Snail farming in Ghana is one of the most lucrative agribusinesses ideas with a high return on investments. Snail farming is a practical and viable business venture that is yet to be fully explored in Ghana and the rest of Africa.
Although it might not be the first agribusiness idea on your mind, however, it provides a good opportunity to make money within a short period of time. Snail farming is a big business; it provides opportunities to many farmers, sellers, middlemen, exporters etc.
Many people still believe that snail can only be hand-picked in the bush during the raining season, not knowing that it could be domesticated, reared and sold as a full-time business.
In this post, we will take you through a comprehensive guide on how to build wealth by starting a snail farming business in Ghana.
Reasons you Should Start Snail Farming in Ghana
There are a lot of reasons why one should venture into snail farming. However, in this post, we’ll look at just a few reasons why you should start snail farming in Ghana today.
1. Snail farming business is one of the easiest livestock rearing businesses one can engage in. The business is not saturated yet. Engaging in it means you are helping to protect the extinction of the animal from the wild (forest).
2. Snail requires only a small area of land to start with. You can start snail farming from your compound as it is easy to combine with other normal schedules of activities and can easily be managed even by women and children.
3. Snails are also a good source of protein. Snails are very popular among weight watchers because they are extremely low in calories and fat. Snail meat is also very beneficial to people suffering from cardiovascular diseases, cancer and people trying to recover from an injury.
4. Snail farming is not capital and management intensive, especially when compared to poultry and catfish farming. The feeds are readily available and you can even produce it yourself as snails feed on waste. You can start small from your backyard and grow from there.
5. Another interesting thing about rearing snails is that they are in high demand in places like hotels, restaurants, etc. Their feeding materials are cheap and locally available.
Edible snails are available all year round, especially during the raining season. The demand always surpasses supply in the rainy season, let alone in the dry season.
6. There is a high potential for good returns; it is one of the most profitable investments one can think of. Because snails are hermaphrodites (having male and female organs), therefore they have the capacity to reproduce prolifically.
How to Start Snail Farming Business in Ghana
Having said that, we need to now look at practical steps on how to start a lucrative snail farming business in Ghana.
Step 1 – Set-up your Snail Housing
You need to to set up your snail housing for your snails to graze freely. Most people prefer using small boxes for snail farming. Overcrowding your snailery may impede the growth and development of snails.
Furthermore, snails can easily escape from the housing if they have a little escape route. As such, you need to ensure that you construct an escape-proof housing. You can use a pen house that will be spacious and accessible with a soil depth of 10 inches and trees around it.
Step 2 – Choose a Good Snail Specie
Before buying snails for your farm, you need to decide on the specie of snail for your farm. The Giant African land snails are the best and most common species for commercial snail farmers. it comprises of the Achatina Achatina, Achatina Fulica and Achatina Marginata. Research shows that they have a higher reproductive rate and performs better at growth and productivity.
Step 3 – Purchase your Snails
With your snail house in place, you need to purchase snails for your farm. You can purchase snails from the market or from a nearby snail farm. It’s always best to be able to examine the snails before you buy them so that you know they are healthy.
When you first start your snail farm, you’ll want to get healthy, fully grown snails that will lay eggs and help populate your farm. Look at the shell of the snail. If there is a lip, that means they are a fully grown snail.
Step 4 – Feed your Snails
One interesting thing about snail farming is that it’s inexpensive to feed snails. They can be feed with almost anything. They are herbivorous, carnivorous, omnivorous, and detritivorous (eating decaying waste from plants and other animals).
Most snails farmers feed their snails with foods such as cabbage, cucumber, mango, banana, eggplant, pear, tomato and paw-paw, cassava, okra leaves or lettuce. However, you can as well feed snails with pineapple, banana or paw paw.
Mating and laying eggs are a vital part of snail farming. Typically, mating occurs during spring and summer. As hermaphrodites, snails can fertilize each other as soon as they are mature enough. In order for the egg-laying to go over smoothly, you should use high-quality soil with the right temperature and humidity.
Step 5 – Harvesting
It takes about eight (8) to fourteen (14) months of breeding to have a matured snail depending on the species. As such, it is wise to harvest your snails when they reach maturity. Do not harvest all the matured snails at once to sell in the market. It is important to keep few for breeding and to serve as base stock for your snail farm.
Snail has good market demand and price. You can easily sell the snails in the local market. Snail meat consuming rate is growing very fast around the globe. So, exporting in the international market can make you more money.
Snail farming is one of the most lucrative livestock farming business in Ghana. Snail farming requires a very little start-up and operating cost. Interestingly, you can start snail farming at the backyard of your house and make so much money from it.
The best time to start up a snail farming is the rainy season especially from July to October because that is the time snails normally start to breed. You should also note that prices of snails multiply during scarcity between March and December, which is the dry season.