HOW TO START A SNAIL FARM BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
Dealing in the breeding of snails for commercial sale is one of the several business options that animal husbandry offers. Snails are one of the meat sources available in the market and in Nigeria, one of the places in which they are gotten or captured is in bushes or areas with high amount of rainfall. The demand for the product is high but the business is not well practiced and at times it is always difficult to get them even in regular markets unless you go to really big markets where almost all agricultural products are sold. This demand for the product is one of the reasons that makes it a reasonable option for a business, not to mention the low cost involved in setting up.
Most agricultural businesses always need huge amounts of money to start the business and it therefore becomes an issue to set up. With the snail farming business, it is a little bit different. By contrast, the cost of starting up a snail rearing business is way cheaper as opposed to the several other options available. You don’t really need to have a high amount of capital to start. The business is one of the neglected or less practiced agricultural ventures based on the shortage of suppliers in the country and the increasing demand by the day. It actually generates a high amount of revenue globally especially in countries like the United Kingdom and Australia. The business is one that promises to bring huge profits not only because of high demand but also because it provides an alternative to the other things in the market.
Snail meat is rich in iron, protein, calcium and phosphorus and low in cholesterol, sodium and fat. It is high in quality and also quite delicious with its unique taste. It can be served to any meal and is highly nutritious to the body. Snails comes in different sizes and it is with that reason that they come in different prices. They are sold for reasonable prices and are quite affordable. The snail farming business actually deals with the rearing, feeding, management and harvesting of the snails for commercial sale. Snails take a particular amount of time to mature after which they are harvested and sold to markets.
Restaurants, clubs and hotels are some of the places where snail meats are well recognized and served to customers. In Nigerian homes too, the product is also prepared sometimes for refreshment purposes or as alternative to meat or fishes or other sources of protein eaten at home. Starting the business as I’ve earlier mentioned, comes at low cost and is something that is not very difficult to set up. It is a business that can be run or operated alone by entrepreneurs but they can also look to employ labor if the business is to be started on a large scale.
As always, capital is key and is very important to the start and progress of any business whatsoever. The capital helps to kick start the production process. All the things relating or dealing with money during the course of the business is to be covered by the capital. As a low cost business, individuals might not need to source for large amounts of money. Depending on proposed capacity or size of a business, the snail farm can be started for just a small amount of money which will cover the cost of equipments needed and also a few other things necessary for operation.
In the next sub heads, I’ll be discussing the procedures to be considered to start a snail farm business and also some neccesary factors that can be considered in each step or during the overall course of the business.
- COMPREHENSIVE AND DETAILED RESEARCH ON THE BUSINESS
Before venturing into any business, it is the job of the entrepreneur to do a concrete research or study on the business. This allows entrepreneurs to be aware of the requirements involved in starting the business. The research covers everything from the basics of the business, different species of snails, preferred type of location for the snails, cost of equipments and other things to be bought, estimated profit and also ways the snails will be marketed and sold to the market for it to reach the consumers.
The research helps with also studying the market for the product and to access the different options to getting the product to the market. You can visit markets and see places where snails are sold and interact the the sellers to have idea of some of things involved and also some of the issues or problems faced in the process of starting the business. You can also visit any snail farm you know, though that is difficult because the suppliers for snails are not well pronounced in the market. But on the rare chance that you get a farm, study the location and the way operations are carried out and see ways things are done and from there, think on how you plan to implement strategies to help you progress.
- SELECT A SPECIALITY
If you’re not aware, there are quite a number of snail species available in the market. They all have suitable conditions that help them properly grow and become mature. Some of the popular ones include Achatina Fulica, Achatina Achatina and Archachatina Marginata. The first two species are known to lay over 100 eggs at different times in a year while the thrid specie, Archachatina Marginata has a low yield of about more than 10 eggs at different times in a year. They all have their different benefits and yield rate but the most reared snail or the best snail for rearing is the Achatina Achatina which is also referred to as the Giant Ghana Snail or the Giant Tiger Land Snail. It is preferred became it is suitable in warm climates like in Nigeria. Whichever one you select of the different species, you’re still sure to get your profit but it is always advisable to always select the one that is capable of adapting to the conditions in your location.
- GET A LOCATION
With the species selected, it is now time to get a place where they can be reared till they are mature enough for harvest. The type of land needed for a snail farm is quite complicated as there are some neccesary conditions that the land must have to allow the snails to grow properly. The land for a snail farm must not be one with a clay soil. Clay soil gets waterlogged during the rainy season and also compacts later on in the dry season. Also, there should be no wind interference in the place where the snails will be located.
After securing a location, then comes the time to build a house or something where the snails will be kept. The snail house should not be overcrowded as it will prevent the snails from attaining full growth. They should be well spaced in different section to avoid issues like that. Also, it should be escape proof. Install a barrier that will not allow the snails have a chance of escaping.
- GET THE EQUIPMENTS
At this stage, the snails must have been gotten from a supplier. Then it’s time to get the neccesary equipments for the business. Also, it is at this point that the snails feeds are bought. Buy the ones with high quality and will be highly nutritious to the snails. Vaccines for their treatment incase something goes wrong or there’s an infection can also be made available on the snail farm.
- HARVEST AND SALE OF SNAILS
After they have gone through the normal maturity process, they’ll be ready to be harvested after which they will be sold. You can visit markets and places where snails are sold to introduce your business to them. Also visit popular snail hubs or spots where snails are always served and market the product and sell them for affordable prices. After a careful study of the market, you must have come across different pricing strategies in the business. Develop yourself and also give discounts if you can. It will help in securing customers.
With all these, a snail farm can be started and it is only a matter of time before the business starts to boom and profits start to come in. There is a huge chance of attaining success in a business like this especially since it has a high demand, so it proves to be one of the many profitable businesses available in the country today.