Prince Arinze Onebunna
Are you an unemployed graduate or did you just retire from paid employment and you are aspiring to own a business? If you answer yes, I advice you to invest in snail farming and turn your backyard garden to snail haven. As the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Jovana Farms, I knew that backyard snail breeding can take many people out of unemployment..
Millions of Nigerians can get out of poverty if all local governments set-up snail farms. I advice
job seekers, retirees and all business minded people to focus on snail business because it can put food on your table.
Snails are very easy to rear. They do not bite, kick, bark, sting or harm and they don’t mess up the environment like other livestock. Snail farming is a business that does not require millions of naira. If land/space like one room size is available, then you don’t have problem. With N180, 000 anyone can start it, he said.
Two years old snail (Archachatina marginata specie) breeder (suitable for rearing) is sold for N350. They are reared in pen or in free range system. Not all snails grow to a large size some are dwarf others are giant sizes in various ages. The best are garden snail and Archachatina Marginata Species widely known as (West African Giant Snail)’, he said.
It is better for a starter to stock already domesticated snail breeders to enable them to get used to their new environment as they grow to adult. Wild adult snails caught and immediately confined may die severally because of the environmental change, the confinement and the food.
In addition, you do not buy food for snails like you do in fish farming, pig farming, poultry farming, and the rest; because they feed on shelter plants and vegetables already planted inside their pen. They are hermaphrodites having both male and female reproductive organs and this means that all the snails in the farm will be busy laying eggs year in year out.
Anyone can start snail farming and make profit within six months. At the end of the day, one snail can produce 60-young snails in a year, Snails are noiseless, odourless and very cheap to rear.
The profit in sail farming is encouraging because each Archachatina Marginata snail under suitable environmental and climatic conditions can produce at least 100 eggs in a year and a small scale farmer can keep at least 300 snail breeders and make profit.
Therefore, 300 snails can produce about 18,000 eggs in a year with at least 50 percent success, 9,000 hatched eggs can grow to adult snails within two years with 9, 000 adult snails suitable for consumption at N100 per snail with whole sale prices producing N900, 000’.
From my experience, Snail farming is profitable and millions of jobs can be created through snail business alone. Sadly, Nigerian preference and rush for oil money has led to the utter neglect of this lucrative agricultural enterprise. People can raise snails for their own consumption or for a commercial business. The time is right to utilize a natural food resource that is literally at their feet. Pen or free range snail farming is not a hobby, it is a serious business that yields good financial reward’, he said.
In Nigeria, “congo meat” (popular name for snail meat). It does not have high cholesterol, in most cases doctors recommend it to people who have heart condition, and the demand for snail meat is so high.
Snails are very food providing animal protein. They can be fried, roasted and or prepared as the popular pepper soup and served in big hotels, restaurants, eateries as well as some joints patronized by middle to high level people.
People find it difficult to get the fast growing specie of African Giant Snails (Archachatina Marginata) suitable for domestic rearing, but I am happy to tell you that in my Jovana farms, we have high quality snail breeders, you can start your snail farming business with.
The archachatina marginata snail specie has very high market value of local consumption or for export.
The first challenge I face involves technicalities, what this means is that people need to go for proper practical training before venturing into the snail farming business. Some people who started the business without the right specie of snail or without practical training have already shut down.
They did it as a hobby, and at the end of the day, abandoned the business because of one mistake or the other.
As unemployment increases with more jobs being threatened, people keep seeking for things to do. Besides their jobs it will help support the family income, yet would not take much of their time. And, since 70 per cent of Nigerians live below one dollar/a day, it only make sense to put time, resources and energy into other productive areas. And snail farming, because of its almost zero production cost has proven to be one of such areas.
When I started my snail business, I laid more emphasis on how to produce very cheap food supplement that will enable them grow faster and heavier. I started from developing food high in calcium, fibre and crude protein myself, and developed the criteria for measuring their growth rate and weight and compiling their data one after the other.
Today, I have put in place an indigenous scientific approach to breeding giant snails that guarantees fast growth and high productivity. People come to my farm for supplies of snail breeders (suitable for rearing) and their supplement feed.
Expectations from the Government
The government and agric-politicians should be well advised to use snail farming to alleviate poverty and unemployment in the society.
Jovana farms organizes nationwide sensitization training seminars on the practical ways of making it through small scale animal farming. Attend our nationwide seminars nearest to you and know more opportunities in quail and other small animal farming. Visit: www.jovanafarm.com or www.facebook.com/jovanafarm for more details.
Source: PM News
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