Snails are a huge part of the diet in many parts of Africa, although they are not always affordable and available all year round. Their high protein, low fat and cholesterol content make them a nutritional favourite. Snails contain almost all the amino acids needed by the body and most of its by-products are used for cosmetics and medicines. As our population becomes more interested in healthier living and low-cholesterol diets, snails will become a popular alternative to to all the fatty and non-healthy meats that flood our markets nowadays.
They are much cheaper than red meat with greater health benefits on top! In terms of cost and time, snail farming is a low risk business. Unlike many other livestock businesses, snail farming requires very little startup and operating costs. It can be run from your backyard (if you have a sizeable one) or on that piece of land wasting away in your neighbourhood or village. Snails are friendly to the environment and their droppings are not offensive (unlike pigs and poultry) so there’s no chance an angry neighbor will come knocking. Snails also multiply really fast laying up to 100 eggs in one go. Because snails are hermaphrodites (have both male and female sexual organs), they get to mate easily throughout the year. This high reproduction rate has made snails a pest in many regions of the world.
However, it’s this fast reproductive ability that makes these slow creatures a delight to an entrepreneur. Snails can give very high returns on your initial investment if you do your homework well and target niche and repeat customers. Below is a quick assessment of what profit you are likely to make if you had invested in snails such as the Achatina achatina specie.
The Achatina achatina snail is capable of producing over 300 eggs or more in a growing season. Assuming you purchase 10 snails @ a cost of N40 each= N400 purchase cost each of those 10 snails has 300 eggs each gives you 300 eggs X 10 = 3000 snails. Even if you lost 10% of the snails to natural causes and illness i.e( 10% of 3000 = 30 snails). You are still left with 2700 snails with an estimated turnover of 2700 snails sold @ N40 each = N108,000 Big escargot operations can rake Millions from exporting to Europe, Asia and of course U.S.A. The U.S.A is a goldmine as the government banned ‘Live’ snails from being imported.
Our African brothers need snail in that country no be small since no Giant African Snail farm can exist legally. Also another way to conduct your snail business would be to buy small snails from the forest very cheap, store them for about 6 months in your own controlled farm. After a few months of care, these snails that were bout at around N50 can be sold during the dry season when they are rare for about N300+ and a lot of profit made, depending on how much snails you were able to gather.