Snail farming in Nigeria or simply snail production is one of the easiest yet most profitable farming business ventures any serious minded person can engage in and make money. When I mean “anyone” that has the desire of going into any form of animal farming or whether you are an existing farmer this is because it can easily be integrated into your existing farm, it requires little space, less labour and it is environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, many people still do not know about this goldmine either due to ignorance, lack of interest. Unlike other forms of animal farming such as fish farming, poultry farming, goat/dairy, rabbit, turkey, cattle, pig farming etc, Snail farming in Nigeria (snail rearing) is still a myth among farmers in Nigeria as many believe that farming snails is not feasible as they can only be picked from the bush during the rainy season.
This write up however is aimed at exposing newbies and beginners to the vast opportunities as well as challenges that abound in breeding snails either for personal or commercial use .
At Snail Farmer, we are determined to raise as many snail farmers as possible using practical and latest snail rearing methods which guarantees good output.
Why Snail Farming in Nigeria?
Animal protein intake of Nigerians is very low leading to acute protein deficiency especially among the poor and average families. Supply of animal protein cannot meet up with the protein demand due to rapid increase in population hence the high cost of same.
The common and easily available sources of animal protein to the people are cattle, goat, sheep, pig, poultry and fish e.t.c. There are however other sources which are yet to be tapped but have great potentials for development and snail is one of such.
Snail meat is one of such. Snail meat which is very nutritious can be a viable supplement to the protein requirements for most people. Due to the ignorance snails Farming techniques unknown to the locals, Snails are still collected mainly from the wild; thick forest of the country. It has therefore become necessary to domesticate snails and organize snail Farming into a viable enterprise that has the potentials of supplementing the protein need for us and also for an alternative source of income in the long run.
What is Snail?
Names: Snails (English), Igbin (Yoruba), Ejuna (Ibo), Osi (Ijaw), Dodokodi (Hausa), Atakpana (Ukwuani)
According to Wikipedia, Snail is a common name loosely applied to shelled gastropods. The name is most often applied to land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs. However, the common name snail is also used for most of the members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have a coiled shell that is large enough for the animal to retract completely into. When the word “snail” is used in this most general sense, it includes not just land snails but also numerous species of sea snails and freshwater snails. Gastropods that naturally lack a shell, or have only an internal shell, are mostly called slugs, and land snails that have only a very small shell (that they cannot retract into) are often called semi-slugs.
Snails’ meat (Escargot) popularly called by the locals as “Congo meat” is consumed in many countries of the world.
In some countries snails are considered a delicacy for the rich because of its nutritional benefits.
It is a popular meat of many Nigerians in the rural areas mostly in the rain forest belt, where it is hand picked from the wild. Unfortunately, the potentials for its domestication and commercialization in the country has not been fully harnessed , although many recent researches have shown that snails Farming is highly profitable and productive if well managed with best practices.
Nutritionally snails meat is high in protein (12 – 16%) and Iron (45 – 50%), low in fat (0.5 – 0.08%) and contains almost all the amino acids needed by man, being also rich in vitamins. Apart from the nutritional benefits it is also known to have medicinal properties and usages.
In Nigeria, from the rural perspective snails have become an income earner to the rural dwellers who are making a living from picking snails from the wild (Rain forest) and gathering to sell in the markets and roadside. They usually collect snails in the raining season when snails are mostly found.
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