Yam is a stapled food that is loved by many, the second most consumed after cassava. It is a tropical annual or perennial crop cultivated mainly for the tubers. The botanical name is Dioscorea Spp. It is a climbing plant that is tuber bearing in nature. Due to changes in the way we live many people now clamour for already processed yam flour that will make life easy for them. That is why as an investor the time to start yam flour production is now.
The demand for yam flour is on the increase due to so many factors such as: increase in population, lack of time, convenience, quick preparation etc. It is mostly beneficial to house wives who have so many things to tackle in the house. Especially for career house wives that have to handle work and family chores.
Yam flour is very popular with the yorubas’ it has been one of their best food for ages now. And they call it elubo, which is of two types; one is prepared from yam peel while the other is prepared from the flesh (without the peel). Some smart individuals recently started packaging them, making it look classical for sales with unique names such as poundo
30% of harvested yam tubers are said to be wasted or spoilt due to; lack of equipment, mechanism for preserving and processing them in Nigeria. The best way to preserve yam is to convert them to flour. Traditional way of processing and small-scale production is not enough to take care of the increase in demand for either local or export. West Africa accounts for 90-95% of the world yam production and Nigeria is the leading producers.
YAM FLIUR PRODUCTION
Over the years foodstuff spoilage has been the bane for many farmers especially those in the rural communities. Lack of adequate means of preserving them, makes them rotten before the next planting season or before it could get to the city centre. This is one reason many people should be encouraged to take up this challenge by setting up yam flour production companies.
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Yam flour production can be established in the rural community where yam is prevalent for proximity. This will in turn bring development to that area. It will bring employment to the youths in the area who probably would have migrated to town (thereby helping to reduce population in the city center). Farmers would be relieved as they won’t have to watch their food crops wasting in their very eyes.
Yam flour is a milky white colour in naiure. It is slightly sour in taste and a slightly fermented flavoured flour. Made from fermented fresh yam tubers. It is prepared the same way semovita, foofoo, dawavita and the rest are prepared. You can use it with stew or soup but mostly soup.
Other things yam flour is used for are; in the preparation of biscuits, cake, bread etc. The supply gap keeps widening globally and therefore yearn for more people to go into this sector of agriculture to help breach the gap for local consumption and in export.
If you are interested in going into yam flour production. Here are the steps to take in achieving success. It is well detailed.
HOW TO START YAM FLOUR PROCESSING
Yam flour business can be started in a small-scale or in a large production. Your capital determines which one to go for.
ITEMS NEEDED FOR LARGE SCALE PRODUCTION ARE:
- Industrial dryer
- Milling machine
- Slicing machine
- Automatic packing and sealing machine
- Storage racks
- Weighing scale
- NAFDAC registration
- Properties such as land, housing or renting
It will take millions to set yam flour production up from 10 million and above. But you can cut down cost by sourcing for the locally manufactured machines. I will recommend you contact FIRO they have locally fabricated complete line processing machinery and equipments for any flour.
They are available in micron, small and medium scale sizes and will be delivered to you two months after payment. The good side of it is that you can use the machines in processing other foods such as plantain flour, beans flour, cassava flour etc. Those thinking export have to make use of processing for neatness, efficiency and bulk production.
- Select the yams you want to use, the should be fresh and good.
- Wash the yams with water to remove impurities. Use machine to peel or sharp knife
- Slice the yam into pellets (smaller sizes) as you desire and according to your machine
- Parboil the yam in hot boiling water for about 10-15 minutes.
- Dry them in the industrial drying machine to remove moisture
- Use milling machine to grind them to powder.
- Package the yam flour for sale.
HOW TO PROCESS YAM FLOUR IN A SMALL SCALE (LOCALLY)
- Racket or any other material for spreading the sliced yam outside for drying (for dry season)
- Drying machine especially for use during raining season
- Grinding machine
- Sealing machine
- Containers or nylon
- Wash dirt out from the yam peel them and slice into smaller sizes.
- Spread them outside for sun to heat.
- Keep drying them until they are well dried.
- This method will be fine during dry season, the most needed equipment for small-scale yam flour production is drying machine.
- Grind them to powder using commercial machine, you can purchase if for all time use. With #100,000 you can purchase a new one or buy a fairly used one at a reduced amount.
- Sieve and Package the yam flour into container or nylon bag for sale.
RAW MATERIALS NEEDED FOR YAM FLOUR PRODUCTION BUSINESS
The only raw material in this case for both small-scale and large-scale is yam. To succeed in this business and make profit; you have to buy yams in bulk. The major producers of yam in Nigeria for you to buy in larger quantities are; Adamawa, Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Cross River, Edo, Kaduna, Delta, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo and Osun States.
4Kg of yam after drying and grinding will give you 1Kg of flour. The price of 1Kg of flour in the market is #500. You can buy 100 pieces of yam in Benue State for as low as #15,000. A tuber can weigh between 8-10Kg.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING YAMS ARE:
Specie of yam: some yam changes colour after drying like the Gwari yam that changes to wine colour after peeling. Others don’t have any starch example is the type called paper yam whereas people prefer the ones that have little starch.
So you have to be careful the type of yam you use for instance da Onitsha is a good specie for yam flour production. The choose of yam to use can make or mar your business. To be on the safe side and even for greater profit you can set up yam plantation farm.
Sell to market men and women, restaurants, hotels, shops, supermarkets etc. Use online portals to widen the sales.
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