Snail farming is one of the most lucrative agricultural businesses in Africa, especially in West Africa. It has a variety of benefits as well uses, but despite the profitability of the business, it remains one of the least explored businesses. If you have been looking for an agric business to venture into, we recommend you explore snail farming. We shall be discussing how you can start and make fortune from it in this article.
What’s Snail Farming
Snail farming which is scientifically called Heliciculture is the process of raising edible land snails, primarily for human consumption or cosmetic use. It is a billion of dollars business which can be set up with little capital relatively low to what you can used in setting up a poultry. The business in Africa is profitable as most of the world’s snail are found in the tropic regions.
There are many species of snail but not all is suitable for commercial purpose. The The best snail for snail farming business falls under the Achatina genus. This snail is a genus of medium-sized to very large, air-breathing, tropical land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs in the family Achatinidae. On the type of snail best suits commercial purpose in Africa are: African giant tiger land snail – Achatina achatina; The giant West African land snail – Achatina marginata; and Achatina fulica.
Why Snail Farming
Snail are consumed in many parts of the world and especially in Africa continent. Aside that, they have many benefits which make the demand very high day-in-out. Here are some of the reasons why you need to consider a snail farming business:
1. Snail farming can be setup with little capital: Snail farming does not require huge capital like poultry or piggery. With $50- $100 you can start your farm and it will get you hundreds of dollars in few time.
2. Snails are highly productive: Every snail is a potential mother, meaning that both male are female can lay eggs and thier eggs are laid in cluthes which can can get up to 15-30 clutches per year from each snail.
3. Snail are easy to setup: You don’t need to go and lease for large land before setting up a snail farm. The farm can be setup at your backyard.
4. Snail has many benefits: Another reason why snail is important is because they have a lot of nutritional benefits which ranges from rich protein content, low calories, rich minerals, low fat and vital vitamins. They are also used for ornaments and very important for some cultural usage.
5. Snail farming has low risk and can be done by anyone: Loss which can be incurred in snail farming business is relatively low to poultry or piggery and aside that, anyone can start the business where young or old.
Steps To Start and Make Money From Snail Farming Business in Africa
We have just explored some of the reasons why there is a need for you to set up a Snail farming business. It is believed that you won’t read this article to this point without having the interest to start your own snail farming business. If that’s the case, we have examined for you the steps on how you can start and make money from snail farming. Here we go!
Step 1: Get Knowledge About Snail Farming Business
In whatever business you want to engage in, the first thing is to have background knowledge about what you want to do. So, to begin a snail farming business as well, you need to get some knowledge about snail either by taking classes or engaging the service of a consultant.
This is the most important step in setting up a snail farm business. If the snail you purchased isn’t viable, the business is set to run in loss. We have highlighted the type of snails that are good for Africa clime. You should understand the background of the snail specie very well. Their health history, strongness of shell, largness and the rest should be considered before purchasing it to the farm.
Step 5: Introduce The Snails to The Pen
The land or space you have prepared for the snails is called pen. After getting the snails, you are to put them in to the pen you have prepared for them. Prior to this, the snail must have been well treated. The pen should be constantly moisty to avoid them being hydrated.
Step 6: Feeding and Rearing Of The Snails
Food to snail is important just as it is to you. Snails are vegetarians, so they feed mainly on leaves, fruits, flowers, tubers, etc. They also require calcium for the development of thier shells. Never give them rotten food or food that contains acid or salt. It can make them get dehydrated.
Food also is important for their reproduction. We said earlier that they are hermaphrodites meaning both male and female snail produces eggs. So, feeding them properly increases thier reproduction rate. Also, type of soil is considered as the factor for increase in snail reproduction.
Step 7: Protect Snail from Disease
There should be adequate protection against insects and pest as they constitute what reduce the life span of snail. The main activity is to be fumigating the pen frequently and always remove leftover food materials.
Step 8: Harvesting And Selling of The Snails
You have gotten where to get return of your investment. Snails reach maturity only after 7-9 months. So, you are only meant to haverst the snails after it has matured. Also, when harvesting, never empty the pen, ensure to leave some in order for the farm to continue.
Selling of the harvested snails shouldn’t be a problem, it is constantly being demanded for and the peak is between December – March. Your target customers can be hoteliers, restaurants owners and there is always room for export, if the farm is large.
We have just discussed about how to start and make money from snail farming business. As you can see, setting up a snail farming business is profitable and easy to start. Understanding the environment you are forms a key factor to begin the business and the size of the business depends on your capital. As far as Africa market is concerned, snail can never lost its demand.