The soil is the main habitat for Cornu aspersum, which is the scientific name for snail. In Nigeria, the best type of soil for snail farming is sandy-loamy soil.
The shell of a snail is made up of a lot of calcium. The snail gets most of the calcium from the soil. Sandy-loamy soil which is the best for snail farming is not water-logged, dry or acidic, a research has shown.
Achatina Achatina and Archachatina Marginata are the best types of snail for farming in Nigeria.
Achatina Achatina is the scientific name for giant Ghana snail or the giant tiger land snail. The giant Ghana snails have both male and female reproductive organs. The length of the shell goes up to 200mm. It is excellent for rearing, especially if the rearing involves commercialisation. The amount of eggs it lays at once makes it extremely profitable. It lays 300 to 500 eggs at a time.
Archachatina Marginata is known as the giant West African snail. It is part of the air-breathing tropical land snail. It grows up to 20cm long and lives up to 10 years. Achatina is the most sorted out by farmers, it also has a high yield capacity.
The best place for snail farming is an environment that is not exposed to wind, hence, the sandy-loamy soil is the best. Snails from the forest and not the market are best for farming. Snails found in the market are usually exposed to sunlight and are mostly dehydrated.
However, it is not enough to just rear snail on good soil, the yield matters.
Animal Scientist, Dr. Yemi Popoola, of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said regular checking of snail housing units would help avoid it getting contaminated from dead snails.
“Snail farmers should always make sure that the soil is well covered with dry leaves (mulching) and they should wet the soil adequately in dry season and let it remain moist at all times.