Snail Trade – Rainy Season Easy StartUp for Youth Entrepreneurs

Did you know the total value of Snail Import in 2022  was US$61,801,000 (Ksh9,412,292,300) against exports of US$59,520,000 (Ksh9,064,896,000). With a shortage of US$2,281,000 (Ksh347,396,300), and I have been busy killing snails because they are eating away at my fruit seedlings.  I have been using the self-watering plants technology to grow my fruit seedlings using my recycled kitchen water waste.   When I noticed a lot of snails around the plastic bottles.  It was peaceful co-existence at first, until they started eating at my seedlings, then it became personal.

Hi, my name is Fostina Mani (  I am the Global Trade Engagement Director at Betta Grains ( am also the Founder of a market place called Mothers of Africa Mobile Soko (  I believe Africa can feed itself.  I believe Africa can profit from agriculture trade.  And that is why I am championing for an Agricultural Markets Revolution that favours Africa.

By the way if you don’t know what the self-watering plants are, it is simply cutting the plastic bottles into half.  Make a hole on the bottle top, then use the top side of the bottle to plant the seedling in soil.  The bottom of the bottle you use it to store the water, then you simply place the top side of the bottle in the water, with the bottle top sitting inside the water.

November is rainy season in Kenya.  As you can imagine the heavy rains and my recycled kitchen water is more water than I need.  Unfortunately breaking the habit of recycling Kitchen Water waste during the rainy season is proving to be more difficult than I thought. Unfortunately the poor snails have had to bear the brant of my wrath or should I say withdrawal symptoms of recycling water.  Clearly the snails are becoming a problem. Unfortunately, my analytical mind thrives in discovering and developing solutions for Africa’s agriculture, and snails have been on my mind a lot lately.

One of my favorite shawls is made from snail silk.  It was a gift from a Zambian lady based in the UK who was running a snail farming project where she was working on implementing the project in Lusaka, Zambia.  She had given me the shawl as an incentive for me to implement a similar project, which was put on the back banner, but I never forgot I kept on saying one day, I will do a deep dive thinking on snail silk.

Well, the day finally has come, and yes there is plenty of YouTube content on snail farming, the first place a made a stop at was the snail silk production.  The technic is ancient, and the technology involved is simple. What I liked about it is, it is something Africa can incorporate for our very many idle youth. See I accidentally discovered how to grow snails through my recycling kitchen water waste project.  There is also enough information on how to make snail silk, so I decided that my next blog would be on snail trade.

So why don’t I get into snail farming and produce silk myself?  Well, I only have 24 hours a day, which means I cannot do everything or get into every business.  I only focus on what am good at and am most impactful.  Which is a mind shift that will bring about an agricultural markets revolution that favours Africa. However, I know that there are thousands and thousands of idle African youths who will read or listen to this blog.  And who knows, perhaps one will get inspired and research on snail farming.  However, to help them get started, I wanted to share some market research on snail trade that would inspire them.

Did you know snails can be used in making cosmetics?  Yes, there is skin repairing and regeneration cream as well as anti-aging.  Did you know a Kenyan a snail farmer is reported to have quoted 1 kilogram of snails was selling at Ksh1,500(US$9.85)?  1 Kilogram of Snail Shells was selling at Ksh1,443(US$9.48).  1 Kilogram of snail slime was selling at Ksh6,244(US$41).

Did you know Africa’s entire snail export in 2022 was US$14,006,000 (Ksh2,133,113,800)?  The leading African exporters of snails in 2022 are Morocco US$8,756,000 (Ksh1,333,538,800), Tunisia US$2,550,000 (Ksh388,365,000), Senegal US$1,569,000(Ksh238,958,700), Algeria US$766,000(ksh116,661,800), Cote d’lvoire US$126,000 (Ksh19,189,800), Guinea US$114,000 (Ksh17,362,200), Sierra Leone US$60,000 (Ksh9,138,000), Cameroon US$33,000 (Ksh5,025,900), Zimbabwe US$16,000 (Ksh2,436,800), Benin and Ghana US$5,000 (Ksh761,500), Egypt US$3,000 (Ksh456,900).

My beloved Kenya, Ethiopia, Botswana, Congo, DRC, Madagascar, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania are absolutely not exporting any snails.  Eswatini, Equatorial Guines, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, Seychelles, Zambia, Angola, Namibia, and South Africa are importing snails.  With Namibia importing US$213,000 (Ksh32,439,900) and South Africa US$222,000 (Ksh33,810,600) in 2022.  Clearly, there is a huge market and demand for snails.  If a lot of the African countries will embrace snail farming as a simple business, then snail farming will open doors for youth business in Africa.

The world’s leading importers of snails in 2022 were France US$16,898,000 (Ksh2,573,565,400), Spain US$10,177,000 (Ksh1,549,957,100), Italy US$6,444,000 (Ksh981,421,200), Romania US$3,905,000 (Ksh594,731,500), Bosnia and Herzegovina US$3,518,000 (Ksh535,791,400), Portugal US$2,783,000 (Ksh423,850,900), United States of America US$2,615,000 (Ksh398,264,500), Czech Republic US$2,599,000 (Ksh395,827,700), Lithuania US$2,585,000 (Ksh393,695,500), Germany US$1,007,000 (Ksh153,366,100), Belgium US$970,000 (Ksh147,731,000), Canada US$867,000 (Ksh132,044,100), Hong Kong US$650,000 (Ksh98,995,000), Netherlands US$647,000 (Ksh98,538,100), Greece US$493,000 (Ksh75,083,900), China US$428,000 (Ksh65,184,400). The data clearly shows there is a huge export market opportunity for many African countries especially those who do not consume snail.  My advice to anyone considering snail farming is to take their time and do their research carefully.  Google as well as do your own personal research.  YouTube is always a good place to start.

My hope is I have inspired Africa to think differently, and to also use what is readily available to them, and snails happen to be one of them. Very easy to grow, and a few Africans have ventured into snail farming.  Thank you for listening to me, please like and subscribe so you can be updated whenever I post new content.  God bless you.