Setting Up a Snail Farming Business In 2022

By: Jayne Badmus /
 March 30, 2022
  / 6 min read
Categories: Business Ideas, Small Business

The snail breeding/farming business is one of the most lucrative agricultural businesses that we have in Nigeria. The snail business is a gold mine that has only been discovered by a few people. It is one part of agricultural entrepreneurship that is yet to be fully explored. Before you learn how to make money from having a snail farming business, let’s discuss what snail farming involves.

Fried Snails served in a dish
This fried snail can cost you up to ₦18,000 NGN (about $40 USD) in Nigeria

Snail farming is the rearing and breeding of snails for consumption. In Nigeria, you can sell a matured snail for ₦250 to about ₦600 depending on your location. While some are cheaper than that others are way more expensive.

snail farming

According to research, the yearly demand for snails is about 7.5 million kilograms. Currently, the demand for snails is way larger than the supply. This is due to the fact that hotels, restaurants, and people generally are beginning to learn about the great benefits that snail has.

Snails have a lot of amino acids that the body needs and apart from nourishing the body, they are also used for cosmetic products and medicines for people. These are reasons why snails have become expensive and hard to get. Though a lot of snails farmers are coming into the market, a lot of snails are still being handpicked and this is not helping the demand in the market. Depending on the scale of your snail farming business, you can be making as many millions from your snail business annually.

How Much Should You Start Your Snail Farming With?

One valid question you should ask yourself is, how much should you start your snail farming with? You can start with as low as ₦20,000 or ₦30,000 depending on if you want just a backyard snail farming business. But if you will like your snail farming on a large scale then it is advisable you start with ₦100,000 and above in order to be able to set up your farm as large as possible.

You could decide to take up some loans to start your snail farming business, there are many loan institutions, sites, or apps you can start with, but we would generally advise you to avoid short-term loans for this business.  The best part of this is that you can make five times the amount of capital you are starting with, which means that this business is highly lucrative.

Benefits of Having a Snail Farming Business

There are advantages to having a snail farm business. As we’ve said earlier, snails are so much in demand by hotels, restaurants, cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies that we have just little to supply in respect to the demand that is in the market. This is how easy it is to make money from it. Once you become a supplier, you will realize more than what you are starting with.

Apart from these, there are other benefits of having a snail farm.

  •  You can start your snail business with low capital.
  • You do not even have to run around for a huge sum of money to start your snail farming business.
  • You can start with little capital and run it from your backyard until you can expand the business to the scale you want.
  • This business is environmentally friendly.
  • You do not have to worry about the smell disturbing your neighbours or the family, they are very easy to rear and work with.
  • In fact, no one has to know that you are rearing snails. There is no pollution or discomfort associated with it.
  • Snails are high in demand. It is from supplying to this demand that you amen your money which means that you can never run out of business.
  • As long as the world is, people will keep eating snails, using them for cosmetics products and pharmaceutical companies will still use them for medicines. This means that you keep solving the snail demand problem for a very long time.
  • The higher the demand, the more money you make.
  • Their slimes (or serum) can also be harvested and packaged and sold to the cosmetics market — that’s another source of income from rearing snails.

    Snail Serum Cosmetic Product
    A Snail Serum Cosmetic Product

How To Start a Snail Farming Business in Nigeria

To start your own snail farming business, here are some things that you can do:

1. Decide on the Species of Snail You are Farming

The first thing you need to do is to do research. Market research, research on the species of animals there is and the ones that would be better for you to breed. Which one will mature best in a place like Nigeria, you need to find out. Some people say that snail species such as Achatina are the best snails you can breed in a warm climate like Nigeria. Even after your decision on the species you intend to rear, you would need adequate budget planning to help you with every expense in this journey.

 2. Set Up Your Snail House

A Small scale Snail House Pen
A Small scale Snail House Pen

To set up your snail house (technically known as a pen), you need space where your snails can graze freely. Overcrowding makes stunts their growth, this is why you need to give them space so that they can grow well. This can also reduce the risk of disease outbreaks. You can construct the house in such a way that there can be no escape and still be so spacious at the same time.

 Purchase the Snails

Once you have set up your house, go ahead and get the snails that you need. Ensure that the snails you are getting are very healthy. If you don’t know how to check this, you can go with an expert to check them out before you get them. As you are getting them, check properly to see if there is a lip then this means that they are fully grown. You would want healthy snails for a start.

 3. Start Rearing your Snails

A snail pen showing the snails having their meals
A snail pen showing the snails having their meals

One fact about snails is that they are vegetarian. This means that they will be a lot of vegetables such as cucumber, cabbage, mango, banana, pawpaw, tomato, lettuce, etc. As many vegetables as you know. Feed them as much as possible so that they can grow healthy.
Since snails are hermaphrodites, they are able to fertilize themselves and lay eggs. This usually happens around spring and summer when they are natured enough to lay eggs. For this to work ensure that you are using high-quality soil with the perfect temperature and humidity.

4. Market your Snails

Make sure that your snails are matured before you harvest them. When the time for harvest comes, ensure that you leave a few backs at the farm so that they can breed before you get another batch of new snails. Once this is done, you need to start marketing your snails.
You might need to do this before you harvest, you can start telling as many people as possible, find buyers already so that once you harvest, you sell to them. You can even get particular sets of people you sell to. All these will require having good marketing skills and proper rearing of your snails. If they are very mature, big and healthy, it’s certain you will get good customers.

All these might not work if you do not have a great business plan. It is important that you make a great business plan on how your snail farming business would go so that you can keep track and records. Once all these are put in place, you know that you are on your way to having a profitable snail farming business.

Conclusion

The snail farming business is one of the lucrative businesses that we have in Nigeria. If you put your mind to it, you can be getting as much as possible so far as you follow the proper steps you need to have a profitable snail business. If you do not know as much as possible, you can look for experts who can help you to start the farm until you become the expert yourself.

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