Snail Farming In Kenya: All You Need To Know

Snail Farming in Kenya is a great source of income for many people, and in this post, we’ll take a look at the ins and outs of how to start snail farming.

Introduction to Snail farming in Kenya

Kenya is a beautiful country located in East Africa. The climate is tropical, and the soil is rich and fertile, making it ideal for agriculture. Kenya is home to many different types of animals, including snails.

Snail farming is a relatively new industry in Kenya, but it has already begun to make an impact. The Kenyan government has identified snail farming as a potential source of income and employment for small-scale farmers, and they are providing support to those who are interested in starting their own businesses.

There are many benefits to snail farming. Snails are a sustainable food source; they require very little space or resources to farm and can be sold live or processed into products such as powder, oil, and soap.

If you’re thinking about starting your own snail farm in Kenya, there are a few things you need to know. This article covers everything from the basics of snail biology to the best practices for raising snails commercially.

History of Snail Farming in Kenya

Kenya’s first snail farm was established in 2006 in Kiambu. The farm consisted of two hectares of land on which 10,000 snails were raised. The farm was a success, and the number of snail farms in Kenya has since grown to over 200.

Most Kenyan snail farmers rear their snails on small holdings of less than half a hectare. The snails are fed a diet of vegetables and fruits and are kept in pens made from chicken wire or old car tyres. Snail farming is a low-cost enterprise and does not require much investment to get started.

The main markets for Kenyan snails are in Nairobi and Mombasa. Here, the snails are sold live or processed into products such as snail oil and powder. Snail farming has provided a much-needed source of income for many small-scale farmers in Kenya.

History of Snail Farming Worldwide

In ancient times, the Egyptians were known to have used snail slime as a cosmetic treatment, and Cleopatra is said to have bathed in milk and crushed snails to maintain her legendary beauty. The Romans also used snail slime to treat wounds and skin conditions.

The practice of snail farming began in France in the early 1800s. Snails were initially collected from the wild, but this soon proved unsustainable. The first commercial snail farm was established in 1832, and the industry grew steadily over the next few decades.

Today, snail farming is practiced all over the world, with major production centers in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, China, and Africa. Kenya is one of the continent’s leading producers of edible snails, with an estimated 250 metric tons being produced annually.

Types of Snails

There are two types of snails commonly farmed in Kenya: the Giant African Snail (Lissachatina fulica) and the West African Snail (Archachatina marginata).

The Giant African Snail is the larger of the two species, reaching up to 20cm in length. They are a brown or yellowish color, with dark brown stripes running down their bodies. These snails are native to East Africa but have been introduced to other parts of the world as well, including Kenya.

The West African Snail is smaller than the Giant African Snail, only growing to around 10cm in length. They are a dark brown color, with light brown stripes running down their bodies. These snails are native to West Africa, but like the Giant African Snail, they have been introduced to other parts of the world, including Kenya.

The Process of Snail Farming in Kenya

The process of snail farming is a simple but tedious one. First, the farmer must find a suitable location for the farm. The land should be level and well-drained and have access to water.

Once the site has been selected, the farmer will need to build pens or cages in which to house the snails. These can be made from a variety of materials but must be secure enough to prevent the escape of the animals.

Next, the farmer must acquire some snails. These can be bought from other farmers or collected from the wild. If collecting from the wild, it is important only to take healthy animals that have not been exposed to pesticides or other chemicals.

The snails are then placed in their pens and left to their own devices. They will feed on vegetation provided for them and gradually grow in size. After several months, they will be ready for harvest.

The final step in the process is to collect the snails and prepare them for sale. This usually involves cleaning and cooking them before packaging them up for transport to the market.

Manual or Automatic snail farming in Kenya?

Assuming you would like a content section for the blog article discussing the pros and cons of manual vs. automatic snail farming:

There are two main ways to farm snails – manually or automatically. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a brief overview of each method:

Manual snail farming is the more traditional way of farming snails. It involves collecting snails from the wild, then raising them in captivity. The main advantage of this method is that it is relatively low-cost and easy to set up. However, it is also very labour-intensive, as someone must constantly monitor the snails and their environment. Additionally, there is always the risk that some of the snails will escape and return to the wild.
Automatic snail farming, on the other hand, involves using machines to do most of the work. This includes things like collecting and sorting the snails, as well as providing them with food and water. The main advantage of this method is that it requires much less labour than manual snail farming. Additionally, there is a lower risk of escapees, as the snails are always kept in a controlled environment. However, automatic snail farms are much more expensive to set up and maintain than manual ones.

Investment and Cost of Snail farming

When it comes to snail farming in Kenya, there are two main types of snails that farmers commonly rear. These are the African giant snail (Lissachatina fulica) and the smaller East African land snail (Achatina achatina).

The cost of setting up a small-scale snail farm is relatively low. For example, you can start with as little as 200 Kenyan shillings (about $2) for 100 baby snails. The main costs associated with snail farming include purchasing or renting land, constructing housing for the snails, and buying feed and other supplies.

In terms of investment, small-scale farmers can expect to earn a return of between 10 and 20 percent on their investment each year. Large-scale commercial farms may earn even higher returns.

Marketing Snails

There are a number of ways to market your snail farm products. One way is to sell direct to customers through a farm stand or farmer’s market. You can also sell to local restaurants or stores or even ship your snails live to out-of-state customers.

If you want to get creative, you can even turn your snail farm into a tourist destination with tours, educational programs, and on-site dining. Whatever marketing approach you take, be sure to emphasize your snails’ freshness, quality, and sustainability.


If you’re thinking about snail farming in Kenya, we hope this article has given you all the information you need to get started. Snail farming is a great way to earn an income and improve your quality of life, and we believe it has a lot of potential in Kenya. We encourage you to give it a try!

Also read: 20+ Business ideas to start with 50K Hustler Fund in Kenya


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