Snail farming in Kenya is one of the most profitable Agribusiness ideas for entrepreneurs in Kenya. Snail farming is a practical and viable business venture that is yet to be fully explored in Kenya and the rest of Africa.
Many people think that the only way to get and sell snails is by going to the bushes during the rainy season to pick these animals. This is not true and snail farming can be an excellent way of meat the demand for snail meat in the country.
Is Snail Farming Profitable In Kenya?
Yes, Snail farming is very lucrative. The market opportunity for snail farming in Kenya is huge but grossly underrated. Snails are a huge part of the diet in many parts of Africa, although they are not always affordable and available all year round. If you rear snail in commercial quantity, hotels, and fast food restaurants will be your regular customers.
Snails are known to multiply quite fast as they can lay up to 100 eggs in one go. This is because they are hermaphrodites (have both male and female sexual organs) and they get to mate easily throughout the year. However, this high reproduction rate can make them a nuisance in the environment if they are not placed within an adequate housing system.
Hence if you’re looking to start your snail farm just ensure that the fast reproductive ability is curtailed by constructing the necessary housing system. And this feature should be a delight to you because your harvest will be plentiful giving you high returns on your investment.
How To Start A Snail Farm In Kenya
If it has worked somewhere else, it will work in Kenya. Below are the basic steps you need to follow to start a profitable snail farming business in Kenya:
1. Choosing The Right Specie
When creating a snail farm, you’ll have to use a single species of snail. Research has shown that snail species such as the Achatina marginata, and Achatina achatina are the best for warm climate regions like Kenya.
2. Set-up Your Farmland For Housing
Your snail housing must have enough space for your snails to graze freely. Overcrowding your snailery impedes the development of snails and therefore should be avoided. A well-spaced snail housing reduces the risk of disease outbreak caused by overcrowding.
Snails are good at escaping from where they are kept, so you should endeavour to construct 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.
3. Buy Your Snails
If you want to start a snail farm, you’ll need to get snails. After setting-up proper housing and farmland for the snails, it’s time to buy some fresh quality snails from the market or any 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 Snails, If there is a lip, that means they are a fully grown snail.
4. Good Feeding And Care
Snails are vegetarians and can be fed with wide varieties of foods such as cabbage, cucumber, mango, banana, eggplant, pear, tomato and pawpaw, 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.
5. Harvesting And Marketing
It is not economically wise to harvest your snails before it’s maturity, it has to be mature before harvesting. 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. You can as well sell to restaurants, hostels and in local markets.
In terms of time and cost, snail farming is a low risk business. Unlike many other livestock businesses, snail farming requires very little startup and operating costs. You can even set up your snail farm at the backyard of your house to save cost on the purchase of farmland.
However, when you compare your revenue to the initial investment, you will discover that snail farming in Kenya is quite profitable.