Kuli kuli also called “german stones” or “peanut balls” is a very popular snack in Nigeria. Infact, it can be regarded as the most popular local snack in Nigeria as it is consumed by all Nigerians regardless of their social status.
Aside Nigeria, it is also a popular snack in other West African countries such as Benin, Cameroon and Ghana. Most often, it is popularly eaten with soaked garri and in some parts of Nigeria eaten with fura and akamu.
It is also grounded and used as Ingredients for suya and kilishi or sometimes added to salad. The demand for kuli kuli in Nigeria is very high, this is because it is taken together with another very popular staple food called garri.
Kuli Kuli are usually of two quality, those that are spiced with salt, sugar and pepper, which I tag the higher quality kuli kuli as it is usually more tasty, while the one without any form of spice is the one i regard as the lower quality kuli kuli because it doesnt taste good as the former and it is also cheaper.
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Kuli kuli is produced primarily from groundnuts which is one of the most popular crops cultivated in Nigeria. In the 1950s and 1960s, groundnuts used to be a major cash crop.
So popular in northern Nigeria that the Kano giant groundnut pyramids became a symbol of the nation’s agricultural strength. But due to the discovery of oil, groundnut production has hit a decline compared to what it used to be.
As at 2008/2009, Nigeria is the largest producer of groundnut in Africa and fourth in the world (USDA Foreign Agricultural Service: Table 13 Peanut Area, Yield, and Production). In Nigeria, about 10 different popular foods across the 3 major ethnic groups are processed from groundnuts.
These food are groundnut oil, kuli kuli, yaji, sisi pelebe, donkwa, kunu geda, chin-chin, groundnut soup, roasted groundnut and cooked or boiled groundnut.
Kuli kuli is very nutritious and beneficial to the health simply because most of its nutrient and mineral contents of the raw material which is groundnut is preserved even after it has been processed. It contains vitamins A B C D and E.
These vitamins are known to aid growth, function as oxygen carriers, keeps the skin and eye health in optimal conditions, formation of red blood cells, preventing heart diseases and a lot more.
Despite these essential health benefits and its money spinning potential, kuli kuli is boycotted by many and regarded as a poor man’s food due to the type of unhygienic environment where it is produced, lack of proper packaging and quality assurance.
Another reason that discourages young entrepreneurs is the long process involved as this trade lacks complete mechanization, but there have been some recent commendable development as the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) is changing this. The organisation has designed a mechanized production process and machines for Kuli-kuli production.
Kuli kuli production can become a source of income for all you entrepreneurs looking for an additional source. This business is very lucrative as not only kuli kuli is produced, but marketable groundnut oil as well.
The next few lines of this post will be showing you how to successfully start a successful and attractive kuli kuli production business.
It is important to make a detailed and planned research of the market. This includes a study of the entrepreneurs who are already established.
This study will enable you know the types of machines and equipments needed, how to structure your marketing and distribution plan, the amount of labour needed, how to get quality supplies and other important details.
The study will also acquaint you with the problems affecting those already established entrepreneurs, this is to afford you enough time to fashion out solutions before commencing operations.
Location is very important to the success of any business, in the case of this business, it is important that your business is located at an easily accessible place where old and new customers can easily locate.
The place should be an area with good road networks so as to ease the delivery of raw materials as well as distribution of your products. Availability of constant electricity in the location of choice should also be considered before choosing a location.
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Early arrangements should be made concerning the purchase of high quality groundnuts in sufficient quantity and reasonable prices.
There is also a need to have a storage facility ready and available before commencing operations because some of the raw materials needs to be stored so as to cut down on the cost of getting supplies daily.
A lot of entrepreneurs have avoided this business due to the long and rigorous processes involved as well as lack of machinery.
To entice investors into this business, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) have been able to come up with a mechanized solution.
This machine currently sells for N160,000. The machine is able to grind the groundnuts and also separate oil from the paste.
This machine is faster, more efficient and can also serve as an additional source of income when used as public mill. The machine has the capacity to grind a 1000kg of groundnut a day.
Aside this milling machine, the institute also has some other mechanized solution for kuli kuli production such as the groundnut roaster, processing tank, Fryer with stainless steel fitted with electric burner, Motorized Mixer and a Weighing Machine.
These mechanized solutions will no doubt boost production and the consistency of production which are both necessary to keep the customers flowing.
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Just Like they say “two heads are better than one” Commercial kuli kuli production is not a one man’s business, labour is needed, especially ones who are already experienced in commercial kuli kuli production.
From offloading and loading supplies and products to grinding, winnowing, roasting and frying, there is a serious need for extra hands. This will help speed up production rates as well as induce some level of expertise to your production procedure.
It is important to add value to this product that is fast losing it’s value by maketing them in a more presentable manner.
They can be packaged in attractive transparent sachets or plastic cans with a conspicuous inscription of your brand name.
These level of packaging is one of the major factors considered by some modern stores and supermarkets before deciding to have your products on their shelves. Another basic factor considered is the quality of your product (taste, smell, shelve life e.t.c).
It is necessary to get a market for your products. I will personally advice that an easily accessible warehouse or store is obtained in a popular market where your product is marketed in whole sale.
This will help create massive awareness for your products as well as entice customers. A marketing deal can also be struck with top stores and supermarkets across the country, this will also help improve the popularity of your product. Direct supplies to retailers should also be considered.
Proper management is necessary to keep any business afloat. In a business such as kuli kuli production that is fast losing it’s relevance, it is necessary to properly manage your finance, putting into consideration all amount spent on production, sales and income. This will enable you know how to fix your prices. It helps you know if you are running at loss or making profits.