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How to start a profitable snail farming business in Nigeria

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Snail Farming Business In Nigeria

Snail farming business in Nigeria is a very popular and lucrative agricultural business which individuals can venture into due to its  low capital intensity and currently it is providing one of the finest opportunity to make money within a short period of time. Snail has a huge demand in Nigeria market because of its unique taste and nutritional value.

Snail meat contain a high amount of protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and very low in fat. Snail pie is recommended as a cheap source of protein and iron for school-age children and young mothers and could contribute in the fight against iron deficiency anaemia.

Advantages of Snail Farming Business in Nigeria

The main benefits of snail farming business in Nigeria are listed below.

  • Snails are hermaphroditic in nature and highly reproductive. Both male and female reproductive organs are available in each snail. As a result the snails can reproduce very fast.
  • One snail can lay eggs 6 time in a year. Each time they lay more than 80 to 100 eggs.
  • Snail meat is better than any other red meat. And it is enriched with highly nutrition ingredients.
  • Snail meat is high in iron, protein, calcium and phosphorus and very low in cholesterol, sodium and fat. As a result, snail meat is highly recommended by the dietitians and doctors for the patients and general people.
  • Snail meat is very delicious and widely popularly accepted all over the Nigeria. And there is no religious or tribal taboo consuming the snail meat.
  • Snail has a great market all over the Nigeria and in the West African regions.
  • The business tasks related to snail farming business in Nigeria like financing, producing, servicing, processing, sorting, transporting and marketing can make a great sector of employment of unemployed people.
  • Domestic snail farming business in Nigeria can meet up the family nutrition demands.
  • Commercial snail production can decrease the importation of frozen meat or fish from the foreign country. This can save money and make the economy of Nigeria strong.
  • Through widely commercial snail farming business in Nigeria, some extra income can be made along with meeting up the national demand.
  • Establishing a snail farm in Nigeria by using modern technologies, require less capital investment and produce much within a very short period. Running costs also very low.
  • Risk of losses are less compared to other types of livestock farming system.
  • Every parts of snail body is usable.
  • You can make ten times more profit from snail farming business in Nigeria within a year without any risk.
  • Snail farming business is not time consuming and there are no stress, odour, noise and irritation.
  • You can easily do snail farming business with your current occupation.
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Cost of Starting A Snail Farming Business

You can start the business with N60,000 or N100,000 depending on how large you want your snail farm to be. Asides the amount of your investment, it is possible to produce 1,000,000 snails now worth more than N5 million twice a year.

How profitable is snail farming business in Nigeria?

How lucrative is snail farming business in Nigeria? You can start snail farming  business with as little as N50,000 and earn up with as much as N100,000 in profit.

Steps for Starting Snail Farming business in Nigeria

For snail farming business in Nigeria, you have to go through some step by step process. I have described some steps here for starting commercial snail farming business in Nigeria.

Appropriate Soil for Snail Farming business In Nigeria

Let bear in mind that soil is the main habitat of snail. For successful snail farming business in Nigeria, the selected land for this business must have to contain some of the components and chemical substances which are necessary for surviving the snails. For this reason, all types of soil are not suitable for commercial snail farming.

The shell of the snail is mainly calcium and they derive most of the calcium from the soil. They drink water from the soil and also lay eggs on the soil. For successful snail farming business, you must have to select a such suitable place with availability of all types of necessary facilities for the snails.

snail farming business

The suitable soil for snail farming business 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 soil, loamy soil with low water holding capacity is perfect in for snail farming business in Nigeria. Clayey soil and acidic soil must be avoided.

However, snails are easily dehydrated. Dryness occurs in snails due to moisture loose in snail. Wind increase the rate of moisture loose in snails. So, it will be advisable to select a good area or location  for the establishment of the snail farming business.

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Suitable Area or Environment for Snail Farming business in Nigeria 

For preventing the snails from losing water form their body quickly, you have to place the snail farm in wind protected place void of any wind interference. An area with many trees can make perfect environment for snail farming business in Nigeria.

How To Start A Snail Farming business In Nigeria

snail farming business

To start up a snail farming business in Nigeria, it is advisable to get snails directly from the forest instead of buying from the market after they have been exposed to sunlight and have dehydrated. This is because snails drink a lot of water, so  they are easily dehydrated and this stresses them out, and reduce their fertility capacity.

As an intending snail farmer  you can pick the snails from the bush with a very simple technique; clear a little portion of land during rainy season and sprinkle spicy fruits like pineapple, pawpaw, plantain, banana etc this attract them to where you just cleared after three (3) hours you will be able pick up snails suitable for rearing. Repeat the procedure until you get enough quantity you desire to start with.

Another techniques you can adopt is that you can pick snail eggs littered in the market place where it is sold. Do the following to obtain the best result for your snail rearing, check the fertility of the eggs, because some of them must have lost fertility due to the exposure to sunlight.

The eggs are later put inside a container containing wet sand and covered with coco-yam leaf. Between 21 to 28 days, the eggs would hatch into baby snails, You will start feeding them and gradually  they will developed and you raise a snail farm you so desire.

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How To Construct The Snailery

Snailery is very essential for snail farming business in Nigeria. A good snail farmer keeps the snails safe and productive  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 wet cloth regularly to regulate the temperature during dry/sunny period.

Also, the wire is useful in keeping away rats and snakes or any other predators from eating the snails in your snail farm. But aside from these bigger predators, you should be cautious of the smaller ones like ants and termites. Your construction must have these predators in mind.

But if you want to be rearing the snail in a small quantity you can use fence protected ground, patch, sheltered from the wind or a covered box or plastics can easily be used. however, the most important thing is that you must make sure that the snails are not dehydrated because it can lead to the cons in snail farming.

For breeding, you will need the following to actualised positive result. Equipped area of land that will be enough for your cultivation. Special terrariums for gastropods. Soil fertilised with various useful elements, food for growing mollusks, twigs, and leaves.

How To Feed A Snail (Snail Feeding)

snail farming business

Snails especially Achatina mainly feeds on green leaves and fruits to truly utilised thier potentials, though they can feed on other ranges of foods, still it is advisable for a potential snail farmer to always feed their snails with leaves, fruits, formula from the feed stores amongst others. Aside from food to grow tissues, snails need calcium to grow shells.

Food ensure the proper growth of snails. Provided food help the snails grow their tissues and they also need calcium for growing shells.

Leaves: The following leaves are advisable for a snail farmer to feed their snail with Coco-yam leaves, pawpaw leaves, okra leaves, cassava leaves, eggplant leaves, cabbage and lettuce leaves.

Fruits: fruits like Mango, eggplant, pawpaw, banana, tomatoes, oil palm fruits, pears. and cucumber are advisable.

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?

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Snail Harvesting

The snail must be matured before it can be harvested, it is not advisable or even economical to harvest before the appropriate time. To be sure if your snails are already matured enough, check the brim of the shell, if the brim of the snail is thicker and harder than other parts of the shell it means the snail is good for sales. Some snails take more time for growing.

Please do not sell all the matured snails in your farm to your customers. Ensure not to harvest them all because they are the ones that will serve as the base stock for your snail farm that is why it is important to save part.

Nonetheless, snail has a good market demand and price. You can easily sell the snails in your local market. Snail meat consuming rate is growing very fast throughout the globe. So, exporting in international market can make more money.

It is most convenient to harvest snails in wet weather. To do this, it is necessary to lay out slate sheets where snails will be collected. You can determine this by the edge of the sole (when it becomes firm, the snail will no longer grow). The collection is performed weekly, usually in spring or autumn.

After this, the gastropods must be kept in the cage for seven days so that their digestive system completely gets rid of the soil. While this process, snails receive no food or water. With a temperature regime of 5 degrees and sufficient coolness, they can survive for 2 months.

Important Factors To Consider when Starting A Snail Farming Business

The following factors should be considered when choosing a site for snail farming

  • Soil Type
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Source
  • Climate
  • Wind Speed and Direction
  • Safety
  • Wind and Environment

1. Soil Type

One of the factors you have to consider before embarking on a snail farming business is Soil, the Soil plays a major role in snail’s housing. Soil Composition, water content and texture are important factors you have to consider in selecting a site. The snail’s shell is made up of calcium which is derived from the soil and from feed. Snails also derive their water requirements mostly from the soil. Snails lay their eggs by the digging the soil and to rest during the dry season.

Because of all this factors it is crucial that the soil is loose and that its calcium and water content is high. Clay soil cannot be used because it becomes waterlogged in the rainy season and compacts during the dry season while also sandy soil is not advisable because of its low water holding capacity.

The most desirable soil for snail farming business is a soil with high organic matter it can support the growth and development of the snails. This can be determined by checking the soil if it is a good growth of coco-yam, tomatoes and leafy vegetables.

Snails love to dig into the soil and ingest it. So you have to provide a good soil that favours snail growth and provides some of their nutrition because Lack of access to good soil may result in fragile shells even if you are giving them a well-balanced feed; the snails’ growth may hindered. If you are using a container for your snail farming business you should make sure that you are changing it every three month because of Chemical changes.

2. Pests And Diseases

termites, lizards, snakes, ants, chickens, geese and turkeys are the common enemies of snails and should be perverted by all means. There are not many diseases identified in snail but fungus and bacterial diseases which are spread by contact have been noticed in overcrowded pens.

In this dry season, it will be ideal to irrigate the snail farm regularly or else the snail will hibernate. If there are drought, snails can hibernate up to two years in the case for desert snails.

3. Source

Snail source is an important aspects in this process of farming, it is sensible to get snails directly from the forest or buy a reliable dealer in the market. The forest techniques could be really tricky, snails can be gotten from the forest with a base techniques, clear a small portion of land during rainy season and drop fruits like pineapple, pawpaw, plantain, and banana within 4/5pm in the evening. In the evening, come back at 7/8pm you will pick up snails suitable for farming. You can repeat the process until you get the reasonable amount you so desire.

4. Wind speed and direction

The second factor to consider is how wind accelerates because it affects the moisture content of the soil. To prevent snails from drying out, snail farm should be situated in sites that are protected from the wind. You can site your farm in a downhill sites, preferably those with good tree cover to reduce wind impact. If you Plant trees around snail pens will also help to reduce the wind speed and improve the micro-climate. It will also protect the snails from scorching sun or torrential rain.

5. Temperature and humidity

Snails are cold-blooded, they thrive best in areas with moderate temperatures and high humidity also when the temperature rises snails go into dormancy during the dry season this is one of the problem of snail farming business. So the relative air humidity of your snail farm should not be near saturation, because it would encourage the development of harmful bacteria and fungi. In outdoor situations, it is clearly impossible to control climatic factors.

However, the magnitude of temperature and humidity fluctuations is reduced in areas of relatively undisturbed forest or fairly dense vegetation cover. Such sites should be preferred to open grassland or farmland areas.

6. Location and environment 

The most suitable spot to locate your snail farm is a low plain, downhill site. The farm should not be exposed to excessive wind hence the location would dry out and dehydrate your snails. It is best to have trees like banana or plantain planted around your snail farm.

Depending on the scale of snail farming business you want to go into, your snails can be reared in a large covered box if you are considering small scale snail farming, or in a concrete pen with soil flooring if you want to rear snails on a large scale

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Healthy Benefits Of Snail

snail farming business

For snails have come out of their shells and are basking in the glory of being the new star superfood. And here are six reasons why snails should be blazing a trail to your plate.

1. Protein

Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle, and is also better at filling you up than carbs and fat. Many people look to seafood as an easy source of protein, but actually, snails have more. Snail contains 16.1 g or 32% DV protein. This amount is more than all sources except mutton  which reached 27 grams in 100 grams.

Protein has a major role to speed up biological reactions. As a mean of transport and storage, the protein contained in hemoglobin and myoglobin helps to transport oxygen in erythrocytes. For mechanical support, the form of fibers of the proteins called collagen has a function to maintain the strength and durability of the bones and skin.

2. Iron

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 because it helps to transport 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).

Snails are also a good source of iron, essential for building red blood cells and carrying energy around the body. A lack of iron can lead to extreme fatigue and anaemia.

3. Vitamins

snail contain a lot of vitamin like vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, B3, B6 and B12. Vitamin A is helpful to the eyes, vitamin E may act as an antioxidant. while, 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 such as 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 carbohydrates metabolism to produce energy, and folate is good for the pregnant women.

Often cited as the ‘energy vitamin’, B-12 is needed for making red blood cells, keeping the nervous system healthy, releasing energy from the food we eat and processing folic acid. Luckily enough, snails have lots of it.

4. Magnesium

Snails are also a good source of magnesium, which our bodies need to maintain a normal blood pressure, strengthen bones and also keep your heartbeat regular. Magnesium plays important roles in the body, which is needed for more than 325 enzymatic reactions, including 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.

5. 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 are powerful antioxidants that help to prevent the ageing 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. Snail has also been said to be reach in Selenium, Although we do not need much in our bodies. But we need it to keep fit and make our immune system stronger while it also protect our cells against damage.

6. Omega-3

Snail contains Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega -3 fatty acid s are types of polyunsaturated fat that can be produced by our body and it is important and essential because it forms EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and ALA (a-linolenic acid).

The 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 per day.

7. Choline

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 recommendation for daily choline intake for men is 550 mg, and 425 mg for the woman, while the snail contains 65 mg.

Therefore, snail meat contains protein, fat (mainly polyunsaturated fatty acid), iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamins A, B6, B12, K and folate. It also contains the amino acids arginine and lysine at higher levels than in whole egg.

It also contains healthy essential fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acids. The high-protein, low-fat content of snail meat makes it a healthy alternative food.


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Benefit Of Snail Farming Business

snail farming business

1. Snail farming business is not high capital intensive

2. Snail is a good source of protein.

3. It contains low fat & cholesterol levels.

4. It maintains low mortality

5. It’s a Good foreign exchange earner

6. Food

7. The shell

8. Traditional medicine. Amongst other

Pros and Cons of Snail Farming Business

Pros of snail farming

  • Snails have a great demand.
  • Snail farming business has a bright future
  • As long as responsible snail raising and consumption continues, the high demand of snails will rest assured.
  • Nowadays there is a huge concern about eating natural and healthy.
  • Other meats have nothing on snails
  • The great quality and nutritional value of snail meat can compete with poultry, pork and beef.
  • Snails reproduce in large quantities and adapt to most climates
  • Feeding snails is cheap and easy
  • Snail food is mostly vegetables. To make them grow larger, there are low-cost wholesale flours enriched with calcium.

Cons of snail farming

Lack of acknowledge on

  • Raising snails: understanding their biology and conditions they need.
  • Laws and regulations on your country regarding to the raise, sell, export and import of snails.
  • How to start a business of this kind.
  • Dealing with middlemen.

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5 things To  consider before Starting A Snail Farming business In Nigeria

If it has worked elsewhere, it will work in Nigeria.  Below are the 5 common things to put into consideration before starting a profitable snail farming business in Nigeria.

1 – Decide which species of snail to farm.

When creating a snail farm, you’ll have to use a single species of snail. Research has shown that snail species such as Achatina achatina are the best for warm climate regions like Africa.

2 – Set-up your farmland for housing.

Your snail housing must have enough space for your snails to graze freely. Overcrowding your snailery impedes the development of snails and therefore should be avoided. A well-spaced snail housing reduces the risk of disease outbreak caused by overcrowding.

Snails are good at escaping from where they are kept, so you should endeavour to construct escape proof housing. You can use a pen house that will be spacious and accessible with a soil depth of 10 inches and trees around it.

3 – Purchase your snails

If you want to start a snail farm, you’ll need to get snails. After setting-up proper housing and farmland for the snails, it’s time to buy some fresh quality snails from the market or any farm. It’s always best to be able to examine the snails before you buy them so that you know they are healthy.

When you first start your snail farm, you’ll want to get healthy, fully grown snails that will lay eggs and help populate your farm. Look at the shell of the snail. If there is a lip, that means they are a fully grown snail.

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Step 4 – Feeding and rearing of the snails

Snails are vegetarians and can be fed with wide varieties of foods such as cabbage, cucumber, mango, banana, eggplant, pear, tomato and paw-paw, cassava, okra leaves or lettuce. However, you can as well feed snails with pineapple, banana or paw paw.

Mating and laying eggs are a vital part of snail farming. Typically, mating occurs during spring and summer. As hermaphrodites, snails can fertilize each other as soon as they are mature enough. In order for the egg laying to go over smoothly, you should use high-quality soil with the right temperature and humidity.

Step 5 – Harvesting and selling of the snails

It is not economically wise to harvest your snails before it’s maturity, it has to be mature before harvesting. Do not harvest all the matured snails at once to sell in the market. It is important to keep few for breeding and to serve as base stock for your snail farm.

Snail has good market demand and price. You can easily sell the snails in the local market. Snail meat consuming rate is growing very fast around the globe. So, exporting in the international market can make you more money.

Cost of Starting A Snail Farming Business

The mandatory expenses you need to account for if you’re wondering how to set up a snail farm include: housing, buying fresh snails, feeding, handling and processing the snails, marketing, and transportation.

You can start the business with N60,000 or N100,000 depending on how large you want your snail farm to be. Asides the amount of your investment, it is possible to produce 1,000,000 snails now worth more than N5 million twice a year.

This is made possible because of the availability of very highly prolific Achatina achatina species of snails, which lay 200 – 400 in one batch two-three times a year. If you produce 100,000 snails that sell for N250 each, which is N250 X 100,000, you will be making N2,500,000. You will be making N25,000,000 per annum or more than that if you produce 1,000,000 snails.

For beginners, creating a snail farming business plan is a crucial step that needs to be accomplished before starting. This will give you a deep understanding of everything that needs to be done.


In terms of cost and time, snail farming business is a low-risk business. Unlike many other livestock businesses, snail farming business requires very little startup and operating costs. You can even set up your snail farm at the backyard of your house to save cost on the purchase of farmland.

The best time to start up a snail farming business is during the rainy season especially from July to October because that is the time snails normally start to breed. You should also note that prices of snails multiply during scarcity between March and December, which is the dry season.

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