Agromisa’s AgroBrief No. 3, Snail Farming (M. Leeflang, 2005) provides useful guidelines for anyone considering snail farming (see also Apendix’s below:
A sequence of five steps is suggested:
1 Plan (market, production, organization)
2 Pilot production and sales
3 Go or no-go decision
4 Investment in facilities and know-how (cages/pens, finance, knowledge)
5 Upscaling (logistics, quality, financial control)
The following chapters present prescriptions for the actual farming of snails, e.g. suitable snail species, environment, housing, stock, feed and health.
Caution: Before embarking on snail farming make sure you have a market! This may seem self-evident; but there are many examples of cases in which giant African land snails (GALS) were introduced to other parts of the world for farming, but were eventually dumped (or allowed to escape) into the wild for lack of a market.
Once the snails have been introduced, dumped or allowed to escape, they develop into a serious agricultural pest. Without any natural enemies they end up destroying a wide range of agricultural and/or horticultural crops and causing considerable economic damage. Achatina fulica has a particularly poor reputation in this respect.
Giant African snails are considered a delicacy by people accustomed to consuming them, whereas other people, even within the same country, will not even touch, let alone eat them. For that reason, don’t start farming snails unless you are absolutely sure someone will buy or eat them.