In Ghana, snail farming has become a very lucrative business due to its high demand and high nutritional protein content, as both private and government agencies are encouraging the younger population to explore the domestic and international market.
In 1994 due to high demand for snails, Ghana exported about 620 kilograms and 1,050 kilograms of snails to the Netherlands and the United States (US), which contributed highly to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) index.
Market Opportunities for Snail farming in Ghana 2020
A country like France has been importing snails, adding value to them and then export to other European countries such as Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Denmark or to North America.
Other identified potential markets include Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Sweden and South Africa getting their major suppliers from Greece, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, Thailand and China.
How profitable is Snail farming in Ghana 2020
Although grossly underrated, the market opportunity for snail farming in Ghana is huge.
Presently, in terms of cost and time, snail farming is a low risk business and very profitable.
snails are a huge part of the diet in many parts of Ghana, although they are not always affordable and available all year round. So therefore If you rear snail in commercial quantity, hotels, and fast food restaurants will be your regular customers.
Farmers are currently bagging in millions from snail farming. The prices of of raw, matured snails in Ghana go for $1 (5.8 ghana cedis) or $2 (9.2 ghana cedis) depending on the size. However, the annual demand for snail in Ghana cannot be overemphasized.
The snail export industry is flourishing. The USA imports more than $4million worth of snails annually from all over the world, including Ghana.
How to start Snail farming in Ghana
1. Identify/Choose which species of snail to farm in Ghana
As a starter, it is important that you use a single species of snail while creating a snail farm. Based on research, snail species such as Achatina achatina are the best for warm climate regions like Ghana.
2. Create your housing for the snail farm
In snail farming, having enough space for snail to graze freely is crucial because overcrowding your snailery impedes their growth and overall development. A well-spaced snail housing reduces the risk of disease outbreak caused by overcrowding.
Aside creating space, construct an escape proof housing because snails are good at escaping from where they are kept. You can use a pen house that will be spacious and accessible with a soil depth of 10 inches and trees around it
3. Get quality healthy snails
The purchase of quality healthy snails from the market and farms cannot be over emphasised as it is very important after setting-up proper housing and farmland for the snails. It’s always best to be able to examine the snails before you buy them so that you know they are healthy.
The multiplying effect is that the healthy and fully grown snails 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.
4. Feeding and reproduction of the snails
Snails feed more on vegetables and can be fed with wide varieties 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.
During reproduction, It should be noted that mating and laying eggs are a vital part of snail farming.
In Ghana, mating occurs during spring and summer.
As hermaphrodites, snails can fertilize each other as soon as they are mature enough.
5. Harvesting/selling of the snails
You are required to harvest only matured snails; but in doing that, it is important to keep few for breeding and to serve as base stock for your snail farm.
Species of Snail In Ghana
Achatina fulica: it is also know as The East African land snail, or giant African land snail. It is the smallest in size among all the desirable species for rearing.
It is a species of large, air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Achatinidae.
- Achatina achatina: it is commonly called the giant Ghana snail, also known as the giant tiger land snail.
Giant African land snails are hermaphrodite, meaning they possess both the female and male reproductive organs. Two snails are still needed for breeding, but they are very prolific breeders.
- Archachatina marginata: Also know as the giant West African snail. They can grow up to 20cm long, and live up to 10 years. 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.
TYPE OF SOIL SUITABLE FOR SNAIL FARMING IN GHANA
Research has it that the most desirable soil for snail farming is sandy-loamy soil with low water holding capacity. Clay soil and acidic soil must be avoided at all cost.
Snail farming pdf business plan.
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