Over the past years, the demand of snails has been growing in Kenya following the growth in the number of foreigners from snail-eating countries.
As a result, snail farming has slowly gained momentum in with most people embracing the lucrative business.
Snails are nutritious as they comprise 70% low-calorie protein which is 15% of its total mass with fat accounting for 2.4% and the other 80% being water.
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In this article, WoK looks at successful snail farmers in Kenya.
Wangui Waweru from Nakuru County ventured into snail farming about 8 years ago after an agricultural trip to Kisumu.
She took a Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) course on the same, and later received a permit from KWS at a cost of Ksh 1,500 after which she started procuring the required materials for the business.
She sells her produce to Ghanaians, Cameroonians, Nigerians, Senegalese, Sierra Leones and Togolese, South Americans and Asians in the country.
On average, she sells about 30 kilos of snails per month with a kilo going for between Ksh 2,000 and Ksh 3,000 per kilo.
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Rosemary Odinga, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s daughter disclosed her involvement in snail farming in 2007.
She stated that the started the project as a hobby after visiting former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“He was the one who challenged me to think about farming. He was so convincing with the snail farming, I promised to do something when I came back home,” Rosemary said.
Roussoss Demisse Odhiambo
Roussoss Demisse Odhiambo ventured into snail farming while a 3rd year student at Mount Kenya University (MKU) taking Information Technology.
The idea to run a snail farming business crossed his mind during a visit to Italy when a friend ordered snail in a restaurant.
When he returned to Kenya, Odhiambo researched about the venture and got into business in May 2019.
He set up a structure a their farm in Karen, Nairobi and travelled to Taita Taveta and Mombasa counties to find the snails.
Odhiambo started with 15 snails, however, months later, he decided to venture into large scale farming and bought an additional 1,800 snails.
Dr Paul Kinoti runs Bio Snail Farming, where they rear different types of snails.
Speaking in a past interview, the farmer explained that snail farming can be practiced anywhere be it in small towns, cities, farms, at backyards or commercial levels and villages.
“It is a venture that has a ready, highly profitable market for the snails and their byproducts, and since they adapt to various environmental conditions,” he said.
Michael Muchilwa hails from Usoma Beach, Kisumu County where he has set up his snail farming business.
In an interview with Nation, the farmer said he grew interest in the venture after visiting Ghana and saw people hawking snails as a delicacy in the streets.
On his return home, Muchilwa used Ksh 40,000 from his savings to set up his snail farm in September 2017.
As of 2018, the farmer was selling his snails for Ksh 2,000 to Ksh 2,500 per kilo, and he would sell at least 5 kgs weekly.
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