The snail farming business in Nigeria is a very profitable business that can yield millions if you are serious about it.
This business is not only profitable but also costly to run.
And one way to manage a business so effectively is by continuous absorption of knowledge.
And part of the knowledge needed to run a successful personal or commercial snail farming business is what I will be revealing in this article.
There are several steps that must be taken before you can start benefiting from this snail business.
Steps to Starting a Snail Farming Business in Nigeria
1. Market Demand
No matter what you produce, no matter how big/healthy it is, no matter how plenty they are. The market demand is what determines your success.
The first thing to put into consideration before starting the snail farming business is to check the market demand for snails in the city/state where you want to run your snailery business.
The price of snails in Nigeria is as high as 5,000 Naira per kg depending on their sizes and location.
But in other to know the market demand in that city/state you must familiarise yourself with the market women in that city to know their selling and buying cost of snails, meet other snail farmers in the same city, and ask if they have a union that controls the price.
With this information, you can easily penetrate the market without much stress and with a higher profit of course.
But if the market demand for snails is low; mostly in the northern part of Nigeria (because the northerners don’t eat snails), there is no need to embark on the journey of starting a snail farm in that city, except if you intend exporting it out of the city.
2. Snail Pens
Snails are creatures that like a very cold environment. This is something that by observation you should have noticed.
You must have noticed that the only place you can see snails are where there are shades from trees or dark spots.
So when you are constructing your pen; you must make sure that the pen has the feature of coldness and shades as you can see below
A bit of a wet environment is still to be considered because snails don’t like dry places.
When is dry season, it becomes difficult for snails to adapt.
The best solution is to always wet the pens and environment at least two to three times a day to keep it natural
The last thing to consider is to include plants in the pen that snails either eat from or use as a form of extra shade 0r both.
3. Where to buy snails for farming in Nigeria
The productivity of your snail depends also on where you bought the snail from.
When sourcing your snails, one mistake you can make is to buy your snails from market women.
The reason why it is not advisable to buy your snails from market women is; “you don’t know the current state of the snails because of their enduring nature and how long they have been with the sellers”.
The best places to get your snails are either from the bush or from snail breeders who are selling them.
4. Snail Species
Just as other classes of animals have diverse species, snail also has diverse species.
Among all snail species, the one that is recommended for beginners in the snail farming business is called the Giant African Snail, botanically called; “Achatina Fulica”
The reason it is nicknamed Giant African land snail or Gaint African snail is because of its large size compared to other snail species. And apart from the large size, it also grows faster.
It is less expensive to feed snails, as you can use either use foreign feed or local feed, or both.
To know which foreign feed to use at each stage you can meet the seller to assist you with that.
While for the local feed, the most common are; “fruit peels” (which could be the back peels or the fruits cut into pieces) as you can see below
6. Disease and pest control In Snail Farming
As much as snails are animals that have a strong resistance to diseases, it is also mandatory not to bank on such risk.
Snail rearing like I said before is very profitable and lucrative but you can lose in this business if you don’t tackle parasites and predators that affect the snails.
Below are the predators and parasites to watch out for in the snail farming business
Reptiles such as; frogs, rats, centipedes, millipedes, etc can cost you all your investment.
The frogs tend to eat the small snails and the eggs, while snakes, rats, and other reptiles eat both young and old snails.
So when you are building your snail pens you must put these predators in mind so you won’t be caught unaware.
You can prevent these predators’ attacks by covering your snail pens with wire mesh and mosquito net.
Soldier ants are another serious problem for snails.
You conquer these predators by building a gutter around your pens (if it is a low trench pen: a “concrete pen”. Like the one above).
But if it is a wooding pen you put each leg of the pen in an empty can full of water or oil. So when the ants try to make an attempt of climbing, they can easily fall into the water or oil.
And for the guilter around your low trench pens, you will either put oil or water in the gutter.
Flies and their eggs
Flies of any kind.
What these flies do is; lay eggs.
The eggs stage is not harmful to the snails until they move into the larva stage which becomes very dangerous to the snails because they feed on the snails.
This is why you cover your pens with a mosquito net to avoid every such insect; “flying or crawling”.
Also, make sure you clear leftover foods from the pens as their decay can affect them.
And always keep your pens neat.
Disease to snails
The major disease to watch out for is fungal.
The main disease of snails is fungi and this disease leads to mortality.
And it is contracted by contact with another snail already affected or contracted through linking each other slime.
The fastest remedy to curbing the spread is through quarantining the infected.
There are other things to be knowledgeable of, but you can access them through a one on one training or by employing an expert who has at least 2 years of experience to work alongside you.
The reason for employing the expert is to help you prevent costly mistakes as you go with your day-to-day activities in rearing your snails.
But with the knowledge so far that I have given you via this article, you can start a small snail farm in your backyard as a beginner, and in a matter of time, you will become the biggest commercial snail farm owner.
How much does it cost to start a snail farming business in Nigeria?
According to the current market price in Nigeria, the cost of starting a snail farm in Nigeria is dependent on the scale on which you decide to run your snail farm.
But for easy understanding, I will be using a small-scale cost for my calculation.
So let’s assume you decide to start with a bucket as your snail pen or a basket pen.
The cost of lay-ready snails for rearing is ₦750. Let’s say you decide to buy 100 which will be a total of ₦75,o00 — You can start with below 100 snails as your choice.
The cost of feed for these 100 snails shouldn’t be more than 2 bags of snail feed per 3 months but if you also mix the snail feeding with local feeds (which are mostly free) the 2 bags of snail feed will last up to 4 months.
The two bags of foreign snail feed cost ₦10,000 each; that gives us a total of ₦20,000.
The cost of a basket is ₦500 per one. You purchase 4basket which gives us a total of ₦2,000
The total cost of starting a snail farm in Nigeria; 75,000 + 20,000+ 2,000 = ₦97,000
Approximately with ₦100,000 this business should be up and running.
With this calculation, you can easily get the cost of running a large-scale snail farming in Nigeria just by increasing the cost of each item prementioned.
How much can you make from snail farming in Nigeria?
When you are done with setting up your snail farm and is time to start selling the mature ones, to make a good return you must not sell your snails single, or else you will make little to no profit.
To make a good profit/return in the Snail business, you only sell per kilogram (Kg). It takes 9 fresh snails to make a Kg. —A Kg cost ₦5,000
But a processed frozen snail Kg costs ₦15,000.
Let’s say you selling at ₦5,000 per Kg (which is made up of 9 Jimbo fresh snails).
And remember we started the snail farm with 100 snails. A snail lay up 200 to 500 eggs per annum.
Using the minimum of 200 lay eggs per snail becomes 100snails X 200 = 20,000 snails per year
20,000 snails divided by 9 = 2,222Kg
2,222kg X ₦5,000 =₦11,110,000
₦11,110,000 per annum is how much you can make from snail farming in Nigeria.
With the above calculations of the cost and profit of starting a snail-farming business in Nigeria, it obviously clear that the snail business is very lucrative.
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