How to Start Snail Farming in Nigeria

Snail farming is one of the best niche in farming businesses. Less risk, easier to manage and doesn't require any special or separate environmental.
How to Start Snail Farming in Nigeria
Snail farming can be very profitable in Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon, South Africa, and Nigeria. Yet, it is one of the most neglected animal rearing business in these countries. Snail farming provides one of the finest opportunity to make money within a short period of time. But why are Africans not yet fully engaged in this money making animal rearing? The reason is ignorance.
In Australia and USA, snail farming is big business, providing opportunities to many farmers. In Uk, snails can be seen in many supermarkets and stores. meaning it’s a big deal over there.
Most people in Nigeria and Ghana still have the believe that snail can only be picked in the bush. The culture of going to the bush to pick snails in the villages during raining time has been there for generations. So, it has been difficult for people to come to term that snail can actually be kept and grown at home.
Just like in many other aspects of farming in these countries, Africans are yet to discover the great money making potential in snail rearing business and that is why we suffer in hunger and poverty. We neglect where the money is and keep pursuing it where it is not, going from one city to the other looking for one petty China made goods after another to trade on. Laboring away in Europe and America in search of greener pastures when our own continent is already green.
The good news: After reading this article, you will be on your way to starting your own snail business in easy and simple steps. And we are backing it up with a practical Snail eBook for those who can afford it.
Making ₦5,000,000 annually in snail rearing is a done deal if you do it well and get it right.
I will try to be as comprehensive as possible with this article so that you can get going after reading it, and as people starts commenting – asking questions and adding what they know about snail farming, the information here would be more enriched for everyone’s benefit.
What is Snail: Land snails belongs to the class of Molluscan, Gastropod. The one popularly known as ‘Congo Meat‘ in many parts of Africa. Nigeria – Eju, Igbin, etc… There are so many species of snails but the types we are looking at here are the ones that are suitable for commercial Snail Farming in Africa.
Suitable Snail Species For Snail Farming*
*Achatina Fulica – The East African Snail*
1. Achatina fulica – The East African land snail, or giant African land snail, scientific name Achatina fulica, is a species of large, air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Achatinidae. It is the smallest in size among all the desirable species for rearing in Africa.
Achatina fulica has a narrow, conical shell, which is twice as long as it is wide and contains 7 to 9 whorls when fully grown. The shell is generally reddish-brown in colour with weak yellowish vertical markings but colouration varies with environmental conditions and diet. A light coffee colour is common. Adults of the species may exceed 20cm in shell length but generally average about 5 to 10cm. The average weight of the snail is approximately 32 grams (Cooling 2005).
*2. Achatina Achatina –* Achatina achatina, common name the giant Ghana snail, also known as the giant tiger land snail, is a species of very large, air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Achatinidae. Giant African land snails are hemraphrodites, meaining they possess both the female and male reproductive organs. Two snails are still needed for breeding, but they are very prolific breeders.
Similar to the other species in the genus, Achatina achatina’s shell can attain a length of 200 mm and a maximum diameter of 100 mm. They may possess between 7-8 whorls and the shell is often broadly ovate. The body of the animal is silver-brown in color although albino morphs may exist.
*3. Archachatina Marginata –* Archachatina marginata, common name the giant West African snail, is a species of air-breathing tropical land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Achatinidae. They can grow up to 20cm long, and live up to 10 years.
Among these three species, Achatina Achatina is the most desirable for farmers because it grows so big to become the biggest snail species in the world. Achatina Achaina has it’s origin from Nigeria, get to Liberia from Nigeria and then Ghana
Another reason is due to it’s high yield capacity. The other species are very good too but I will focus on Achatina Achatina and Archachatina Marginata in this blog post because, they are easy to find in Nigeria.
Achatina-Achatina is very good for commercialization as well, because of its profitability. This is because of the volume of eggs it lays at once. Each achatina lays 300 to 500 eggs at a time in clutches, three times a year. Therefore, if you start a farm with about 1000 snails, in one year you would be getting about 1.5 million snails going by the number of eggs they produces.
Having decided on the specie, let’s take you through the step by step how to setup your snail farm in a small scale level and starts rearing your snail towards harvest.
Snail Farming Environment – Snails are easily dehydrated, and wind increase the rate of moisture loose in snail which in turn, leads to the dryness of the animal. To prevent snails from losing water so quickly, your pen (the snail house) must be located in environment that is protected from wind.
A low plain, downhill site surrounded with enough trees is perfect for snail farming. You may plant plantains and bananas around your snail farm to prevent the impact of wind.
*Type of Soil For Snail Farming –* Snail’s major habitat is the soil, and soil contains some of the components and chemical substances that it needed to survive. However, not all soils are suitable for snail rearing. The shell of the snail is mainly calcium and it derive most of them from the soil. Snail also lay it’s eggs on the soil and drink water out of the soil.
Hence, the suitable soil for snail farming must contain these elements.  Must be balanced, not waterlogged, not too dry, and must not be acidic. The most desirable soil for snail is sandy-loamy soil with low water holding capacity. Clayey soil and acidic soil must be avoided.
*The Snail House (Snailery) –* Snaileries can vary from a patch of fence-protected ground, sheltered from the wind to a covered box if you are breeding in small scale.
For larger population of snails, you can dug a trench or make a concrete pen with soil deep of about 10 inches, and cover it with screen or wire all around to prevent the snails from escaping. Remember that snails can reproduce fast and become pests when their breeding is uncontrolled.
Snails love dark and cold places, but make sure the humidity does not drop to levels harmful to the snails. You can use fresh leaves and cloth that is regularly wet to regulate the temperature.
Also, the wire is useful in keeping away rats and snakes or other predators from eating the snails in your snail farm. But aside from these bigger predators, you should be wary about smaller ones like ants and termites. Your construction must have these predators in mind.
*Snail Foods and Feeding –* Snails especially Achatina mainly feeds on green leaves and fruits though they can utilize other ranges of foods. Feed your snails leaves, fruits, or even formula from the feed store. Aside from food to grow tissues, snails need calcium to grow shells.
*Leaves:* Cocoyam leaves, pawpaw leaves, okra leaves, cassava leaves, eggplant leaves, cabbage and lettuce leaves.
*Fruits:* Mango, eggplant, pawpaw, banana, tomatoes, oil palm fruits, pears. and cucumber.
Once they start growing, separate the big ones from the small ones. It take more than a year for the Achatina type to grow to harvest size. Others mature in two years.
One hundred thousand snails after a year or two sold at the rate of N50 each (highly reduced price) will give you about N5 million! Isn’t that a good investment?
*Harvesting –* It is not economically wise to harvest your snails before it’s maturity, it has to be matured before harvesting. To know if your snails are already matured enough, check the brim of the shell. If it is matured enough, the brim should be thicker and harder than other parts of the shell.
Do not harvest all the matured snails at once for the market. It is important to keep few for breeding and to serve as base stock for your snail farm.
Snail Health Benefits (You Will be Shocked)
Snail is a common name given to a member of the class of molluscs Gastropoda. In ancient times these snails are usually hunted by farmers because regarded as pests. But after learning that this animal has a wide range of benefits, where this animal  contains a lot of protein and also contains essential amino acids complete, so that the snails do not go unpunished. Even meat extract and snail slime contains benefits for treating the lining inflammation of the eye, pain due to menstruation, itching, toothache and others. Not only for health, but there are some types of snails that are beneficial for skin beauty. Even in other countries the use of snails for skin beauty is already popular.
Health facts Of Snail
Snail contains Omega-3 fatty acids 218mg, Total Omega-6 fatty 17.0mg. American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended that a person must meet 5-10 percent of daily calories from omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 needs for healthy adults is 1-3 grams / day.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that can not be produced by our body. So, Omega-3 is important as essential fatty acids. Omega-3 itself is formed of fatty acids like EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and ALA (a-linolenic acid).
When you are consume of Omega-3 regularly every day without an excessive dose, many benefits can be obtained. Among them:
Assist in the development of the brain and memory of children. Omega-3 is very good to improve our brain health because it affects the development of cell membranes in the neurological system in the brain, in addition to omega 3 can improve memory so it is suitable for those who often forgetful.
Prevent heart disease. Omega 3 is very useful for preventing diseases related to the heart due to omega 3 can make arterial organ becomes more elastic than that omega 3 can reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Lowering high cholesterol levels. Studies that have been conducted eating fish that rich in omega 3 regularly is very useful to raise good cholesterol and also shown to lower levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in the blood. But keep in mind, when you consume snail in case you just wanna get the function of omega 3 (lowering cholesterol) you likely will not be able to do that because the snails have high cholesterol content.
Healthy eyes. Omega 3 is excellent for improving eye health in general. in 100 grams of snails also contained 100 UI Vitamin A that is good for the eyes.
Healthy fetus. Pregnant women who consume Omega-3 can make more babies born healthy and intelligent, it also improves the quality of breast milk. Omega-3 is essential for improving mental and physical health of the baby.
Increase the child’s development. Children who frequently consume omega 3 it is very good to help the physical and mental development of children.
When compared with other sources such as In 100 grams of beef contains 14 grams of protein, one serving of 3 ounces of tuna fish contains 22 grams of protein, salmon contains 19 grams of protein in 3 ounces, while Snail protein containing 16.1 g or 32% DV. This amount is more than all sources except mutton reached 27 grams in 100 grams. This amount, which is higher than the eggs. Meet the protein by 32% in 100 grams helpful for:
As the enzyme. Protein has a major role to speed up biological reactions.
As a mean of transport and storage. The protein contained in hemoglobin to transport oxygen in erythrocytes. Protein contained in myoglobin to transport oxygen in the muscles.
For mechanical support. One form of fibers of the proteins called collagen has a function to maintain the strength and durability of bones and skin.
As the body’s defenses and immunization body’s defenses. Protein is commonly used in the form of antibodies
Preventing disease kwashiorkor and marasmus. These both diseases are caused by a protein deficiency.
protein can also help in the wound healing process, the cells regeneration to regulate the hormones and enzymes in the body.
snail contain vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, B3, B6 and B12. Vitamin A is beneficial for the health of the eyes, while vitamin E may act as an antioxidant. then Vitamin B1, B3, B6 and Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that is needed to prevent and control diabetes.
snail contains vitamin that dominate vitamins are vitamins A, E, niacin, and folate. Vitamin A is good for the eyes, vitamin E is good for cell regeneration and skin care, niacin has a role in the carbohydrats metabolism to produce energy, and folate is good for the pregnant women.
Snail in addition to containing Vitamin E, mucus can be used to treat inflamed pimples. Developed countries have a lot of snail slime processing with advanced technology and serve as the base material for beauty products. In addition, the snail slime can help regenerate the skin and facial wrinkles.
Snail contains choline. Choline is an important water-soluble vitamins, which are often classified by the vitamin B group. Choline has many important functions, including being an integral part of the cell membrane, the raw material for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and donors to the methyl group is required by a number of vital processes in the body. The liver is an organ that can produce some choline, but most needed by the body. So it must be obtained from food sources. The recommended daily choline intake for men is 550 mg, and 425 mg for the woman, while the snail contains 65 mg.
Choline is an essential component of the network known as the nervous system and brain nutrients that are important to maintaining brain function. Choline is also known to be required in building and maintaining healthy cell membranes. Besides it, choline plays an important role in protecting the liver from fat accumulation and help transport triglycerides from the liver. Cholin has the ability to break down fat so it is useful to prevent the buildup of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. Choline is essential for the fetus and infants to help the growth of the brain, therefore, the baby should drink breast milk that rich in choline.
Snail is high in iron (about 3.5 mg or 19% of DV). Iron is a vital substance needed by the body to ensure the availability of the required number of blood cells every day. In the body these substances is very important for our survival, helps transport of oxygen into the tissues of the lungs and transports electrons in the formation of energy in cells. When transporting oxygen, iron need the help from other nutrients such as protein which later merged to creates hemoglobin (in red blood cells) and myglobin (in the muscle fibers).
The iron requirement depends on the sex and age of man. In children aged 2-6 years should be sufficient in iron as much as 4.7 mg / day, while the age of 16-12 years of 7.8 mg / day. From the age factor men with age 12-16 years have took 21.4 mg / day, while adult women that in childbearing age 18.9 mg / day, for menopausal women 6.7 mg / day and lactating 8.7 mg / day. Figures in the form of iron nutritional needs are calculated based on the bioavailability of 15%.
Snail contains high levels of magnesium. Magnesium plays important roles in the body, which is needed for more than 325 enzymatic reactions, including involved in the synthesis of fats, proteins and nucleic acids, neural activity, muscle contraction and relaxation, cardiac activity and bone metabolism.
United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends the intake of 400 mg of magnesium per day for men aged 19-30 years and 420 mg for those over 30 years old. As for women under 30 years recommended intake is 300 mg of magnesium per day. Women who are over 30 years old recommended to consume 310 mg of magnesium per day. While the snail contains Magnesium 250 mg or 62% of DV.
Snail high in phosphorus (272 mg or 27% of DV), The importance of the phosphorus is in second rank to the total content of calcium in the body. The main function of phosphorus as a conduit of energy for the metabolism of fats and starches, as supporting healthy teeth and gums, for DNA synthesis and the absorption of calcium consumption dam.
Snail High in selenium. Selenium are important minerals and nutrients to fight diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Selenium is synergistic with vitamin E, which means that both works very srong equally. Both are powerful antioxidants that help to prevent the aging and hardening of tissues through oxidation. mineral selenium is essential for many body functions and can be found in every cell of the body, which is mainly in the kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas, and testes. In men, half of selenium in the body concentrates in the testicles and part of the vas deferens or around the prostate gland.
But, Snail have a bad side for our body too. Let’s check it out:
Low calorie and zero fiber. in addition it has a low calorie content, snail also contains zero fiber. If the normally low-calorie foods that are always associated with diet, the snail is not good food for diet, because it does not contain fiber
high cholesterol. Snail contains high cholesterol. Do not expect to benefit from omega 3 and omega 6, because it is not able to cover the dangers of high cholesterol in the snail. So, anyone who has a cholesterol exceed normal limits should not consume snail
Nutrition Content (100 grams)
Calories 90.0 (377 kJ) From Carbohydrate 13.0 (54.4 kJ), From Fat 12.6 (52.8 kJ) Protein From 64.4 (270 kJ)
Total Carbohydrate 2.0g
Total Fat 1.4g, Saturated Fat 0.4g, 0.3g Monounsaturated Fat, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g, Total Omega-3 fatty acids 218mg, Total Omega-6 fatty 17.0mg
Protein 16.1 g or 32% DV
*Vitamins:* Vitamin A 100 IU Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) 5.0 mg or 25%, Vitamin K 0.1 mcg, Riboflavin 0.1 mg or 7% DV, Niacin 1.4 mg or 7% DV Vitamin B6 0.1 mg 6% DV, Folate 6.0 mcg or 1% DV, Vitamin B12 0.5 mcg or 8% DV, Choline 65.0 mg
*Minerals:* Calcium 10.0 mg, Iron 3.5 mg or 19%, Magnesium 250 mg or 62%, Phosphorus 272 mg or 27%, Potassium 382 mg or 11%, Sodium 70.0 mg or 3%, Zinc 1.0 mg or 7%, Copper 0.4 mg or 20%, and Selenium 27.4 mcg or 39%
Cholesterol 50.0 mg or 17%
Water 79.2g and Ash 1.3 g
*How to cook the snail*
Before the process is advisable to choose the snails which it has large sizes, or with   diameter of shells at least 2 cm. The number of slugs that will be processed at least 40 pieces for 3 people with a cooking menu. The stages of processing are as follows:
Break the shell mainly from the middle to the head. Remove the meat from the shell snails, clean the droppings.
Meat taken head or that can be used to creep. After the washing with water while squeezing.
The body of the snail will spend a lot of mucus. Repeated at least five times. Mucus will not be discharged only numbers are reduced.
Soak the laundry with hot water to snail that has been given whiting half an hour. Still knead drain back and snails have been ready to be processed.
That tips for processing snail meat just as we would cook the meat for consumption.
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How to Start Snail Farming in Nigeria How to Start Snail Farming in Nigeria Reviewed by Godwin Akpan on November 05, 2017 Rating: 5

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