Snails belong to the family of animal called Mollusca which is an hermaphrodite (it has both the female and male sexual organs. They are animals with shells that have the ability to retract into their shells and also craw. Snails are more popular in African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. The local names for snail in Nigeria are Igbin, Eju etc.
Snail meat is a good source of protein while it is also rich in iron, calcium, magnesium but low in fat and cholesterol compared to other animal protein sources like poultry, pigs, cow and goat. They are environmental-friendly as its droppings’ odour is not offensive. This is the reason why it can be reared in the backyard.
There are many breeds of snails in Nigeria and the world while some of these breeds are suitable for commercial viable for Snail Farming in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Examples include: Archachatina Marginata (AM), Achatina Achatina (AA) and Achatina Fulica (AF). Meanwhile, Snail farming is the process of breeding or rearing snails. Snail farming is also known as Heliciculture or Heliculture. It requires a little land space and easy to run. Farming of snail is not capital intensive but with cheap and readily available feeds. In addition, snail has low mortality rate and are harmless creatures. Snails are highly productive, can produce over 300 eggs at once.
Equipment used for snail farming in Nigeria are:
- An enclosed structure
- Tank for water
- Watering cans
- Weighing scale (digital preferably)
- Pipe or hose