How lucrative is snail farming in Nigeria? Over the last few years, say a decade, snail farming has become one of the major livestock businesses in Nigeria. And indeed West Africa. A major reason could be because of the constantly growing population of the region. And the delicious delicacies that are made from this animal.
Prior to this time, snails were simply picked from the bush as they were never raised for commercial purposes. In other words, to get yourself some snail you just needed to walk around the bush to pick.
The challenge with picking is that in most areas the snails were not as big as they needed to be. Asides this, you could only find them in certain seasons of the year.
This stirred up a few people to consider raising snails in a confined environment. Conditioning it to suit the development of the animals. Now we can have snails of very large sizes as the Achatina species which can grow to 30cm.
Snail farming is popular not just in Nigeria but all over the West African region. It has been a major source of income for breeders in the region. An interesting fact about snail farming is that you do not need a large space or huge capital outlay to be successful. It is also not as time consuming as other forms of livestock farming, it is extremely flexible to run.
The Success Story of a Snail Farmer
Before I go ahead with this article, I would like to share interesting success story of a snail farmer. Here is the story of one of the most successful snail farmers in Nigeria, Ismail. He started very small, in a small space behind his house.
Recently he was interviewed by the CNN and he beats his chest that he has enjoyed huge profits from the venture. In the interview he claimed that his snails are in high demand by most of the big hotels and restaurants in Lagos and environs.
This is just one farmer, there are several others around the country making huge profits. You can be one of them too, it just takes will power and dedication to the cause.
Why Snail Farming in Nigeria?
This is one question you hear a lot, especially when people are yet to understand the concept and benefits of snails. I can boldly tell you that snail meat is highly in demand and it is far costlier that the regular beef.
For ages they have formed a major part of the African diet even though they are not exactly cheap or available all year round. Apart from being very tasty, snail meat is also rich in protein and contains low cholesterol and fat. This makes it highly nutritional and thus one of the most recommended meat types for healthy living.
Asides the consumption of snails as food, their by-products are also very useful in other fields. For example some of the by-products are used in making cosmetics and others are used in medicine.
Another reason for snail farming in Nigeria is that snails can feed on anything meaning less stress for the farmer. All you need do as a farmer is ensure that their environment is clean enough and then provide then vegetables and leftovers.
[You May Also Like] How to Start a Profitable Fish Farming
Snail Farming in Nigeria – Market Opportunities
If you ever wondered if snail farming was lucrative, this is your answer. As stated earlier snails were mostly picked from the bushes and sold to consumers.
Due to our tropical climate, snails get to hibernate during the dry weather. that means during this period, snails are scarce and so they become very expensive.
Infusing the law of demand and supply, if the demand is higher than the supply, the prices shoot up. That is exactly what happens in snail farming. You can make multiples of your regular income during the dry season. This is because snail meat will always be in demand for obvious reasons.
Asides the demand on the African continent, the Giant African Snail has become a favorite in the Americas and Europe. If you’ve the capacity and interested in export, you can venture into snail export. I can assure you that you will make a lot of money from doing that.
A Few Success Tips for Aspiring Snail Farmers
By now I believe your interest in snail farming in Nigeria should have grown considerably. If you have decided to go into snail farming, here are a few success tips for you.
Firstly you need to understand your market. This will help you know the big players, the prospective customers and the time of the year when your products will be most in demand. With this understanding you’re able to focus on the big spenders in your locality and beyond. By big spenders I am talking about the hotels, high-end restaurants and rich folks who can pay a premium on your products.
Seasonal target is the key to success in this business. Due to the availability of snails in the rainy season, their prices drop considerably. This is usually when most farmers get their stock from villages and begin to rear them against the dry season. If you work with this formula you can make a very huge profit at the end of the first year to breakeven.
Raise the right species. Not all snail species grow to very large sizes and the larger your snails are, the more profit you are likely to make. The recommended specie is the Giant African Snail. If you’ve a stock of these and you follow the right practices, your products are likely to be in very high demand. These snails are known to get to market size between 6 to 12 months. Some farmers actually leave theirs for longer periods so they can get more profit.
A Few Things to Know About Snails
From what has been written above you will agree with me that snail farming is one of the easiest forms of agriculture to indulge in. It requires very low initial capital and there are really no running costs.
All you need money for is to buy the snails and stock them in your yard. Except of course if you plan to start very big and decide to buy a land, which might not be necessary for a small scale or medium scale startup.
They are environment friendly as they do not make noises and their waste are not smelly. It almost like they are not even there, they hardly get in anyone’s way. So your neighbors shouldn’t have a problem with your business.
Snails are known to produce a lot of eggs at once, between 80 and 100. They also mate all year round and so the turnover in the business is very frequent. You might never need to buy another stock after your initial stock. They will keep reproducing and you keep making money.
There is just one challenge, you do not expect to make your money very quick like when you raise broilers. As I said earlier, it takes between 6 to 12 months for them to be ready for sale.
I hope this article has been quite helpful and has inspired you to start your snail farm.
Snail Farming In Nigeria – Wrap Up
Obviously, snail farming is one of the most lucrative agricultural businesses anyone can easily venture in. There is no need for expensive snail farming equipment. And cost of snail farming in Nigeria is very low owing to the friendly nature of our weather.
The market is readily available and the return on investment is usually over 300% per stock because there are little or no mortality rates in breeding snail.
Though, snail farming in Nigeria is one of the simplest agricultural businesses to go in, yet you need right guide to get it right. Therefore, make sure you learn all it takes from a practicing farmer like Ismail before spending your hard earned money in snail farming.
Snail Farming In Nigeria – Business Plan
There is a popular saying that goes like this: “If you failed to plan then you planned to fail”. Therefore, if you really want to make it fast and easy from snail farming in Nigeria then you need a comprehensive snail farming business plan.
The plan will guide you on how to start small and grow it to a large scale snail farm in Nigeria. I have done that for you.
For a bankable and investor friendly snail farming business plan, which goes at affordable rate of N30, 000 only, then contact me on Whatsapp 07033680227. Or send a mail through the contact me link above