Tested Guidelines On How To Start a Snail Farm in Nigeria
Do you know what meat is referred to as the big man’s meat? Do you have any idea how that meat is valued within the Nigerian state? That meat is none other than snail. It is highly regarded for its medicinal and nutritional value. This is why you should start a snail farm in Nigeria.
This article is for both those who wish to make much money from their snail farms and those who want to do it on a subsistence level. The essence of this is that you can produce in both large scale and small scale.
Assuming you want to go large scale, you will have to do some very important things if you will start a snail farm. You don’t need to border much about the market because the market is large.
You can start a snail farm because of the many advantages it has over other forms of animal farming in Nigeria.
As you already know, it highly nutritional and it is a highly regarded delicacy. The meat is very rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin E as well as vitamin C
More so, they are regarded as a good source of protein. They are also extremely low in calories and fats which make them a very good prospect for weight watchers. Those recovering from injuries, cancer patients, and cardiovascular patients can also benefit from snails.
Let me even shock you more, the Nigerian large population of over 180 million is good for business. Imagine that 40-70% of the entire population eat snail, how do you think you will fare especially given that the supply is low. You can create that supply.
Finally, before we show you how to start a snail farm in Nigeria, you should know that the fact that it is not capital intensive is a major boost to you especially if you don’t have a lot of capital right now.
Below are steps on how to start a snail farm in Nigeria.
Tips on how to start a snail farm in Nigeria
Location and environment of your snail farm is paramount
When you want to start a farm in Nigeria, the location is of importance. You need to consider that very carefully as it has grave consequences on the farm.
The adequate and suitable environment to start a snail farm is usually a low plain, downhill site. Snails should not be dehydrated so the farm should not be exposed to excessive wind. It is best you for the benefit of your snails to have trees around your farm.
Also read: How to start a rabbit farm in Nigeria
I believe by now that you already know that your snail farm cannot have concrete floor. Snails cannot be reared there. The floor of your snail farm has to have a balanced soil; not too dry and not too waterlogged. Avoid acidic and clayey soil in your farm.
For clarity purposes, you should know that the best soil to start a snail farm is sandy-loamy soil. This is so because it has low water retention.
The scale you want to use will determine the platform you will use to rear your snail farm. You could use a box or a concrete pen with soil floor.
Research on snails
Time for research on the business you want to start is never a waste and has never been a waste. Knowledge is important if a business is going to succeed or fail. You need to find out the best conditions to breed your products, the feeding habit and the factors that act against their growth. You just need to find out about snails. If you are reading this article, you are already doing the necessary.
Go on Market survey (feasibility study)
Feasibility study when you want to start a snail farm is usually about getting the basic things that will help out with mapping strategies. Conducting a feasibility study is important for every startup. It helps put a lot of things into perspective. For example, for the snail farming, feasibility study helps understand the following:
- Factors acting against snail farming in Nigeria or better still, in that area you are located.
- The capital needed to set up a snail farm, put stock in it and manage it effectively.
- The location of your company or farm.
- Prices for your snails.
- What and how long it will take you to make it profitable
Write a business plan
In all our articles on startups, we always tell you that business plan is important and irreplaceable in businesses. If you want to start a snail farm especially for commercial purposes, you must settle down and put down a business plan.
At a point, you will need to seek help from investors and banks and they will need your business plan to be able to help you. You just have to put one together either by yourself or with the help of experts.
Sourcing for snails
Normally you would be expected to go to the bushes for snails because they have the best sources. The snails you will be using has to be fertile and are in good condition. The snails gotten from the bushes are always in their best condition since they are in their natural habitat.
However, I know that getting them from the market would be a difficult thing for most people. All hope is not lost though. You can actually buy snail eggs and cover them up with cocoyam leaves in a plastic bowl with wet sand in it and leave them to hatch.
With respect to the hatching, it usually takes about 21-28 days. After that, you can start feeding and taking care of the baby snails. The truth is that it won’t be long before they are everywhere.
You should be advised on the species of snails before you go to get the eggs to start a snail farm. There is the Achatina Fulica, Achatina Achatina and the Archachatina Marginata. The most recommended is the Achatina Achatina because of its high productive nature and ease of access.
Feeding your snails
Snails will feed to keep being alive. You don’t want them to die. There are two options for feeding your snails. You can feed them with on cocoyam leaves, cassava and okra leaves, cabbage, lettuce, pawpaw as well as eggplant leaves, fruits like mangoes, banana, pawpaw, tomatoes and pears because they are versatile feeders.
Alternatively, you can feed them with specially formulated feed gotten from the market. Whichever option you take, make sure you feed them with the right food that would support tissue growth and supply calcium needed to grow their shells.
Harvesting your snails
A worker is worthy of his wages. It is important you know that. There must be something for a hustler. At this stage, you should be talking about getting money for your work.
When harvesting your snails at maturity level, you should handle them with care. Most times they are harvested into clean plastic containers, baskets, bowls, or in a box. Do not overload the containers for any reason. The standard weight should be 10kg per container.
Marketing your snails
This is the climax of your efforts. This is where you reach business orgasm. You will have to work it out. You must have a solid marketing plan for your snail sales. That is why you have to do a serious feasibility study when you want to start a snail farm. You can sell to hotels, restaurants or to retailers. You have to work this one out.
Finally, this business is not for those who are scared of getting their hands dirty. All the best as you start a snail business today.