In this guide, I will show you how to produce chalk and sell it in large quantities in Nigeria. This is part of our skill acquisition training series which is meant to help our readers with simple production skills.
Schools have become one of the most lucrative businesses in the country. I was walking along my Street one day and I almost lost count of the number of schools I saw on my path. The continous increase in Primary and Secondary schools in our environments is a clear indication that the usage of chalks would be almost impossible to run out of demand. This stipulates that production of chalk is one area that you should be looking to maximize due to the profits involved.
Importation of chalks have been on a real low in recent times. This can be attributed to the fact that Nigeria is blessed with more than enough raw materials that would be needed to run a successful chalk production business.
This article seeks to identify the necessary equipment you would need and the various processes involved in the production of chalk in Nigeria. Trust me they are rather simple and straightforward so you would want to get involved.
1. Plaster of Paris: This is probably the most important raw material that you would have to possess if you consider venturing into the business of chalk production. It is a white powder scientifically called Calcium Sulphate. When mixed with water, it forms a quick hard paste
2. Lubricant: This is another essential material to consider when producing chalk. It could be in form of any cooking oil or coconut oil mixed with kerosene. Its used to lubricate the chalk mould and prevent the Plaster of Paris from sticking to it.
3. Ultramarine blue: This material does not hold as much importance as the others due to the fact that it is only considered when you intend to give the chalk a sky or dark blue color. If you are just concerned about producing white chalk, this should be ignored.
4. Water: You just can’t fault the importance of water in these circumstance. This is due to the fact that you definitely need water to mix all the ingredients involved in making the chalk.
5. Chalk Mould: This material could be made up of rubber or metal with holes that will be used for producing school chalk. The importance of this material can’t be overemphasized and can only be ignored at your own peril. The number of holes present indicate the number of chalks that would be produced. E.g. if there are 30 holes, only 30 pieces of chalk can be produced from that mould.
6. Scraper: This tool is flat and metallic in nature and is employed when the chalk is about to be removed from the surface of the chalk mould.
7. Paint Brush: Paint brush is used to apply the lubricant on the chalk mold before filling it up with the Plaster of Paris.
8. Dryer: The job of the dryer is pretty straightforward. Its simply used to dry the chalk after it has been removed from the chalk mould. The dryer is operated electrically and is used mainly by large scale chalk production companies. However, if you are just starting out, its advisable that you sun dry due to the fact it suits the purpose and it saves cost.
9. Hand Glove: You might also want to consider purchasing a hand glove so as to protect your hands when mixing the Plaster of Paris and the water.
10. Packaging Materials: This is probably the last thing you would consider buying. Packaging of a business is one of its selling points. You can choose to package your chalks in nykob bags or branded chalk carton packs. I would advise you pick the latter so as to stand your brand out from others and it definitely breeds more respect.
Step 1. Pour some of the Plaster of Paris into a bucket of water and mix it with your hands in the water till it forms a paste.
Step 2. Employ the paint brush to lubricate the chalk mould surface properly with the mixture of cooking oil and kerosene so as to ensure the Plaster of Paris does not stick to the mould.
Step 3. Pour the pasty mixture into the mould and ensure it solidifies for about 15 to 20 minutes before you end up loosening the mould.
Step 4. After you have confirmed that the chalk mould has formed, you are to loosen the mould and collect the chalk that is produced. After you have collected the chalk, you can either sun dry it or dry it mechanically.
Step 5. You must ensure that the chalk is sun-dried for not less than two days and at most three days. After sun-drying, the only thing left to do is to package your chalks into your branded carton packs and voila your chalks are ready.
One might argue that the advent of white-marker boards might prove a stern competition for the production of chalks. If you do a statistical comparison of schools that use chalks and whiteboard markers, you would discover there’s still a clear difference between schools using chalks and those using white board markers.
The chalk production market is a healthy market with benefits in the long-run so what are you waiting for?