You might not realize this, but cassava processing is actually a very lucrative business opportunity. If you are interested in cassava production, let us introduce you to our cassava processing business plan in Nigeria.
What is cassava?
In case you did not know, cassava, also known as manioc, yucca or Brazilian arrowroot, is a plant that is native to the lands of South America. It looks like a woody shrub. Cassava’s tuberous root is its most defining feature, as it is edible and it contains a lot of carbohydrates.
Various states of cassava have different names. When it is dried, it is called tapioca. When it is fermented and flaky, it is called garri. The result of cassava processing is garri, which is the end product you will be dealing with.
Did you know?
Cassava is one of the staple foods in Africa, which means that most people have it in their diet. Nigeria is the leading country in the production of cassava, and you can help to keep it that way. And that is a segue to our business plan.
Cassava processing business plan
Despite what we have said previously, most of the cassava produced in Nigeria is grown by regular people who do not make a business out of it. That is their choice, but why not make cassava production in Nigeria a little bit more business-oriented?
With our business plan, you will be able to figure out the exact details of cassava processing in Nigeria. Find out what you need to open your own cassava processing plant and what it will take to make it a profitable business.
This plan only focuses on cassava processing. We will not be covering the part which concerns growing and cultivating the cassava plants. If that is OK with you, then, by all means, proceed.
Before you venture into the cassava processing business, you need to get yourself acquainted with the market first. Research the market, scope the competition, and consider whether this type of business is right for you.
If you are certain about your decision, purchase the spot for your future plant. It does not have to be a building, you can simply buy a piece of land. Just make sure it has coverage for rainy and overly sunny days.
Find the supplier of the raw product. You can visit your local cassava farmers and make a deal with one of them. You can also start searching for workers for your plant. However, if you consider having a small plant, you can just ask some of your friends and relatives to help out at first.
Now it is time to think about the equipment.
Purchasing cassava processing equipment
The most important part of any business is proper equipment. And, to be fair, you are going to need quite a lot of it if you want to start your own cassava processing business. It is also not that cheap; you might have to dish out a lot more money than you expect.
Here is the list:
- a hammer mill made out of stainless steel;
- fermentation racks;
- dewatering mechanical presses;
- a granulator made out of stainless steel with a 7.5 HP electric motor;
- roasting pots for garri made out of stainless steel with 2HP electric motor, exhaust pipes, stainless steel paddles and fibreglass insulation.
Apart from using the motor, the roasting pots also operate on fuel (firewood, gas, palm seed shells, firewood, etc.), so you will need to consider that when you are building your budget.
If you have money to spare on extra equipment, you can splurge on peeling equipment that would make the whole process easier and faster.
The amount and the capacity of the machines is up to you. Considering how big you want to go, you should decide on how much budget you can spare on quality equipment. A regular cassava processing plant operates using one hammer mill, one granulator, two fermentation racks, two dewatering presses and two roasting pots.
The cost of a cassava production plant differs greatly depending on the size of the plant, the quality of equipment and its amount, so it is hard to calculate it precisely. You should research on the prices for equipment in your region and tailor your budget accordingly.
Cassava processing steps
When you have all your equipment set up and ready, you can call your workers and start processing cassava.
Here is how it works:
- The raw cassava is first properly washed and peeled, either by hand, or by using special equipment.
- Then, it is grated with the hammer mill and left in the fermentation racks with presses that squeeze the juices out. The fermentation process can last for up to a week to get rid of toxic elements contained in the cassava roots. Usually, it lasts around one to two days.
- After the fermentation is over, the mash from the fermentation racks is moved to the granulator to be turned into small lumps to improve the frying process.
- Small lumps of cassava mash are then fried in the roasting pots, where the paddles turn the mash so that is does not stick or char.
- If the result is too chunky, the almost-ready garri can be milled once more in the hammer mill to improve its texture.
After you achieve the ideal garri colour and texture, you can move on to the next step, which is packaging and selling it.
Packaging and selling your product
As garri is a dry product, it has to be packaged in airtight containers that will not let in any unnecessary moisture. You can package your garri in plastic bags that range in size from 250 grams to 2 kilograms. If you plan in selling in bulk, you can use large sacks or nylon bags that can fit up to 25 kilograms of garri.
The shelf life of garri is 6 months, so try not to take too long with selling your product.
Calculate the price of your product. In the calculation, consider the price of the raw cassava, the cost of the equipment and the amount of work that went into it. In addition, add a little more on top to gain profits. Alternatively, you can compare prices on garri on the market and consider on competitive pricing.
In order to make your product distinguishable from the others, come up with a memorable name, image and, ideally, slogan. The better your product looks, the more chances you have to sell it. Create an advertising campaign to promote your product. Think of the things that make your product unique, emphasise the quality of production.
If you have done your homework, by the end of the production process you should have a few buyers in mind that you could sell your garri to. If not, it is not too late to do it now. Depending on the size of your production, you can either market your product directly to consumers or find an intermediary that will distribute your product.
After you have done all of the aforementioned things, you should be able to have a successful cassava processing business in Nigeria. We hope this business plan has helped you realise whether you are ready to start your own business. Good luck in your economic ventures!