A batch of pioneer snail farmers recently benefited from a two day training session by experts at the main campus of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Juja, Kiambu.
The enthusiastic trainees rearing to enter into the new and rarer lucrative venture received tips on how to make fertiliser, animal feed, and much more from these micro livestock animals.
Dr Paul Kinoti, the expert behind the training explained that snail farming has a myriad benefits for farmers and also broke the snail farming myth to participants.
He said snail farming is a venture that has a ready, highly profitable market and they adapt to various environmental conditions.
Kinoti further points out that snails being vegetarian enables farmers to dispose household waste in an environmentally friendly manner, and also reduce the cost of required feed.
“Though the cost of producing the skin care products is capital-intensive, the production of snail mucin skincare is currently under way and will hit the market any time once we get a nod from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs),” he said.
The machine used for extracting the slime has been imported from the west at a cost of Sh500 million making the process capital intensive, but the researchers believe the work could open the way to a new subsector.
Currently, Kenyan snail farmers are producing African Giant Snails, which do not produce much mucin, meaning JKUAT is importing the snail mucin.
But there is a species of snail known as Helis Aspasia (brown snail) which produces a lot of slime, at about 10ml per snail, and the product development could make it a viable farming option in Kenya.
Until then, the university is importing the slime from the west at about Sh4,600 per litre of slime.