Snail farming, also known as Heliculture, is the art and science that governs the rearing and breeding of snails. The uses and importance of snails are vast and essential in all spheres of the global industries, from medical and pharmaceuticals down to foods and agriculture.
Snail business is quite lucrative for an agricultural business, especially in a country as diverse as Nigeria, which is home to a lot of businesses. There are lots of uses for snail and various sectors of the economy depend on the by-products of this God-given creature, to grow.
From its production, down to its consumption, there are a lot of ways that businesses benefit from snail farming. While snail farming might not necessarily be the first thing to come to mind as far as profitable businesses are concerned, it will be remiss to ignore its importance as it has proven to be very lucrative if carried out properly.
This post will serve to tell us more about snail rearing and show us how we can make snail rearing a gold mine.
Cost of Snail Farming in Nigeria
One of the key things to consider before venturing into any business is the cost. The cost of snail farming heavily depends on the size of the snail farm. A bigger snail farm will definitely lead to a costlier expenditure.
It is however of great importance to understand that snail business is a low-risk business that yields to high returns. With the proper investment, a snail farmer can sometimes gain double or even triple the amount spent on the business.
There are obviously other factors that influence the cost of snail farming in Nigeria. Based on the various reports given by farmers in the business, the cost of farming snails in Nigeria ranges from N60,000 to a little over N100,000. This is quite cheap when compared to other agro-based businesses.
Rearing and Breeding of Snails in Nigeria
This is an intricate and important part of snail farming. Farmers and business owners need to pay close and special attention as it will significantly influence the structure of the business. The following factors must be considered when breeding or rearing snails.
Snails are generally cold-blooded; hence they do well in places with climates of relatively warm temperatures with a higher level of humidity. Of course, the temperature should not be too high; neither should the area be too humid, as it can affect the growth and development of disease-causing pathogens, which is bad for business.
The soil is the natural habitat for the snails, this is the reason why the soil type of your farmland should be considered carefully as the soil is home to some natural organisms and nutrients which aid in boosting the snail’s growth.
It could also house some disease-causing pathogens. In order to ensure the best conditions for the snails, make sure that the soil is loose and that it has a high of water and calcium contents. This also helps to nurture their eggs and allow for proper mating conditions.
A good way to test the soil is to plant crops like tomatoes, pumpkin leaf, and coco-yam; if the crops are able to thrive, it will serve as a good indication for the rearing and breeding of snails.
Pests and diseases
The smaller the creature, the more easily it is for them to become prey to larger creatures. Animals such as snakes, smaller reptiles, poultry birds, and even ants along with other pests commonly found in Nigeria can pose a severe threat to snails.
It is important that the area is checked to ensure that these predators are not within the vicinity of the farm. While there have not been any known diseases that are specific to snails, it has been observed that fungi and bacterial infections are present in overcrowded farms or pens.
Safety and Security
Protection of property is not something to be trifled with in Nigeria, just like in various other countries. Make sure to fence the boundary of your farm to prevent both human and animal pests from wreaking havoc.
It is also important to check the soil from time to time. Wear protective materials so that you or your workers do not infect the snails in any way.
One cannot venture into snail farming without having a reliable source or supply. It is reasonable and wise to get your snails either directly from the forest or from a reputed snail dealer. Be sure to seek the assistance of expert snail catchers if you want to catch snails directly from the forest.
Other environmental factors
Other environmental factors such as location and seasonal weather should be considered when setting up a snail farm. The best spot for setting up a farm is usually in low or level plains that usually settle downhill.
The appropriate measures should be taken for the various weathers. Luckily, the weather in Nigeria changes uniformly and is right for snail rearing.
In order to be sure of the profitability of snail farming in Nigeria, it is good for us to discuss snail farms in the country.
Lagos State in Nigeria is home to at least hundreds of snail farms. This, however, has not stopped the Lagos state economy from experiencing a high demand for snail. Some of these snail farms are responsible for controlling the part of the economy that is influenced by snail farming.
The top snail farm in Lagos is the Snail Island farm, rated five stars by Google Nigeria. If you reside in Lagos, you can easily start a snail farm and get high returns for next to nothing. Other snail farms in Lagos include; Lekki Farm, SnailCare farm which is just a few of the snail farms that make up the thriving snail industry of the Lagos economy.
Feeding is the most crucial aspect of snail farming. There are various ways to ensure that your snails are being well fed. But the cheapest and easiest way to feed them is by giving them natural foods such as plants and vegetables, like cucumbers, banana, and others.
Leafy foods also go a long way to ensuring that your snails are well fed and provided with the best of nutrients. There are however special feeds that have over the years been engineered to meet the specific nutritional requirements for the snails.
In addition, feed supplements such as blood meals are good for boosting their immune systems. Foods rich in calcium like fish meal and fish bones and even chalk go a long way to ensure growth.
Snail farming, while requiring a considerable amount of time and effort, is quite cheap and has been shown to yield bountiful returns, time and time again. If you are in Nigeria, with some startup cash, and are thinking of some business to venture into, think snail.