African Snail is sought after in various parts of the world for its nutritional and cosmetic benefits. In Nigeria, some entrepreneurs have found opportunities to export the food abroad.
Oluwatobilola Ohioma-Belo said quitting an events planning job last year to invest in snails was the best career move she has ever made.
The entrepreneur sources snails from farmers in Lagos, Nigeria, and sells them to clients locally and abroad.
The export business came when I started here in Lagos and I had a lot of inquiries from the US from the UK from Holland.
“The export business came when I started here in Lagos and I had a lot of inquiries from the US from the UK from Holland. Like a lot of Nigerians like, even when I knew that I have not even covered Lagos, even till now I have still not covered Lagos you know, so when I started having inquiries via email, via phone calls, then a lot of African stores were calling me,” Ohioma-Belo said.
The Giant African Snail is native to East and West Africa, and is mostly found in agricultural areas, shrubs and wetlands.
Snails are hermaphrodites meaning they can all lay eggs. The farm currently has over 20,000 snails.
The Snail Care Farm managing director, Tadzio Okhiria said demand for his snails has been growing fast in recent years.
“Because of its amazing benefits, not just nutritional benefits, but other benefits, for instance the slime now, it is being harvested massively and used in cosmetics and cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. It has rejuvenating properties and helps with skin rejuvenation,” he added.
Oluwatobilola said she had spent about 4,000 dollars to procure and ship consignment of snails and expects to make a healthy profit.
She also plans to expand her business and open a snail factory in Nigeria that can process snail meat and collect mucus, as well as grind snail shells into powder for fertilizer and poultry feed possessing.