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Meet Kenya’s ONLY Snail Farmer, Rosemary Odinga

The snail meat is good for you, and richer in protein, iron and calcium than beef and even liver. One of the questions most people ask about snail meat is – Can a pregnant woman eat a snail meat? Of course YES. It is especially beneficial for children, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Rosemary Odinga is the eldest daughter of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Before she decided to try her hand in politics, Rosemary was known in the Kenyan farming community for her multi-million snails venture.

She is arguably the only entrepreneur who’s actively involved in snail farming in Kenya. Unlike in West Africa where snails are heavily consumed as a delicacy, East Africans aren’t big fans of snail meat.

Rosemary discovered the business opportunity in snail farming after a visit to Nigeria. She started her snail farm nearly 8 years ago, and hasn’t looked back since.

Her biggest customers are expatriates in Kenya who come from Europe, Asia and West Africa who, unlike the locals, have a developed taste for snail meat — which is a very healthy meat; high in protein and very low in cholesterol.

Africa is home to the largest species of snail in the world; the Giant African land snail (botanical name: ‘Achatina fulica’). Compared to other livestock, snails are easy and cheap to keep and maintain. And when you target the right market and customers, snail farming can be a very rewarding business.

“One is the temperature. Snails thrive in cool moist environs. They hate the sun. The soil type must also be right and contain the nutrients they need. That is why a farmer cannot just scoop soil from his farm, put in a basin and dump the snails. The soil has to be specially treated,” she explains.

In this short video, Rosemary shares her experience in the snail farming business in Kenya — her startup journey, mistakes, challenges and insights.

 

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