Basic Things You Need To Know About snail farming;
Snail is a delicacy that is simple to breed with little or no maintenance costs, yet very lucrative to invest in. You could get young snails from farmers or traders depending on sizes , quantity and bargaining power for between 15 Naira to 40 Naira each. Snails are hermaphrodite with a high rate of reproduction. To breed snails, you need a large space which must be kept moist and dark at all times, soil and some banana leaves or vegetables to feed them until they grow to the desired size for sale.
There are different types snail species ;
Achatina fulica : This is the smallest size of snail in Africa. It has a narrow, conical shell. The shell is generally red with mixture of brown colour. Adults of the species may exceed 20cm in shell length but generally average about 5 to 10cm.It has a vertical marking colour which is usually affected by the environment where it is breeds.
- Achatina Achatina – This is mostly found in Ghana, another name for this is giant tiger land snail. The specie is very large and it is air breathing land snail.
.3. Archachatina Marginata – Archachatina marginata, common name the giant West African snail, is a species of air-breathing tropical land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Achatinidae. They can grow up to 20cm long, and live up to 10 years.
Snails can be supplied in a large quantity to restaurants, fast food outlets, members of the public in markets etc.
Step by step guide on how to set up snail farm
1.The Environment: Snails love water and are easily dehydrated. As I said in the introduction, they need to stay in a moisturized environment to survive. Also, the environment must be protected from wind so as to prevent the snail from losing water quickly.
2.Sourcing for infant snails: It is said that the best snail is the ones picked from the bush. But you can buy directly from farmers who pick them from the bush or farmers who specialized in breeding infants snail for sale.
3.Snailery i.e The snail house: The most important house you need to build for snail survival is building a shelter that is shielded from wind and sunlight. Snails love dark and cold places but the humidity must not drop to a level that will be harmful to the survival of the snails.
4.Snail Food: They feed on green leaves and fruits. Cocoyam leaves, Banana, pawpaw, cassava, okra, eggplant, lettuce, palm oil, mango, tomatoes, pears, cucumber are good feeds for snail. You can complement this with formula from agro stores.
5.Soil type: The soil must contain some important chemical components they need to survive because they mostly stay in the soil. The shell of the snail is mainly calcium and it derives most of them from the soil. Snails also lay their eggs on the soil and drink water out of the soil. The soil must not be waterlogged nor too dry or acidic. Experts say the best soil for snail farming is loamy soil.Snail can be harvested after a year or two. Also read:Watermelon Farming Can Give You Good Returns-Here Is How To Start
It is not advisable or economically wise to harvest the snails too early before its maturity. You can check the brim of the shell to know if they are matured. If it is matured enough, the brim should be thicker and harder than other parts of the shell.