investment

Invest In Snail Farming and Get Huge Returns

Photo credit: Google images

Photo credit: shalisha.com.

Snail is called different names in Africa, like — eju, nwa, ìgbín, katantanwa, wɔba, konokono, slak, mulaca. The snail is a small to medium sized ‘mollusc’ that is generally split into three groups which are land snails, sea snails and freshwater snails. Achatina species is a species of land snails that include Arhatina achatina (Tiger Snails), Archatina marginata (Giant African Land Snails) and Achatina fulica (Garden Snail) -which is the smallest of all.

The snails are hermaphrodites, (i.e. they have male and female parts) the individuals mate with each other before laying eggs. They are also coldblooded and can live for several years while growing to 25cm in some species. They have about 90 calories per 100 grams of weight and provide a low calorie source of protein which helps in building and repairing our muscle. They are also good sources of Iron, Vitamin B12, Magnesium, Selenium, and Omega3 -which is really good for the heart. Snails are environmentally friendly, they are most active during the night and they require low capital investment compared to poultry, pigs, goats, sheep, cattle.

Thinking of starting up?

Snail farming business has a very high rate of return and the best time to start up a snail farm is in the rainy season especially from July to October because that is the time snails normally start to breed. You should also note that prices of snails multiply during scarcity between March and December, in the dry season.  

Which is the most lucrative amongst the Achatina species?

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Photo credit: Flickr

The Tiger Snails and Giant African Land Snails are the most lucrative amongst the Achatina species because they grow so big and lay more eggs. When thinking of getting a snail to start up with – that is the- initial breeding stock, you can decide to go for sexually mature snails, weighing at least 100-125 grams as recommended by Freeman (2013).

Note that each of this 2 species is capable of laying 100- 500 eggs in a year. This means that if you start a snail farm with 5 snails this year, you will probably get about 75,000 snails in one year! This is actually going by the number of eggs laid by the 5 snails, the percentage of eggs that are likely to hatch out, and the percentage that will survive after hatching.

Where can I get the snails?

You can get many snails from the forest, uncultivated lands and in the market.  They can also be picked up in the day time after a rainfall. Also, they can be found under wet boards and surfaces, piles of leaves and sticks, wet stones, walls, the trunk of trees.

The best time to get them from places other than the market is in the night. Don’t forget they are always active in the night. So, you can clear a little portion of land in the evening during the rainy season and place some fruits after which you leave the place. After about 3 – 4 hours you can go back to pick available snails. This process can be repeated till you get the number you want to start up with. When buying snail eggs from the market ensure it has not been exposed to sunlight, as exposure to sun has a negative effect on the fertility of the eggs.

How do I keep them safe?

When selecting an appropriate site for housing the snails, consider –climate, wind speed and direction, soil characteristics and protection of the snails from diseases and predators.

Photo credit: Flickr

Snails need damp, not wet, environments and they derive most of their water requirements from the soil. They love to dig the soil to lay their eggs.

A soil that supports good growth of cocoyam, tomatoes and leafy vegetables, is suitable for snail farming. Ensure to loosen the soil by tilling.

Snails are good at escaping from where they are kept, so, for a rewarding business venture, you should endeavor, to construct escape proof housing. You can use a pen house that will be spacious and accessible with a soil deep of 10inch, and trees around it. Snails can also be reared in boxes made of suitable substances like wire gauze (net), wood, straw etc.

In other to avoid flies and ants, the removal of leftover food and cleaning should be done appropriately, also endeavor to control predators and secure the pen with nets, wire and nylon mesh. Note that changing of the soil once every 3 months and allowing them to grow to reach their proper size and weight is also essential.

What should I feed them with?

They are vegetarians and can be fed with wide varieties of foods.  You can feed them with – leaves of lettuce, cabbage, cassava, okra and pawpaw – also fruits like cucumber, mango, banana, eggplant, pear, tomato and paw- paw. Banana, paw paw and pineapple peels can also be given to them. Snails can also be feed with leftover food like rice, fufu and pap but salt intake can make them sick or even kill them. So any leftover food you give them, should not contain salt!

Who will buy the snails?

The demand for supply of snail is very important; no one wants to run at a loss. People that will constantly need and demand for  your snails include; restaurants, pepper soup joints ,canteens, stores, supermarkets, event planners and caterers, shopping malls, institutions, hotels, friends and your darling family members. You can have an agreement with this people on when, amount and number of snails that should be supplied.

Snail business will definitely not give you quick money but in the long run you will be happy about your investment that will give huge returns. Now is indeed the time to start!

Article written by Idowu T. Owoeye

AgInvestment Guide #1 – Breaking some myths about agricultural investments (Part 1)

does-financing-benefit-Afri

I thought it would be ideal to start the series by first dispelling some myths about investing in the agriculture space. I expect that if you are reading this, you are interested in investing some of your hard earned income or time into agriculture. If you are financially savvy, you would also want to compare the return on investment (ROI) from an agricultural investment to more mainstream investments such as bonds, treasury bills, real estate, etc, (I will run the numbers on the ROI for several investment options later on). Hence, it will be good to know if your thoughts around agricultural investments are founded or endeavor to understand why some of your earlier investments failed.

Myth #1:  I need a sound agricultural background to invest in agriculture.

The truth is that in any  investment, a technical knowledge always comes in handy but it’s overrated to think without that knowledge, you cannot invest. It will however be helpful to build your technical knowledge and expertise along the way. Your will be amazed at how relevant even your current skills are to succeeding in agricultural investments.

Myth #2: I can’t invest in agriculture because farm work is hard work which I’m not prepared for

Indeed, agriculture is hard work but increasingly, it’s becoming more intellectual than physical. With the basic knowledge of technology – improved seeds, crop protection, fertilizers, irrigation, aggregation, market, etc – it becomes less dependent on physical exertion. However, one thing many fail to realize is that investing in agriculture does not necessarily have to be on farm. People need to understand the value chain perspective of agriculture and see what part of the value chain they have an appetite for and go for it.

Myth #3: I will not be competitive with imported products

Indeed, imported products are major concerns in Nigeria. In 2011, over $1.8m was spent importing rice, and this has been on the increase. However, observing trends in the country, Nigeria is starting to place more emphasis on local production in order to promote employment. While importation (both legal and illegal) will not disappear immediately, you will be doing yourself a lot of good by getting into the local production early

Myth #4: You cannot go wrong in agriculture

I’m sure some of you will have had horrific experiences investing in this space and lost money doing it. Long gone are the days when you think agriculture is about throwing the corn seeds in the soil, go to sleep and come back for a bountiful harvest or buy the birds, let them run around and get your daily crates of eggs. If you want to make money in agriculture, you have to understand that it takes good management to succeed. You have to also do your research. There was a wave of cassava investment at a time without a clear idea of the market to absorb that particular variety of cassava you were growing. Yes, while some varieties might be great for garri making, they might not be suited for processing into beer etc.

To be continued…

This article was written by Adedeji Adebusoye and was first published on his blog -http://goo.gl/wL8iqG. Any questions can be directed to him via his twitter handle @amdeji

Photo credit – Future Agricultures

“You can start off with small capital of 10-20000 Naira” – Audu Ogbeh

Audu-OGBE

Audu-OGBE

Audu Ogbeh has many accolades attached to his name but i respect him most for the passion he has for agriculture. As CEO of Efugo Farms, he has amassed a tremendous amount of agricultural knowledge. Not only he is knowledgeable, but he is always ready to share his knowledge to the younger generation at a moment’s notice. I sat down with him to get a few tips for young people on a budget who is considering starting small farms of their own

What are some other opportunities that young people can take advantage of?

You can make a significant profit if you rear livestock during festive periods as the market price is always higher during these times. For instance, if you have 20000 naira, you can buy day old broilers for roughly 150 naira each; feed them for two months at a cost of 100 each, and during the festive season they can sell for roughly 1000-15000 naira. Rabbits are also a good opportunity because they multiply fast and you can grow them in your garden. You can start off with small capital of 10-20000 naira. For those with a little more capital, you can buy one or two cows from Maiduguri for roughly 40k, transport them to your location for about 6-7k, feed them for 90 days and sell them for double the buying price. The risk is that you are not assured of which cows will survive that period.

What about Fish? There are a lot of young people interested in fish farming these days.

Fish farming can be profitable but beginners must be careful to not buy fingerlings from the wrong source. These days, hatcheries give tadpoles of all sorts and if there has been inbreeding your fish will not grow. You will need initial start up capital of 15-20k. You can buy each tadpole for about 30 naira, you will spend about 200-300 naira feeding to maturity and you can sell for a price of 500 naira each.  To cut costs, you can make the hatcheries yo

They say that you can grow anything in Nigeria, what states are most conducive for some of our key crops?

I would recommend growing plantains in the southwest, especially coastal areas.

Benue state is very suitable for oranges and mangoes. With 5000 naira and some land you can plant oranges for an initial planting cost of 120 naira per seed.

Mangoes and oranges will also grow well in Northern Oyo and Ondo state because these states typically do not exhibit too much rainfall and the soil is well drained. The disadvantage of these crops is that it takes 4 years for you to realize any returns so is most suitable for those who are willing to make a long term investment. So if you have a bit of money to put aside, instead of putting it in the bank, it is best to invest it in orange, mango or guava farming.

Rice grows best in Southwest areas such as Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun and Oyo while Yam can flourish in parts of Ondo, Ekiti and northern Oyo and Osun but not Ogun because the rainfall is too heavy. Osun is also conducive to cassava farming.

I think the beauty of farming is that you can add value to a crop and increase your profit margins substantially. Where do you see opportunities for value addition?

Yes that’s true. Well, a plantain farm is a great place to grow snails, so that is one way to add value. If your land is not too wet, you can breed goats in conjunction with plantains and yams because goat manure is good fertilizer for these crops. If you own a fishery, you can breed chickens close by because their droppings produce algae in fishponds, which the fish are fond of.

Culled From HARAMBE Farmland

FG urged to commit more money into Agriculture, encourage Youths

We do not even meet up to the CAADP requirement of 10% so the request for more investment is really needed

Kalu Samuel's Blog

Abuja, Aug. 12, 2013 (NAN) The Federal Government has been urged to commit 23 per cent of its annual budget for 10 years to agriculture in order to make serious impact in the sector.

The Programme Coordinator of Civil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE), MrPeter Egwudah, made the call in Abuja on Monday at a news conference to mark the International Youth Day 3013.

He said in order to meet the targets of the Vision 20:2020, agriculture needed to grow at an annual rate of 10 per cent.
“It will make the economy to grow at eight per cent rate necessary to become one of the 20 largest economies by 2020”, he said.

Egwudah contended that the country’s budgetary allocation to agriculture was not enough, adding that it had to do more to meet global target.

He urged government to invest massively in agriculture, in accordance with the 2003…

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6 WAYS TO A RIGHT START IN AGRIBUSINESS IN 2013.

Farm to sack

As we step into the year 2013, a lot of indications at the last quarter cum earlier activity of 2012 shows that serious attention would be drawn to agriculture, with a business unusual dimension for the sector. What this means is that agriculture would no longer be seen as mere farming- a laborious venture with lot of waiting period for benefits to be gotten but rather as a business, a source of employment for the youths, a source of livelihood and most importantly (especially to me) a sector that young people would begin to find desirous, attractive and lucrative.

To succeed as young people cum agric entrepreneurs, it is important that we are armed with not only the relevant information, right and appropriate skills to thrive but have a strong desire and see the attractive but BIG picture in Agriculture, Food Supply Chain, Food Safety etc. Here are a few tips i have decided to share with all the young people out there that desire to go into any part of Agriculture cum Agribusiness or that are already into it.

  •        Be Business Plan Ready: Funding and grant competitions and opportunities would open up in 2013. One of the basic requirements is that you MUST have a business plan. It is important that you have one ready at all times. Like my friend Allavi Elorm of Syecomp Business Services in Ghana said “Make sure your business plan is handy and accessible in both soft and hard copies”. You just have to be ready when the opportunity comes knocking at the door. Be it a competition or the opportunity to pitch your plan before potential clients or investors.

  •     Leverage on the Skills and Knowledge (of your friends and associates): Involve trusted friends (vision or dream builders) in our endeavour. The world we live in is blessed with very blessed individuals and this offers us a win-win environment. Be willing to ask for help from friends who would be ready to do some tasks for you at no cost or a cheaper one. Let us take this as a typical example, do you need to do graphic design works for branding of your agro firm why not talk to a friend who has got expertise in graphic design. Often times, such ones are willing to do it for free or at a comfortable discount. BUT never take the help or discount for granted.

  •    Network and Join the right support Organisations: Trust me, been part of he right networks and organisations either online or offline makes it possible to gain access to information and resources needed. A few examples are Young Professionals’ platform for Agricultural Research for Development(YPARD), Harambe Nigeria, Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN), National Association of Small Scale Industrialist (NASSI) to mention a few. Like the pages and join groups on social networks that relates to agriculture. All these organisations or networks have products, resources, seminars, workshops and other opportunity openings that young agro entrepreneurs need from time to time.

  • Do not Joke with Farmers’ Organisation: Interestingly, government, research institutions, organisation, banks etc. both local and international desire always to align with groups of farmers rather than individuals. So ensure that you are part of a farmers’ organisation or cooperative at the very least. In Nigeria for example, the government recognises the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and they are found in every state of the federation. So make out time and join one. What more, interacting with fellow farmers and agro allied service providers helps in understanding the terrain and create synergy to tackle common problems and challenges.

 

  •      Be Information Hungry: it is often said that “knowledge is Power”. As young people (with a so much passion, desire that finds Agriculture attractive), we need to be HUNGRY for relevant and credible information and resources. Sometimes this information opens up tips, opportunities and a large array of doors and networks that would be helpful. This brings me to the Power of the Social Media Networks. Merely following the research bodies like CGIAR, FARA, CIMMIT on twitter connects you to lot of information that would be invaluable.

 

  •    Engage in Personal Development and Training: Everyday new findings and results are revealed or unravelled through researches. More knowledge is provided about value chains and investment opportunities for entrepreneurs in the sector. As young entrepreneurs it is important that you get the right trainings through workshops, conferences and specialised training classes. Sometimes you have to pay for them. It could be a new method of cropping or livestock management or even soft skills and business management training. All these makes us fit for the sector and ready to excel.

Join the revolution of Young Agroprenuers, our Nation waits on us to turn things around. This is real business. Follow these tips and some more you may have gathered on your own and be sure of success. See you all at the top.