Snail farming is one of the most lucrative agricultural practice in Nigeria and some other countries that can make you more than 5 million Naira annually. Although, it is still one of the most neglected.
Now let start with the species of snails mostly reared in Nigeria;
- Achatina Fulica (Giant African land snail)
- Achatina Achatina
- Achachatina Marginata
About these species;
- Achatina Fulica:- this is one of the largest consumed snail all over the world. It is also the easiest snail to breed and don't require much special attention for them to reproduce. They lay between 80 - 350 eggs per clutch, in 1 - 3 times a year. Snails starts to breed after six months and get more clutches of eggs depending on the number of pairs in your pen.
- Achatina Achatina:- it is also one of the widly reared snail and lays 100 - 400 eggs per clutch and about six times a year.
- Achachatina Marginata:- they lays between 6 - 14 eggs onece at about four times a year.
How to start the business
I will be talking about some of the factors you must take note before going into the business.
- Housing the snails.
- Environment factor.
Snail pen is the first thing to provide before starting a snail business, it is important because it protects them from prays, change in environmental conditions etc. However, their pen must be made or situated in a cool and moist environment.
Snail feeds virtually on all what human consume except for hard or tough foods because they have chitinous teeth. That like feed on soft tasty fruits like pawpaw, citrus, watermelon etc.
I will advise you to give them foods that are rich in calcium so as toake their shells harder while they grow. And more so, you must try to change their food occasionally because they tend to stick to the tasty food and may start dying. They also drink juice, you can serve them juice along side with water.
. Before you know how to manage a snail farm, you have to know their lifecycle.
Snail eggs are smaller compared to lizard eggs. The eggs hatch into snail hatchlings within;
- Achatina Fulica:- 2 weeks and it is 4mm in diameter.
- Achatina Achatina:- 3 weeks and it is 4mm in diameter.
- Achachatina Marginata:- 2 - 4 weeks and have an average diameter of 28mm.
Before you start your snail farm, you have to select your stock i.e the snail specie you wish to rear. Snails reach market weight at about 6 - 8 months depending on the weather and management.
Cost of starting the business
. To start a good snail business, you must have nothing less than 100,000 Naira to make more profit at the end of the year. See the statistics;
i. Cost of 100 snails ----> 250 naira × 100 point of lay snails = 25,000 naira.
ii. Cost of pen = 50,000 naira.
iii. Cost of feed for a year = 20,000 naira...... Since they they feed on what we eat.
iv. Other maintenance = 5,000 naira.
All these sum up to 100,000 naira
Depending on the specie you wish to rear, the statistics is different. Let make use of the Achatina Fulica that lays 89 - 350 eggs in one clutch.
100 snails × 200 eggs (for the first clutch) = 20,000 eggs
20,000 × 2 ( meaning two clutches) = 40,000 eggs.
After six months, these eggs should be ready for sale because it is time for lay. Depending on your choice, you can choose to sell them when they are fully grown or at point of lay, but I will do the statistics of selling them at point of lay as a large scale farmer. Now;
40,000 snails × 250 naira = 10,000,000 naira in six months.
Profit ---->10,000,000 naira - 100,000 naira = 9,900,000
Wow! What an huge profit............