually believe that N25,000 can actually get you some few snails to get started. They may even sell at a cheaper rate for you since you are buying in bulk and it’s for farming.
But let’s assume you buy at the rate of N250 per snail, this means you may be able to buy and stuck your snail pen with up to 80 snails.
That is N250 × 80 snails = N25,000
I guess this is actually manageable for a start. They can give you what you want as long as you are able to take good care of them.
- 10k for the feeding
Seeing the type of foods snails eat, you may actually believe that you would not spend much on their feeds as you actually make some of them yourself.
How Much Can You Make Monthly From Snail Farming In Nigeria
Having heard so much about Snail farming in Nigeria, many may really be wondering how lucrative the business would be in Nigeria.
But the to clear their doubt, snail farming is one of the most lucrative businesses currently making waves in Nigeria.
Though many people still don’t understand, and underrate the market opportunity of snail farming in Nigeria.
But it would be worthy of note that snails are now are a huge part of the diet in Nigeria especially in big hotels; and this is why the annual demand for snail in Nigeria is now clocking to about 7.5million kg.
The diet is now of high importance such that it’s now regarded as diet for the rich ones since it can mostly be found in big hotels.
In Nigeria, raw matured snails would be selling at range of N250 to N600 depending on the size.
Even in some restaurants, snail meals may sometimes be selling at N5,000 and above.
For many years, the supply of snails in Nigeria had always depended on those villagers that hand-picks the snails from the forest or bush; and this had being the only way to get snails to the market.
Though development in Agriculture has exposed people to the modern way of farming and domesticating snails inorder to increase the market supply.
But the interesting thing is that the current demand for snail is really higher than the current market supply.
This really suggests that if you could start snail farming in Nigeria, you would always have more than enough demand to get your snails off your hands.
As long as you are always able to produce healthy looking snails, you will never lack buyers as both hotels and restaurant would always be ready to to get as much possible quantity from you.
So, how much would you really be making in a month if you start snail farming in Nigeria with 60k?
As stated earlier, the cost of a raw snail may be ranging from N250 and above in Nigeria.
Meanwhile Achatina achatina is highly productive such that it can lay up to 200 to 400 eggs at a time (in a batch); and this batch comes two to three times in a year.
Simply put, Achatina achatina can lay eggs two to three times in a year, and can produce up 200 to 400 eggs in each time.
This means that even if you start very small such that you have just 100 snails in your farm; if each of them are able to lay at least 200 eggs in a batch, that means you will be having 100 × 200 = 20,000 snails at each time your snails lay eggs.
So if they are able to lay eggs three times in a year, it means you would be having 20,000 × 3 = 60,000 snails in a year.
In this quantify, you have at least 5000 snails to sell out in every month.
This means that you only need to sell just 400 snails in a month to make 100k monthly, that is N250 × 400 = N100,000.
Meanwhile you may even be selling more than 400 snails monthly.
This shows that it is very easy to make huge money from snail farming in Nigeria, once you are able to set up the business and do the right thing.
When Does Snails Lay Eggs?
Snails are typically known to be hermaphroditic in nature, that means a single snail can have both the male and the female reproductive organ, though they normally cross fertilize.
Snails can actually fertilize each other once they are mature, and mating always occurs during spring and summer, usually around October; after which they can start laying eggs within a few weeks.
Depending on the species; after laying the eggs, it may take up to 3 – 4 weeks for the eggs to hatch.
After hatching, the baby snails may be growing up to 10 mm per month, and may take 6 to 16 months to s3xyally mature, and start laying eggs; depending on how you feed them.
For you to achieve a smooth and maximum egg production from your snails, there is need use high-quality soil with the right temperature and humidity.
Just as stated earlier, a single snail can lay up to 200-400 eggs per time, and can lay eggs up to 2-3 times in a year.
Step-by-step Guides on How To Start Snail Farming In Nigeria
- Construct Your Snail Pen/Housing
Whenever you want to think of starting snail farming in Nigeria, one of the most important things you should take serious is the pen or the housing.
The housing is the first determining factor whether the snails will survive or not, considering the whether condition of Nigeria.
Nigeria is a tropical country which the whether is somehow hotter than required by snails, meanwhile snail needs a very cool moist environment for survival, that’s why they are mostly found in thick, cool forests in Nigeria.
So thinking about building a pen for your snail farming in Nigeria, you should make sure the housing provides a cool and moist environment for the snail.
Also seeing that snails are attacked by some pests like mosquitoes, fireflies, toad, some birds, snakes, and so on; there would be need you make the housing very protective in order to prevent these pests from eating up your snails.
You should also make sure that the housing is well controlled so that your snails would not craw outside the housing, which may make you lose most of them.
- Choose And Buy The Species Of Snails You Want To Farm
Making the right decision of the particular species of snail you want to farm is really important if you want to quickly start making profit from your snail farming in Nigeria.
Having earlier discussed extensively on the different types of species of snails ideal for farming, I guess you would still remember that Achatina marginata and Achatina achatina would really give you what you need.
Since you have already made the choice of snail species you want to farm, there is need to go for already mature, and healthy snails which may not really take long before laying eggs.
This would really help you to start making profit within a little period of time, since it usually takes about 5 to 8 moths before a baby snail would s3xyally mature for egg production.
The major way to know a mature snail is by checking for the lip; if it already has a very thick and visible lip, then this may actually suggest that it is already s3xyally mature for egg production.
- Get The Feeds And Start Feeding Your Snails
Snail is majorly known to be a herbivores animal, though could be regarded sometimes as omnivores because they can also feed on a wide varieties of food.
So, the most popular snail feeds can range from plant leaves, tomato, cassava, pear, garden eggs, banana, cabbage, cucumber, mango, paw-paw, pineapple, etc.
You can see that most of of these feeds are what you can actually get or prepare yourself without having to depend wholly on buying from the market.
- Start Harvesting Your Snails
Seeing that the market demand of snails is really growing higher on daily basis, you may actually be tempted to sell your snail before maturity; due to this high demand, you may also be tempted to sell all your mature snails at a time.
But for you to keep your profit steady, it would be wise to allow your snails to grow to maturity before selling them out. It is also wise not to sell all your mature snails at a time.
While selling your snails, always try to keep some mature ones that can still lay eggs for your farm to keep yielding.