The direction of breeding snails is intensively developing on the agro-industrial market in Ukraine. Enterprising businessmen literally 10 years ago caught the wave and began to open snail farms. Some of them have founded courses and training schools, where they share invaluable experience with everyone.
For a Ukrainian resident, such a product is still incomprehensible and too exotic, but this is also a matter of time. Once we were wary of Japanese sushi and rolls, Chinese WOK noodles and so on. There are now hundreds of cafes and delivery services in major cities offering this «overseas» food.
The main difference between snail dishes is that the product is successfully grown on our territory, which means that delicious snacks are affordable and prepared from fresh shellfish.
However, despite the gradual popularization, it is unlikely that Ukraine will outstrip the main importers in consumption of snail meat — European countries and China. In France alone, 65 thousand tons of shellfish are eaten annually. The “blow” falls on the Christmas holidays, when no table is complete without a delicious gastropod dish.
Count and facts
Considering that new farms for growing snails are appearing exponentially all over the world (and in Ukraine in particular), the supply covers demand only by 70%. Every year, about 450 thousand tons of shellfish are sold for at least US $ 12 billion.
More than 40% of the specified amount is bought by China, 23-25% — France, 10-12% — Greece and Italy.
In 2013, Ukraine exported only 3 tons of snails, the figures for 2019 are almost a hundred times higher! According to the results of the third quarter of 2019, 17 enterprises received the right to supply snail products to the EU market (for comparison: in 2018 there were only 5).
All well-known companies show good financial results every year, as this type of livestock farming is profitable and hassle-free.
Benefits of breeding snails
In Europe, helioculture is called “business for the lazy”. The process of life, growth and reproduction takes place without the participation of the farmer. It is important to follow a number of simple rules and expect offspring.
The advantages of opening a snail farm are obvious:
- each individual brings offspring (animals are hermaphrodites);
- gastropods practically do not get sick with proper care;
- our loose black soil is ideal for cultivation;
- maintenance is simple, work is calm;
- you can open a business from scratch.
Note that not only snail meat is in demand. Gastropod caviar is considered a real delicacy, the cost of which exceeds the price of black caviar.
Snail farm profitability
Income from snails depends on the size of the farm, the breeding method (open or closed), and the type of shellfish. Representatives of the Helix group are grown in our country:
Representatives of the Aspersa subspecies are valued higher because they are considered tastier. The growing time from eggs to an adult is 5-6 months (a grape snail grows from 6 months to 1.5 years).
Several tons of marketable products grow from one hundred kilograms of broodstock.
The option of breeding in a greenhouse is considered more profitable: it is easier to control humidity and temperature there, to protect animals from heat, to protect them from natural enemies.
However, at any scale and method of breeding, the return on business will be quick. The profitability is about 45%, which means that the invested funds will return in about 2 years. This is a high figure for the livestock sector.
If you are still considering opening a snail farm, do not hesitate. After completing training, observing technology and caring for the farm, you will receive high results.