If you are reading this article, you are either already in snail farming business or you are seriously considering taking the plunge. Of the many fields of agriculture that you could have chosen, you have picked one of the best. Snail is still in short supply in Nigeria. Preliminary market analysis suggests that an additional 25,000 tons, or a 100 per cent increase, can easily be absorbed. There is more than enough evidence to suggest that snail breeding is a profitable business in the country.
Snail production is a lot of fun with much to learn every day. Farmers raise snail for many reasons. Some are into snail breeders farming, point of lay snail production, while some farmers are raising snail for table.
It doesn’t matter how many snail you raise or how efficient, if you can’t sell them at a profit. Where and how the snail will be sold should be the first concern of anyone thinking about raising snail. Snail producers traditionally sell or market their snail to cold rooms, local markets, top class hotels, restaurants or local residents.
Nigeria alone is targeting about two-metric tons of yearly snail production not only for domestic market but also for international trade. A snail farmer does not have to invest from breeders-point of lay to table size snail farming. An investor can specialise just on a segment of the snailery trade.
Obviously, there are variations of the marketing schemes, but these are the main outlets. Below are secure areas of special concentration.
Direct snail production by farming
There exist vast suitable sites for commercial snail farming in different parts of the country. As little as one plot of land could be engaged under small or large scale farming, while several hectares have the potential of producing more than 10 metric tons per hectares a year with right species of snail. High yielding snail breeders are available for sale at Jovana Farms
Snail breeders production
This is one of the most lucrative aspects of snail farming. The turn over period is 18 months, when the breeders are ready to be sold to interested buyers as foundation stock. Snails are very productive; one snail can produce up to 200 snails in a year.
Integrated farming system is very feasible with snail production e.g. snail-banana-earthworm-palm tree-and grasscutter farming.
Snail food production
This is a very essential ingredient of snail farming. Any investor that is opportune to dive into this aspect is duty bound to succeed. The same equipment and input for snail supplement feed production could also be used to produce feed for poultry, fish, pig, etc. A good and cheap source of raw materials with good feed formula from expert should ensure continuous operation.
Fresh snail restaurant
Table-size snails end up with the consumers. Restaurants are already springing up in the country. Values are added to prepared snail and large demand is recorded daily. Interested investors can locate bigger market in exclusive residential areas and supermarkets. Nigerians are “fast food freaks” when it comes to snail pepper soup, Archachatina marginata specie of snail is most preferred.
Live snail marketing
This is one of the most common aspects of snail sales. The business is lucrative and turnover is immediate. Snails mongers involve in this business know where there are snail farms and when they are harvesting. They arrange their programmes so that buyers are already waiting before the harvest of snail. Some of them deal with beer parlours and restaurants which engage in massive regular demands.
Currently, India is exporting prawns into the country. Therefore, the thought that Nigeria cannot export snail has been debunked. Even though, such venture would enjoy special export licence. Large snail farms have the ability to explore this initiative. I am convinced that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council will be interested in such ventures. For export, the snails are killed by dipping them into hot water in an erated position and boiled for 13-25 minutes. After cooling, the flesh is scooped out of the shell and the edible portions chopped out.
Arinze Onebunne is the Chief Executive Officer of Jovana Farms