How To Start Snail Farming With Wonderful Market Opportunities

Few days ago somebody ask me why all my post always end with how to make money. Though i must confess here that i understand what she meant after-all what is the essence of doing something without having passion for it, is likely not going to work, just few steps along the way and you are out. But permit
me also to remind you here that the really essence of the whole post am working on everyday is to help everyone out there make a choice.

Okay back to the business of the day. As our population or population of the world keep increasing is advisable to find one or two things you can do just to earn money and live the kind of comfortable life you wants to live. Indeed everyday in one way or the other we all becomes more interested in healthier living and low-cholesterol diets. Snails become a popular alternative 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!
Snails have, for a long time, been a popular and recurring item on the menus of hotels, restaurants and bars where they often feature as boiled, fried and spiced kebabs. They are also a great addition to soups and stews which are a significant part of most  African dishes. Am focusing only in Africa since is where am sure of for now.

Market Opportunities for Snail Farming in Africa: Most of the snails supplied to the African market are gathered from bushes and forests during the rainy season (usually between April and September).
Because snails are very dormant during the dry season, they become increasingly scarce during this period and the market is starved of adequate supply until the next wet season. This makes the supply of snails very seasonal in many parts of Africa where they serve as food. Especially over here in eastern part of Nigeria.

Indeed as a consequence, snails can fetch much higher prices during the dry season (December to March) when supply often does not keep up with demand.
Snails may go on break during the dry seasons but the human appetite for its taste always remains, and continues to grow throughout the year. And to think that several festivities take place during the dry season (Christmas et al), makes this a first choice agribusiness.
Due to steadily growing demand from customers, hotels and restaurants are always in need of snail delicacies on their menus. And given the significant upside to the profits that can be made, it makes a lot of sense to take maximum advantage of this market when the supply of snails is significantly short.
Just recently i learn also that there is also growing demand in Europe for giant African snails.

Apart from their great taste, many people abroad like to keep them as pets and keepsakes due to their sheer size (Believe me I was surprised too!). But never mind, you are likely to be very busy satisfying the local demand to bother about exports.
However, it’s still good to know that such foreign market opportunities exist for this small business.

Success tips for aspiring Snail farming in Africa

As a Smallstarter, or do i say snail-farmer your primary goal should be to take advantage of the seasonality of this market in order to gain premium prices for your snails. Target the high-end customers (hotels, restaurants and households) who can afford to pay a premium for a steady supply of the product.
If you supply all year round, you are likely to earn lesser during the rainy seasons (when supply is in abundance) and more in the dry seasons (when the product is scarce).
You could buy cheaply from the villages and other remote areas while the supply is up during the rainy season and maintain a healthy stock of large snails that you can unleash on your customers when supply falls in the dry season. But to achieve this, there is a very important condition. The size of your snails must be large and ‘intimidating’ enough to command a premium (high) price.
For this to happen, you must start your snail farm with the right species (the Giant African type) and ensure that you apply proper breeding, stocking and feeding practices to achieve the huge sizes that will make you a highly sought after supplier. If your snails are bred well, they should start to reach market size from six to twelve months, although some farmers like to leave theirs for much longer.
Presently, more than 90 percent of the snails supplied to our local markets are picked from the forests. While this has been the traditional supply source, our growing population and rising rural to urban migration rates make it unsustainable.
An artificial intervention like snail farming is the only way to satisfy the growing demand. And as long as a huge chunk of the market depends on snails captured in the wild, nobody can assure a steady and consistent supply of large snails like a farmer who breeds snails in his/her backyard!

Here Are things you should consider before you start a snail farm…

In terms of cost and time, believe me 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. Lol......

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. And finally

An interesting resource for snail farming in Africa

A Practical Guide to Snail Farming: This 78-page guide believe me is unbelievably FREE and contains everything (theory and practice) you’ll ever need to start and succeed in a snail farming business. It covers all areas of the subject and even offers tips on how to market your snails.
Many thanks to the guys at openideo.com for this wonderful resource!
If you have any experience in this area, am sure a lot of people reading this would love to learn from you. Please leave a comment in the section below or share this opportunity with a friend. Hope to hear from someone soon love you all.

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