Snail farming is one of the top interesting business opportunities in Africa.
West Africa is home to the largest species of land snail in the world. The Giant African land snail (Achatina species), is known to grow up to 30cm in length and can be found in the dense tropical rain forests across the region from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana to Nigeria.
For hundreds of years, Africa’s appetite for snails has been served through traditional means. Snails handpicked from the bush (usually in the dead of the night) have been the only way to get snails to the market and dinner table.
However, as Africa’s population explodes and our forests continue to be sacrificed to build cities, the (bush) supply of snails cannot keep up with the soaring demand.
This has created an opportunity in the market for snail breeders and farmers who now cultivate these interesting creatures on small farms and in their backyards for impressive profits.
Let’s find out how fast these slow animals can bring in cash….
First, the impressive success story of an African snail farmer…
Snail farming is a niche and unusual business and successful snail farmers like Nigeria’s Ismail Abdulazeez are enjoying the huge rewards of this lucrative but little known venture.
In his interview with CNN (see video below), Ismail, who cultivates snails in large cages in his backyard, shares his experience breeding snails for profit.
His prized products end up in some of the kitchens of high-end hotels in Lagos where they are creatively used to prepare tasty African dishes.
Snails are a great delicacy, and for good reason too…
Snails are a huge part of the diet in many parts of Africa, although they are not always affordable and available all year round. Their high protein, low fat and cholesterol content make them a nutritional favourite.
Snails contain almost all the amino acids needed by the body and most of its by-products are used for cosmetics and medicines.
As our population becomes more interested in healthier living and low-cholesterol diets, snails will become a popular alternative to to all the fatty and non-healthy meats that flood our markets nowadays. They are much cheaper than red meat with greater health benefits on top!
Snails have, for a long time, been a popular and recurring item on the menus of hotels, restaurants and bars where they often feature as boiled, fried and spiced kebabs. They are also a great addition to soups and stews which are a significant part of most African dishes.