Garri is the commonest staple food that is consumed all of Nigeria and West Africa. It is prepared from cassava roots in a number of processes. There are different kinds of Garri such as koko Garri, Ijebu Garri, eggs Garri, white Garri, red garri etc. But their method of production is the same. Garri processing business is very lucrative, irrespective of the scale you are starting from you will make it big time.
Advancement in technology has brought about increase in Garri production through the use of machines. You can package your garri the same way yam flour is packaged and supply to supermarkets. Afterall in 2017 imported garri from China were found in a supermarket in Rivers State.
Our fore fathers didn’t succeed so much on Garri business because they were not expose to machines that can speed up high output. Because of that, Garri was only produce in smaller quantities which was not commensurate with the amount of energy put into it. Garri can be used for preparing eba by pouring boiled water into it and consumed with soup or prepared with cold water for drinking. Yellow Garri is mainly used for eba while the white one is good for drinking.
Cassava is grown in the tropics and sub tropical zones. Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Benue, Kogi, Taraba, Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Abia States are the major producers of Garri in large commercial quantities in Nigeria. That is to say Garri is mostly produced in Southern and middle belt regions.
We have more people who process Garri for personal consumption than commercial Garri processing. Because of our increasing population more entrepreneurs are needed to invest more into Garri business. After imported Garri from China was found in a supermarket in Port Harcourt many Garri commercial production have emerged. Akwa Ibom State commissioned 5 different Garri factories located in different Local Government Areas. Ever since then Garri that was sold for 2 cups #100 crashed to 8 cups #100 and has so maintained this position till date.
HOW TO START GARRI PROCESSING IN NIGERIA
You have to draw Garri production business plan before embarking on the Garri business. It will help you succeed in the business. If you cannot write a proposal employ expert to do it for you. Make sure you contact prospective buyers and let them know you are starting Garri processing business. So that you can sell them out immediately after production.
There are a number of things to consider before you start processing Garri. They are; space, building, machine, transportation, capital etc.
The size of the business you are envisaging will determine the amount you need to start Garri processing business. #400,000 can start a mini production, #2,000,000 small scale while #5,000,000 up will established a standard Garri production business.
An acre of land or two plot is enough to set up a standard Garri factory. Use a place that can drain water easily, sandy soil has that characteristics.But you can screed the flour or cement it if you have the money. It will help in keeping the place neat so that flies won’t be perching around.
It should be divided into two; the wet and the dry sections.
It houses machines such as fryer, Miller, sieve. And it accommodate stores. The store has to be two with two doors. One of the doors should be inside and the second door for loading of Garri. Also one of the stores should be for storing packing sacks and other items. While the second store is for keeping packaged Garri Others are toilet, mobility and borehole.
This is where the machine for; washing cassava is located, grinder for grating cassava into slurry, fermentation rack and hydraulic press. Most factories prefer using trough to manually wash cassava roots.
CASSAVA ROOTS SOURCING
Locate a place you will be buying cassava root from consistently. The best way is to own cassava plantation and can purchase when you need cassava. It should be closer to your Garri processing factory.
There must be a means of carrying cassava root from the farm to the factory. And also for conveying of packaged Garri for distribution.
GARRI PROCESSING MACHINE
- Peeling machine
- Hydraulic press
- Sack bags
Peel the cassava root either manually or with a peeling machine. You can use about 5 laborers to peel the cassava and pay them #1,000 each. But if you can buy peeling machine it will be more economical because it is a long term tool. Cassava peeling machine can peel cassava up to 2 tonnes per hour.
The downside of peeling machine is that if the root is not straight it will not peel off all the skin. And you will still have to pay laborers to finish it for you because it doesn’t peel them rightly. If you adjust the machine deeper you will be running into a lost because it will waste the cassava roots. Also if you don’t monitor your laborers they will waste the cassava for you.
As you are peeling the cassava make sure you put them inside water so that it will maintain its white color. If not they will change color and become greenish dark or dirt will stink to it and make it difficult to wash off easily.
Wash the peeled cassava with clean and plenty water 2-3 times to make sure all the dirt and sand are wash off. You can use a washing machine or use your hand to wash them in a trough, big bowls etc.
Grind/Grate the washed cassava with grater or grinding machine. Pack the slurry inside big sack bags with pores, they shouldn’t be too plenty so they can dry quickly. You can use as many sack as possible according to the quantity of cassava you are processing.
Grater can grate up to 3tons a day. Depending on your capacity you can buy two grater. You can get welders to construct the grinding machine for you.
Hydraulic press should be used to press water out from the slurry until water stops coming out. Leave the bags on the press for few hours before removing them.
Filter the cake that is gotten from the slurry into flour. There are two types of filter; the manual and mechanical. The same machine used to grind the roots can be used to filter the cake. But it is mostly not good for consumption because it makes the end product to be too smooth. This the reason why many factories prefer manual filter. It is constructed by hand like basket but iron is used for that.
Use fryer to fry the filtered cassava cake. There is a pot for frying Garri but may not contain much. So get the mechanically constructed ones that has large flat surface which uses; electricity, firewood and gas power.
The cassava flour is put inside the pot, someone keeps turning the flour intermittently until it becomes it dries. If you want yellow Garri add red oil to it while frying otherwise leave like that for white Garri. But some people add the oil to the slurry before pressing so it can be uniform.
There are machines that fries the flour but Garri factory operators avoid using them because it doesn’t give Garri a good taste.
PACKAGING OF FRIED GARRI
Pack the fried Garri inside 50kg sack bags. A bag should contain either 18 paint rubber or 22 paint rubber. Seal the sack mouth so the Garri will not pour.
PRICES OF CASSAVA PROCESSING MACHINES
- Grater. #280,000
- Presser. #130,000 (two)=#260,000
- Fryers. #120,000 (two)=#240,000
With this machine you can process 50kg bags of Garri or more per week. And you need 10 tonnes to achieve this. One cabster can occupy 10 tonnes while pick up will occupy 3.5 tonnes if well arranged.
PROFITABILITY IN GARRI PRODUCTION
- Cassava 5 tonnes #100,000
- Hand peeling (laborers). #5,000
- Frying. #12,000
- Transportation. #30,000
- Firewood. #8,000
- Miscellaneous. #10,000
- Total. #165,000
A 50kg bag of Garri cost #10,000. 5 tonnes of cassava will produce 25 bags of Garri. 25×10,000=#250,000. And #250,000-#165,000=#85,000
That is how profitable Garri processing business is, you can do this twice a week.
GARRI SUPPLY BUSINESS/MARKETING
Garri has a larger market, they are sold everywhere in Nigeria and in other African countries. Sell to market traders, restaurants, hotels, hostel etc. There are individuals who are into Garri supply, advertise your Garri factory in the social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. So they can locate you. Also advertise offline such as printing of flyers, word of mouth etc.
You don’t necessarily need millions to start Garri processing business. You can buy only fryer, take the cassava to commercial grinders to grate and press the cassava for you. Then you use the normal frying pot the type that is used in the village to fry with time you upgrade.
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