As snail farming continues to gain popularity in Kenya, more farmers are opting to join the venture which has been rapidly growing since 2007.
A 28-year-old year Information Technology (IT) graduate from Mount Kenya University, Roussoss Demisse Odhiambo, is one of the farmers who chose to rear snails for economic gains.
The IT graduate, in a media interview, explained that he was inspired to venture into the highly profitable sector after noticing that there was a limited supply to the market.
Odhiambo launched his snail farming business while still a 3rd-year student at Mount Kenya University (MKU) in 2018.
Photo of nails taken on May 9, 2022 Photo Mkulima Young
The idea to run a snail-farming business crossed his mind during a visit to Italy when a friend ordered a meal of snails at a restaurant.
“After returning home, I conducted online research about snails farming and market opportunities in Kenya and got many ideas including that of agritourism farming of snails to attract tourists,” he stated.
Odhiambo explained that in his 5-year experience running the farm, he realised the benefits of snail farming, which extends into selling its shells.
Setting Up Business
The graduate kicked off his venture with only 15 snails at his farm in Karen, Nairobi, but was surprised by the snails’ multiplication.
He explained that after acquiring a permit from Kenya Wildlife Service, he increased production on his farm and secured tenders to supply the snails to more Nairobi restaurants, which saw his profits increase significantly.
Taking Care of Snails
The snail farmer narrated that feeding the snails was easy because he only gives them vegetables and fruit waste.
Odhiambo, therefore, urged the youth to embrace the venture because it was easy to manage, highly profitable and the snails easily adapt to different environmental conditions.
Since 2007, the snail delicacy became common on hotel menus after an influx of foreigners in the country.
Other prominent snail farmers in Kenya include, Rosemary Odinga, Wangui Waweru, Paul Kinoti, and Michael Muchilwa.
Photo of snails taken on January 27, 2020 Photo Mkulima Young