How To Start A Snail Farming Business In Nigeria..Guide To Building, Starting Successful Snail Farm In Nigeria
One of the fastest growing businesses in this part of the world is snail farming. Snails are not only served as consumables, they are medicinal, and their shells used as abrasives for washing solid surfaces like pots or even the teeth. Though usually neglected because it is quite expensive to run, a farming business ‘reserved for the elite’, it remains a very lucrative form of business.
Snail farming is actually quite simple, and while some persons engage in it for subsidiary purposes, it has proven to be a great business idea that’s expandable to become a very profitable business that gives returns not only at the local or national level, but on an international scale. Having a successful snail farm is not just about having a business idea, but having a right plan that can be built upon to yield good profits. To start a snail farming business, you need to know the steps that are to be put in place. If you follow these steps, you are on your way to having a very profitable business.
Snails come in a lot of species, and so you have to know the ones that are right for cultivation. It is those ones that should be harvested. Many times, farmers attempt to work with just any type of snails not paying attention to their fecundity rate. For instance, it’s been found that achatina achatina, achatina fulica, and archachatina marginata are very good for business, and can easily be acquired. You can get them from the market, or choose to get them from the forest, which is actually advisable. If you can’t do that on your own, you could hire a snail expert to help you. And that is because the snails that are sold at markets, having being exposed to sunlight, get dehydrated which reduces their fecundity. Also, there’s a high likelihood that these snails might have been injured while they were being caught, and the market conditions make them prone to diseases which might cause their fertility or even death.
Often times, farmers lure snails out into the open to harvest them for cultivation. This is a trusted way of harvesting snails because you know almost for certain that they have been giving the right treatment, and that their fecundity level is high. Also another method is going to the market place. However, this is not with the intention to buy the snails, but rather, to get the eggs of snails. The snails are tested for their fecundity level and then kept in the right room temperature for hatching into eggs, and after that cultivated.
Since snails can be easily dehydrated, they must be kept in a suitable environment. Snails are better reared in less windy areas that are free from sunlight. If they are kept in the wrong environment, they may get dehydrated and that reduces their fecundity. Usually, farmers are advised to plant small crops like plantain trees to act as wind breakers to protect the animals. Another thing you need to note is that the soil must be suitable for the growth of the snails. Some soils are harsh for snails and can be injurious to the snails thereby resulting in loss. The soil is the natural habitat of snails, and they contain some mineral substances that are necessary for survival. In this regard it is necessary to get the right soil for the cultivation of snails. Snails need calcium for their shells, water for drinking as well as a suitable land for laying their eggs.
To this effect it is important that the type of soil used for cultivation of snails has enough water and calcium. This is not a suggestion that the soil should be waterlogged though, as that is very harmful to snail farming. A waterlogged soil breed insects and infections that are harmful to the snail. Also, necessity for calcium does not infer that the soil should be made acidic, as that would stunt the growth of the snails. Therefore, it is important that the soil has the right balance; and to this effect sand-loamy soil is still by far the best soil for snail rearing.
Snails live in the soil and as a result, they like dark places. Hence, when creating a pen for them, you must consider that. Ensure that you make it as natural as possible. This is to reduce the effect of them being moved around as that is not good for their growth and fecundity. In a small scale snail business, a covered box is suitable. However, for a large scale, a trench would do. It is important to create adequate spacing for the snails as they reproduce very fast. They can reproduce up to about 100 or more at a time. It is thus important that adequate accommodation is created to accommodate reproduction. The housing should be made to protect them from both large and small predators like ants, termites, snakes etc. so that the business does not run at a loss.
Snails are vegetarian, and so feed mostly on green leaves and fruits. Therefore it is important to this effect that their feeding is healthy and not just any leaf or fruit should be acquired but the best should be sought after. You could get feeds for snail from the farm or even around your locality. The food given them must be nutritious and rich in calcium for development of the snails shell.
Often times, beginning farmers are unaware about how to harvest their snails. It is important while harvesting snails that only the mature ones are harvested while the younger ones are left to keep growing. There are simple and basic steps to check if the snails are mature. Also, it is very important that not all the mature ones are harvested, some should be left to serve as base for the farm.
Snail farming although very simple to run must be done with cautiousness to achieve maximum production. From getting the right snail, to providing them with the right environment, to harvesting them, the right steps must be adequately followed, only then can the snails achieve maximum productivity.