With the rains come the influx of snails.
Usually gathered along bush paths or forest, they crawl into different delicacies on Nigerian tables. Travel routes, Restaurants, Hotels, and bars are lined with them as customers fill their stomachs with a delicious meal. However, the rains come and go but cravings for the snail diet last for all seasons. The near disappearance of snails during the dry season creates a market opportunity for snail breeders and farmers to rake in huge profits.
With an increasing rate of settlement and deforestation, the bush supply of snails can’t keep up with the soaring demand of snails and its products (meat, slime e. t. c). Snails are a recurring item on the menus of Restaurants, Hotels, and bars where they serve it, boiled or fried. Their low-fat meat, with a good supply of proteins, vitamins, and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and selenium makes it a healthier choice compared to other red meat options.
The all year-round demand for snails leads to a huge market; there is a scramble for snails during the dry season, home and abroad with supply not always enough. This demand results in higher prices during the dry season and often unmet. Restaurants, Hotels, and bars get a lot of orders that they struggle to deliver. Also, there is an export market for snails due to the growing demand in Europe for the Giant African snail (Achatina Spp) which is prevalent in Nigeria and other African countries. The demand both home and abroad creates a market for snails that is open to new entrants.
Snail farming is easy to start and manage. It requires little investment and offers huge rewards. They are nocturnal animals and can thrive in your backyard or that land lying fallow in your village. It can be sourced from bushes around you, bought cheaply from villages and other remote areas or snail farms.
They feed on fruits and vegetables thereby, reducing the cost of buying food. They are healthy animals with little risks. Snails are environment-friendly – their droppings are not offensive, and you are sure of no noise complaints compared to poultry or swine. Their reproduction capability lies between 20 – 400 eggs depending on the species. Although their gestation period is quite lengthy, they compensate with their reproductive rate making them an entrepreneur's delight. The Giant African Snail is the best species for farming purposes due to its size, demand and fast reproduction capability and fortunately they are available near you. (The bigger they are, the more profit you earn).
Heliculture, the practice of rearing snails for man’s consumption, is still a relatively unchartered aspect of agribusiness in Nigeria. It is one with less stress to start and manage; a ready market (home and abroad) and available resources to garner knowledge.
While the rains pour, and the weather is cold, remember that a thriving opportunity is waiting for maximization. Snails, though slow provide fast and steady benefits for all.
For whatever purpose (rearing, eating), you can get buy here