When I first started sourcing and retailing Snails, I was always having quarrels and dissatisfaction from my customers especially from those in South-West Nigeria prominently those in Lagos.
I was always accused of giving them something different from what they ordered for. And back then I’ll feel bad and on many occasions I felt like quitting.
What’s the reason for their Complaints you might want to ask? I’ll tell you.
Being a proper South-South boy, I’ve traveled all the Southern states except Edo (I’ve only traveled through the state not to the state).
I’ve seen all the Snails from there in fact I’ve bought Snails from Farmers in all the states and even that of Southeast, but little did I know that the sizes of Snails we describe as large or Jumbo here is a child’s play when you compare to what they’ve and are used to in the west (Edo inclusive).
The Species we have in the south especially this picked f I’m the wild are not as big as what’s obtainable in the west so back then when clients order for Jumbo I’ll get those big Snails and send to them not knowing that what I know as Jumbo is different from theirs and I’ll be accused of cheating them not knowing that I was merely operating from the Realm of ignorance. But like they say, ignorance is not an excuse before the law and in this case before my customers. So at the end I lost valuable customer😭😭 .
Instead of seating back to cry or be depressed, went out to seek knowledge and ways to solve this problem…yes that’s why I’m an Enterprenuer, I solve my problem(s) and sell the solutions.
I have visited farms, traveled to Benin and lived in Ibadan for 4months now and done research. I can boldly tell the difference between the two sub-Species of the most market viable Snails Species… Archachatina marginata (AM)
The Archachatina marginata (AM) is sub divided into;
1. Archachatina marginata var Ovum (AMO) also called Western Species or (Benin Snails by many)
2. Archachatina marginata var suturalis (Southern Specie)
(1) Achatina Marginata Var Ovum (Giant African Land Snail Or Big Black Snail). This is the largest species of land snails.
They are commonly found within the western part of Nigeria (Edo, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Lagos State). This snails grow faster and bigger but lays less amount of eggs (20-40) eggs a year and this eggs are laid in clutches of between 4-14 eggs at a time. The eggs are yellow in color with dark blotches and an incubation period of about 40 days.
They lay 4-5 times a year). This species of snails are very fragile and record high mortality in the southern part of Nigeria but has better survival rate when raised in the western part of Nigeria.
Because of their large Sizes, which can weight between 100g-800g (average is 350g-450g for the Jumbo). They’re the most preferred Snails Species amongst buyers and Snails lovers, but scarce and arguably expensive hence only few can afford it.
(2) Achatina Marginata Var Suturalis (also known as Gaint African Land Snail Is Found In The Warm Water Forest Of The Niger Delta). They lay between 40-60 eggs a year and also lay 4-5 times a year.
They are commonly raised in the southern part of Nigeria but also have a good track record in other parts of Nigeria.
From my years of farming and interactions, they have proved to be the best species for production. Their eggs hatch faster and also have a higher percentage of hatching.
They grow large but not as big as their Var Ovum counterpart and command market value as well.
The above described species are the two most common species of snails farmed in Nigeria and they command good market value/price.
They’re most recommended for those intending to farm snails at commercial quantity.
Currently Nigeria as a country doesn’t yet produce enough snails to feed it’s ever growing population, hence the snails market is still very much untapped, also the international market is available for the taking too. So the best time start or Invest in Snails Farming was yesterday, the next is now.
So now you know, the next time you want to get jumbo snails, be sure of which species to avoid quarrels.