Have you nursed the dream of running your own cassava factory? InfoGuide brings you valuable information on how to start garri processing business in Nigeria.
Garri just like rice is a widely consumed food and a major source of carbohydrate in Nigeria. There is a stiff competition between the demand for garri and the demand the demand for rice, the only difference is in the costs, garri is way cheaper than rice. Starting a garri processing business in Nigeria is a smart business decision.
The business is a dynamic one with a constant market that is not subjected to change because the average Nigerian family consumes garri in diverse forms almost on a daily basis. When considering a small or medium scale business, garri processing is a perfect business idea as the start up cost is not high.
Types of Garri consumed in Nigeria
Garri, granular flour which is gotten from cassava tubers is either yellow or white in colour. It can be made into swallow and eaten with different kinds of Nigerian soups like Egusi soup, okro soup, vegetable soup and many others.
It can also be dissolved in water and taken as flakes with sugar, honey or salt, milk and roasted groundnuts. Most foreigners refer to it as ‘cassava flakes’. I will list the different types below:
Commonly found in Edo, Cross River and generally the southern southern part of Nigeria is fermented cassava, processed and fried with a dash of palm oil to give it the yellowish look.
This is very popular all around Nigeria. It is fried without palm oil to keep its natural colour intact.
Very common delicacy in the south western Nigeria, otherwise known as Yoruba land. It is very starchy and has a sharp sour taste that differentiates it from others.
How Lucrative is Garri Business in Nigeria
There is a very large consumption market for garri in Nigeria especially among the southern riverine areas where it is a predominant food. In the North, south east and south west Nigeria, it consumed in much lesser quantities. Even though the yorubas consume it as a snack, I still think the level of consumption in the south is way higher.
The North as i mentioned earlier barely consumes garri, they substitute it with semolina, cornmeal, tuwo shinkafa, wheat flour and other cereals.
As a processor, you can supply garri to sellers in rural and urban areas, caterers, hotels, restaurants, boarding schools, residential areas and basically anywhere where people converge for refreshments.
You can also make proper arrangements to have your goods exported; Nigerians. ln cross river state, garri processed in Ugep town (which is one of the finest qualities) is exported to foreign countries where there is demand for it; ijebu garri is also a good export product.
Foremost Nigerian musician and farmer D’banj is one of the major exporters of garri. His brand ‘koko garri’ can be found in African super stores in the United Kingdom.
How To Start Garri Processing Business
There are no professional requirements for processing garri. It is something anyone can successfully engage in. It basically involves cassava propagation, harvesting, peeling and washing of the cassava tubers, grinding into flour, squeezing and drying of the flour and finally frying, drying and packaging of garri.
With just five hundred thousand naira and a piece of land preferably in a rural or isolated area, you can successfully start a large scale garri processing business; you do not need certifications but practical knowledge on how to propagate cassava.
Find your capital if you aren’t financing yourself. Look for loans from the appropriate institutions or find investors. Your capital covers the cost of planting down to the cost of processing, packaging and even mobility.
If you purchase healthy cassava stems from rural farmers at much lower costs; planting is however not mandatory, you can purchase cassava tubers from the largest cassava farmers who have reputations for harvesting healthy tubers.
Some of these farmers are commonly found in Benue state, Kogi State, Nassarawa State, Imo State, Abia State, most states in the northern region and in the northern region of cross river state like Ogoja, Ikom and Obudu. Locate those closest to you. I stated earlier that five hundred thousand naira is suitable for start up capital but not that this is not specific.
For those interested in planting their own cassava, you are advised to get a land that is rich in loamy soil for cassava grows better on rich loamy soil. Select healthy stems to boost your harvest.
This is very crucial and shouldn’t be ignored. Plant your stems carefully and properly. Ensure you weed regularly and apply fertilizer as the need arises.
Harvest cassava only when tubers have been fully matured. Locating your production facility close to your farm will reduce the cost of transporting harvested cassava tubes for processing.
Management Strategy: You will need to hire labour for planting, harvesting and processing stages. The number of hands you will need is wholly dependent on the size of your farm.
It is important to hire skilled labour and where experience is lacking, ensure the labourers are passionate famers with piqued interest in the business.
Some of the equipment needed include washers, frying spoons, tripods, blending machines, graters, aspirator, cassava grating machine, de-watering machine, disc mill, granulator, cylinders, gas cookers, hammer mill, Heat sealing machine, heavy duty weighing scale, dryers, sieving machines etc. Some people use firewood in place of gas cookers.
Garri Production and packaging
Before embarking on any project, your first task is to research and carry out feasibility study. Plan adequately in order to succeed. What i mean here is that, you need to find out everything relevant to garri processing. When this stage is done with, you can move forward with following:
After harvesting or purchasing your tubers, peel your cassava neatly and lightly, wash and cut into medium sizes for grinding.
With aid of a grinding machine, the cut tubers are ground into watery powdered form, packed into sacks and drilled with a jack for two or more days to eliminate excess water.
When dry, a sieve is used to siphon the cassava powder from chaff and other rough particles, the siphoned powder is fried in reasonable quantities with the use of large frying pans, gas cookers or firewood.
After frying, garri should be left in open and monitored air sacks to avoid dampness and lumping and to aid preservation. Packaging which is the final stage, should be done neatly and sealed against pests. Your packs should be attractive and of good quality.
Local producers don’t really care about packaging as they use mostly plain sacks but you can add that extra packaging touch to make your product outstanding.
This article is a simple summary and guide, it is aimed at giving an insight to potential garri producers on what they need to do and deal with. This write up is not a final directory as there is still a lot of research to be done but i believe it has been of utmost help. Thank you for reading
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