SNAIL FARMING BUSINESS PLAN GUIDE
Snailery is one of the most neglected and yet one of the post profitable animal rearing business anywhere in the country. It provides one of the finest opportunity to make good money at a very short time. But why are some people not yet fully engaged in snail farming?
The reason is ignorance.
Most people still have the believe that snail can only be picked in the bush. The culture of going to the bush to pick snails in the villages during raining time has been there for generations. So, it has been difficult for people to come to term that snail can actually be kept and grown at home.
Just like in many other aspects of farming in the country, Africans are yet to discover the great money making potential in snail rearing business and that is why we suffer in hunger and poverty. We neglect where the money is and keep pursuing it where it is not, going from one city to the other looking for one petty trading after another to trade on.
The good new: After reading this article, you will be on your way to starting your own snail business in easy and simple steps.
What is Snail: Land snails we wants to talk about belongs to the class of Molluscan, Gastropod. The one popularly known as ‘Congo Meat’ in many parts of Nigeria – Eju, Igbin, etc.. There are so many species of snails but the ones we are looking at here are the ones that are suitable for Snail Farming.
The process of raring snails for commercial purposes is called heliculture. But in this context, we will limit our use of words to snail farming, which is one of the easiest small businesses an individual can engage in to make great profits in a very short period of time.
Snail farming entails just a minimum capital to start with and the profit margin is so high in that the snails, which are egg-laying animals lay a lot of eggs, which if adequate precautions are taken, will transform into more profits. It will even be important to note that snails could be exported to other countries just like some other commodities, as it is a well cherished delicacy in most part of the world.
WHY YOU SHOULD START A SNAIL FARMING BUSINESS
1. SNAILS ARE HIGHLY NUTRITIOUS: Snails have become a very much cherished delicacy among a lot of people across the world. This is due to its high nutritional value. The meat is rich in calcium, phosphorous, selenium and other essential minerals plus vitamins.
2. SNAILS ARE A GOOD SOURCE OF PROTEIN: The calories content of snails is quite low as well as low fat content. This has made it more revered among weight watchers and diabetic patients. Its body mass is also made of flesh, which account for the high protein contents.
3. AVAILABILTY OF MARKETS: With the population of Nigeria estimated to the tune of about 180 million people. The market for snails is every much large and will not be so difficult for a farmers to dispose of his produce
4. LOW CAPITAL REQUIREMENT: The capital required to start off a snail farming business is quite low, especially when compared to other agricultural businesses.
SUITABLE SNAIL SPECIES FOR SNAIL FARMING
1. Achatina fulica: This specie of snail is called the East African Land snail or giant African Land snail. Though it is of considerable size, but the smallest of the commercial species of snails.
It has a narrow, pointed shell, which can be twice as long as the width of the snail itself. The snail can grow up to 7 to 9 whorls at full maturity. It has reddish-brown shell with yellowish vertical markings. The colouration varies with the environment anyway.
2. Achatina achatina: The common name for this specie of snail is the Giant Ghana Snail. It is a specie of very large, air-breathing land snail. They are hermaphrodites as with other mollusks i.e. they produce both male and female reproductive organs and they are a very prolific breed of snails.
3. Achatina marginata: The common name for this specie of snail is the Giant West African Land snail. They can live to about 10 year and grow to a maximum size of about 20cm.
Of all these species of snails, the Achatina achatina is the most desirable among commercial snail farmers just for the big giant size. Its origin is from Nigeria to Ghana and then Liberia.
Among these three species, Achatina Achatina is the most desirable for farmers because it grows so big to become the biggest snail species in the world. Achatina Achaina has it’s origin from Nigeria, get to Liberia from Nigeria and then Ghana
Another reason is due to it’s high yield capacity. The other species are very good too but I will focus on Achatina Achatina and Archachatina Marginata in this blog post because, they are easy to find in Nigeria .
Achatina-Achatina is very good for commercialization as well, because of its profitability. This is because of the volume of eggs it lays at once. Each achatina lays 300 to 500 eggs at a time in clutches, three times a year. Therefore, if you start a farm with about 1000 snails, in one year you would be getting about 1.5 million snails going by the number of eggs they produces.
SETTING UP A SNAIL FARM
Having decided on the specie, let’s take you through the step by step how to setup your snail farm in a small scale level and starts rearing your snail towards harvest.1. Snail Farming Environment – Snails are easily dehydrated, and wind increase the rate of moisture loose in snail which in turn, leads to the dryness of the animal.
To prevent snails from losing water so quickly, your snailery (the snail pen construction) must be located in environment that is protected from wind.
A low plain, downhill site surrounded with enough trees is perfect for snail farming. You may plant plantains and bananas around your snail farm to prevent the impact of wind.2. Type of Soil For Snail Farm – Snail’s major habitat is the soil, and soil contains some of the components and chemical substances that it needed to survive.
However, not all soils are suitable for snail rearing. The shell of the snail is mainly calcium and it derive most of them from the soil. Snail also lay it’s eggs on the soil and drink water out of the soil.
Hence, the suitable soil for snail farming must contain these elements. Must be balanced, not waterlogged, not too dry, and must not be acidic. The most desirable soil for snail is sandy-loamy soil with low water holding capacity.
Clayey soil and acidic soil must be avoided.3. Getting The Sails For Farming – To start up a snail farm, it is advisable to get snails directly from the forest instead of buying from the market after they have been exposed to sunlight and have dehydrated. This is because snails drink a lot of water, so are easily dehydrated and this stresses them out, and reduce their fertility capacity.
The intending snail farmer could pick the snails from the bush with a very simple technique; clear a little portion of land during rainy season and sprinkle spicy fruits like pineapple, pawpaw, plantain, banana etc at about 5o’clock in the evening, when you go back there about 7pm or 8pm, you will pick up snails suitable for rearing. Repeat the procedure until you get enough quantity.
Another way could be to pick up snail eggs littered in the market place where it is sold and through a technique, check the fertility of the eggs, because some of them must have lost fertility due to the exposure to sunlight. The eggs are later put inside a container containing wet sand and covered with cocoyam leaf. Between 21 to 28 days, the eggs would hatch into baby snails. You start feeding them and gradually you raise a snail farm.”4. The Snail House (Snailery) – Snaileries can vary from a patch of fence-protected ground, sheltered from the wind to a covered box if you are breeding in small scale.
For larger population of snails, you can dug a trench or make a concrete pen with soil deep of about 10 inches, and cover it with screen or wire all around to prevent the snails from escaping. Remember that snails can reproduce fast and become pests when their breeding is uncontrolled.
Snails love dark and cold places, but make sure the humidity does not drop to levels harmful to the snails. You can use fresh leaves and cloth that is regularly wet to regulate the temperature.
Also, the wire is useful in keeping away rats and snakes or other predators from eating the snails in your snail farm.
But aside from these bigger predators, you should be wary about smaller ones like ants and termites. Your construction must have these predators in mind.5. Snails Foods and Feeding – Snails especially Achatina mainly feeds on green leaves and fruits though they can utilize other ranges of foods. Feed your snails leaves, fruits, or even formula from the feed store.
Aside from food to grow tissues, snails need calcium to grow shells.Leaves: Cocoyam leaves, pawpaw leaves, okra leaves, cassava leaves, eggplant leaves, cabbage and lettuce leaves.Fruits: Mango, eggplant, pawpaw, banana, tomatoes, oil palm fruits, pears. and cucumber.
Once they start growing, separate the big ones from the small ones. It take more than a year for the Achatina type to grow to harvest size. Others mature in two years.
1. GETTING A SUITABLE ENVIRONMENT: The most suitable environment for snail rearing is a moisture filled environment. Snails are easily dehydrated, so they need a so much wet environment to keep cool and hydrated.
2. SOIL: The best soil for snail production is the sandy-loamy soil which is devoid of laterite or mud, which might lead to a water logged snail environment. The soil used should also be rich in some minerals, most especially calcium, which is a major component of the snail shells.
3. SNAIL PROCUREMENT: The best way to source for snails is in the wild. This is much more preferable to buying in the markets just for the fact that the gene pool of the wild snails are still full and will make them a very good specimens for breeding.
4. THE SNAIL HOUSE: Concrete pens can be constructed for snails with soils up to about 10 inches in depth. The pens could be covered with wire meshes to prevent escape of the snails.
5. FEEDING: Snails most feed on green leaves and fruits though they can choose from a variety of different foods. It also best to feed them with concentrate feeds specially formulated to meet their nutrients requirements.
6. MARKETING: A commercial value snail will grow to full maturity in less than a year. It can even be harvested for marketing after 8 months if adequate feeding is applied. A matured snail will sell for close to N500 depending on the size and the cost of breeding a snail from hatching to maturity will not be more than N150, giving a profit margin of close to N350/snail which if multiplied by the large number of snails harvested, will yield a very wide profit margin for the farmer.
One million snails after a year or two sold at the rate of N50 each (highly reduced price) will give about N50 million! Isn’t that a good investment?
Apart from only selling your snails,snails are of high demand in the international market. There a people making millions every month exporting snails. Countries like France,America,Italy ,China etc are importers of snails because they really cherish the nutrient content of the animal.
So starting a snail farming business today will be very good,because if you do it well you will be sure of reaping your millions in the near future and it will be consistent.
Remember the bigger the snail farm,the larger the Income.
SNAIL FARMING BUSINESS PLAN EXAMPLE
Here is a sample business plan for starting a snail farm.
The snail farming business is one that does not require a huge startup capital. Basically, the business is concerned with the rearing of snails, and sometimes includes the selling of packaged snail products.
Well, we have below a snail farming business plan sample.
BUSINESS NAME: Louis Johnson & Family Farms Ltd.
- Executive Summary
- Our Products and Services
- Vision Statement
- Mission Statement
- Business Structure
- Sales and Marketing Strategy
- Market Analysis
- Financial Plan
- Sales Forecast
Louis Johnson & Family Farms Ltd is a business that is fully registered and has been given license to operate in the inner-city Alabama, United States. The business will be owned by the Johnsons, and it will be concerned with the rearing and selling of live snails, and the selling of packaged snail products. The main aim of the business is to make profits. Our vision is to become the outright trendsetters in the industry.
To start up, we will require a total of $220,000; which we will raise from our huge investments and savings, and from contributions from supportive friends.
Our business, Louis Johnson & Family Farms Ltd, is a snail farming business in the agricultural livestock industry that will be fully concerned with making profits in the industry. In light of this, we will focus on snail rearing and the processing and packaging of snail meat for consumption in the United States, Africa, and Asia.
Our snail farming business will not be restricted to the United States alone; we will go global and reach far countries in Africa. All of our business dealings will not be carried out outside the laws of Alabama, and the United States.
Our major business vision at Louis Johnson & Family Farms Ltd is simply to be the outright leader and trendsetter in the snail farming subset industry. We will not only be the outright leaders and trendsetters in Alabama, United States; but equally the outright leaders and pacesetters in the industry in all of the North American region and even beyond. We will make sure to achieve this business vision within our first five (5) years of doing business.
Our mission is simple and clear cut. At Louis Johnson & Family Farms Ltd, we will be so concerned with satisfying our local and international customers by providing healthy, quality and nutritious snails and snail products in large quantities. Our snail farming business will become the trendsetter in the industry in the North American region.
SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
In the course of shooting our business among the leading snail farming businesses in North American region, we have devised several strategies to market and advertise our business and its products. Here are some of the strategies:
- We will start off by encouraging our employees and customers to spread the word out to others.
- We will make use of flyers, and place our business on business magazines, and newspapers.
- We will also advertise our business and products on radio and television stations.
- Our technical experts will establish a functional website that will be very user-friendly to allow our customers access to our business and products.
- We will utilize the social media platforms such as Facebook, linkedIn, and Instatgram.
- We will install our business billboards on various catchy locations.
We are well aware that the success of a business lies on the shoulders of a great business structure. Having this in mind, we will make sure we not only employ the required number of employees to fill in the various positions, but we will make sure quality, competent, honest, hardworking, and motivated candidates only are employed to fill these positions.
Also, because we want to shoot our business straight to the top of the industry in no distant time, we will make sure prospective employees or candidates who possess quality years of experience in their respective positions are selected. The following key positions will be filled:
- Snail Farm Manager
- Sales and Marketing officers
- Field Employees
The common trend you will observe in the United States is that Americans do not eat snail meat. The only people you will find in the United States who eat meat are the people from African countries. This is why people who are into the snail farming business majorly target the intercontinental hotels, especially the ones that have snail meat in their cuisine.
Another trend in the industry is the fact that people who are in the snail farming business ensure they particularly utilize the health benefits of snail meat as an advantage in marketing the snail meat and products. Some of the health benefits of snails include fight against cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. It is also suitable for people who are trying to lose weight because of its low fat and calorific value.
We will especially target the following groups:
- African and Asian communities in the United States
- People who are trying to lose weight.
- People who are on recovery from critical illnesses and injuries; cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
- Hotels that serve intercontinental dishes, having snail meat in their cuisine.
Source of startup capital
We will require a mean sum of $250,000 for us to be able to successfully launch our business. We will raise this sum from our savings, and investments, and the other part from our very close and supportive friends.
We have already raised at least $150,000; which we hope to increase to $220,000. The last part of the startup capital which makes up $30,000 will be borrowed from our very close friends, the Joneses and the Petersons.
The sales projection below is the sales forecast of Louis Johnson & Family Farms Ltd for the following three years after start up:
Year One $250,500
Year Two $520,000
Year Three $670,000
However, several factors could positively or negatively affect this sales projection.
This snail farming business, “Louis Johnson & Family Farms Ltd”, will be located in the inner-city of Alabama, United States. It will be owned and run by Louis Johnson and his wife and two sons. The business will be focused entirely on snail rearing and production of snail products for consumer consumption.