It is important to state that from observation and personal experience, most snail farmers market their snails at a loss and don’t even know simply because snail farming requires low capital!
Knowing these 4 Snail market strategies will enable you make profit without extra stress and cost.
Have you ever considered the total cost of production if you are paying for water, snail feed and labour? Well, you have an idea on what this article is all about.
Snail farming is the branch of agriculture called ‘heliculture’. Snail farming is simply put, the cultivation and rearing of snails for domestic and commercial purposes with a high yield guaranteed.
Snail farming can be done in commercial quantity or as a farm-to-table activity meeting the market and household protein demands respectively.
Snails are a source of protein, healthy, tasty and highly nutritious with all 9 essential amino acids needed by the human body available in the right amount making it a better alternative to red meats.
Snails can be marketed to homes, hotels, restaurants, bars and even to pharmaceutical companies using snail slime as raw material. The snail market strategies are potentially huge and therefore, waiting to be properly harnessed.
Snail Farming Operations
Agribusiness has numerous opportunities available with so many advantages and disadvantages. There are some agriventures that can give up to 50% Return On Investment (ROI) and others that can even give higher up to about 100% ROI.
Snail farming is one of such lucrative agribusiness that can give 100% ROI however, it’s not an immediate reward, and it takes time, patience, consistency and careful dealing to achieve this.
Snail farming requires a low capital and cost of production, it also gives you enough time during the day to go about other activities and still meat your household protein demand. Snail farming business is also highly profitable as the demand for the snails and it’s by products is high.
Due to the low cost of production in snail farming, many snail farmers do not have an idea on what the cost is about. They only rare the snails in a free space, get cheap or free food and fetch water from wells etc.
All these should be monetized in other to achieve the goal of making profit and not running at a loss. If you are to cost all these, what would your total cost of operating a snail farm be as a snail farmer?
Snail Market In Nigeria
Marketing of snail should not be difficult especially when your snails are big and healthy. However, snail consumers can take advantage of the snail farmer especially during the rainy season when snails are in abundance in the bushes and forests.
In Nigeria, Snails are available in local markets during the rainy season and by demand during dry seasons by snail consumers such as restaurants, hotels etc. Major snail markets in Ibadan include but not limited to Bodija, Oja-Oba, Oje markets; in Lagos, we have Oyingbo, Agege, Mushin markets.
The price of a matured medium sized snail ranges between 300naira and 500 naira while the big size ranges from 700naira upwards depending on the market and customer.
A set of people also buy snails in bulk and funny enough, not for eating but for local medicines and these are the herb sellers and traditional healers. They can be your own regular clientele if you meet their requirements. A subtle snail market strategy!
Snails can be available all year round if the snail farmer is diligent and is not seasonal just like the snails. With proper care, snails can produce up to 300 eggs in a season and there are two seasons in a year. That is how much profit you can get as a snail farmer.
Snail Market Strategies
For everyone in business especially related to selling of product, it is important to conduct a market survey to know what price the item is being sold for, the varieties available and the sizes before selling at all.
Every snail farmer before harvesting the snails should conduct a research by visiting the markets to know what snail prices are currently; look for potential markets such as eateries, restaurants, hotels both for the sizes they buy and the prices they sell.
Snail farmers can make huge profit as the local and global demand for snail meat delicacy increases. There are four major snail market strategies to use when marketing your snails, and they include Harvesting strategy; Export strategy; Processing strategy and Location strategy.
The Snail Market Harvesting Strategy
Snails are seasonal animals but the demand for them is all year round. Snails are available during the rainy season and scarce almost not seen during the dry season. The harvesting period of snail is a unique strategy to use for snail farmers aimed at making huge profit.
Harvesting of snails by strategic snail farmers is usually done in the dry season due to the fact there are no snails wandering around the bushes. The price of snails during this period can be double or more. You can sell a medium sized snail for as much as a thousand naira!
The Snail Market Export Strategy
The word ‘export’ makes most farmers think it‘s a difficult or impossible task but I can tell you; IT IS NOT! Well processed snails can also be packaged and exported to other African countries and even the western countries such as France, Italy, etc. Dried snails are available on various online markets and delivery is worldwide.
The guidelines for exporting snails to these countries differ and registration with the Nigerian Ministry of Agricultural Quarantine Services is not difficult once the standard is met. Obtain the Nigeria Exporters Council License and start exporting your snails.
Processing and packaging of your snails should be attractive, showing the contents viability and also containers should be able to withstand various handling methods during shipment. The quality of the package is important as well as the health implications of the packaging style.
The Snail Market Processing Strategy
Many snail meat consumers do not have the time to go through the process of cleaning the snails and would prefer freshly processed alternatives to live snails. This is another opportunity to sell your snails at a higher rate due to the stress free advantage to consumers.
Processing snails for the market can be done all year round by the snail famer as snails can be refrigerated up to 6 months without losing its taste or nutritional value once it is done to standard.
You can specialize in your own snail farm market as a processed snail supplier to restaurants, lounges, hotels and even the international market. The price of live snails cannot be compared with the processed snails.
The Snail Market Location Strategy
Where you are determines to a large extent how much you can sell your products no matter how good they are! From your market survey, you would be able to know what price will work best.
There is always the option to waybill snail meat to various parts of the country and even outside the African continent. The client pays separately for waybill or you calculate the cost of waybill and add to the product. You need to get a reliable logistics company that can fulfill and meet this demand whether they are live snails or processed snails.
There is also the option of online marketing although this takes time in other to build trust since you are not having physical shops. Get recommendations, referrals and feedback from your customers as this can help you build a community that trusts and can vouch for your product and services.
Therefore, get a market that can pay higher even if its outside your geopolitical zone!
The demand for snail meat is high and supply is still not enough. Snail markets include Hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, local markets, artists and industries who use snail and it’s by products for various things.
The international snail markets of the world include Europe, Asia, and North America continents. To flourish in the international market requires excellent processing and packaging of the snail meat. The other snail byproducts are also not left out in the international market.