How To Start Cassava Flour Production In Nigeria Or Africa: Full Guide

How To Start Cassava Flour Production In Nigeria Or Africa: Full Guide | Image Source: Pixabay

In the year 2001, the Nigerian government directed the Federal Institute of Industrial Research to find ways of including local generated raw materials in the bread production. The outcome of this research was that cassava flour could be mixed with wheat up to 10% without any adverse effect on the texture and taste of the product. This made the government encourage that cassava flour be added to the bread production process. Thus making the cassava flour production business lucrative venture as it is today an essential ingredient in bread production.  

Nigeria produces the highest amount of cassava globally, producing over 40 million metric tons of the crop annually. Still, the majority of these cassavas are consumed in its crude form, in the production of garri, fufu or consumed unprocessed, with only a small percentage being further processed to make cassava flour.

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Cassava flour production is in high demand as it makes up about 10% of the flour used in bread production. This has made the demand for the flour to skyrocket, making it a lucrative business to startup.

If you’re looking for how to start cassava flour production in Nigeria, you can read on.

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What Is Cassava Flour?

Cassava flour is gluten-free, grain-free flour. It is gotten from the peeling, washing and grinding of the whole cassava tubers, after which the cassava is then dried to produce a fine powder known as cassava flour.

 

What Is Cassava Flour Processing?

Cassava flour processing is the process of producing cassava flour from harvesting of the cassava tubers to the grinding of these tubers to the final dehydration process of the cassava paste to form the cassava flour.

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Business Opportunities Of Cassava Flour Production

1). Baking:

Cassava flour is usually mixed with wheat flour or all-purpose flour in a proportion of 1:3, and used in the baking of bread, doughnuts, meat pie, and others.

2). Gluten-free swallow:

Cassava flour could be used as a gluten-free swallow which is suitable for people with diabetes, high blood pressure and weight loss.

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Facts And Benefits Of Cassava Flour

  • Cassava flour is rich in carbohydrates
  • Cassava flour is rich in vitamin C
  • Cassava flour is a source of resistant starch
  • Cassava flour is gluten-free.
  • Cassava flour contains resistant starch with similar properties to that of soluble fibre. Resistant starch positively benefits the health of the digestive system, feed good bacteria, reduce inflammation, as well as promote proper digestion
  • Cassava is harmful when it has not been adequately processed or consumed raw.
  • Cassava is a root vegetable.
  • People living along the Amazon River banks in South America grew and consumed cassava for hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus first voyaged.
  • Today, more than 80 countries in the tropics grow and consume cassava, and it is a significant part of the diet of more than 800 million people around the world. 

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How To Start Cassava Flour Production In Nigeria

1). Harvest Matured Cassava:

After harvesting the cassava tubers, they should be loaded to the processing shed for further processing.

Note that cassava starts fermenting immediately from when it is harvested—once it is cut from its roots and leaves.

If the quantity of cassava harvested can not be moved for processing the same day for any reason, do not detach the cassava from the stem and leaf until the means to move them is ready. That is to say, that fermentation will not occur if the cassava is still attached to the leaf and stem. But be careful not to cut the cassava in the process of uprooting it.

2). Peel The Cassava And Wash In Clean Water:

It is very important to peel the cassava and wash it in clean water before taking it for further production. Washing and peeling will not only remove dirt but also improve the quality of the flour and make the flour whiter and more presentable.

  • Grind the cassava with a grating machine. After grinding, press the grated cassava with a hydraulic jack. The pressing is a very important and technical skill. The moisture level of the cassava would then be reduced to about 15%. The process of harvesting and pressing must be within a day. If not the product would have turned to clubs and may not be suitable for baking. After pressing to about 15% moisture level, fermentation is completely halted. The next phase is drying.
  • The drier the product, the more extended the shelf life is or the storage life. The moisture level is usually the most important quality which will be examined at the point of sales. If adequately processed as narrated above, the colour of the product is pure white. Drying could be by sun-drying for small quantity, or the industrial drying is done with industrial dryers. Some industrial dryers are capable of handling as much as 10 tons per day. 

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Challenges Of Cassava Flour Production In Nigeria

Here are some challenges that can affect starting cassava flour production in Nigeria, Africa, or many other places around the world:

  • Pest and diseases
  • Lack of government support
  • Lack of funding for large scale production
  • Lack of highly equipped storage facilities 
  • Not popularly known
  • Absence of a vast ready market
  • Poor funding of research activities
  • Bush burning
  • Lack of capital for large scale production
  • Lack of easy access to the international market
  • Instability of the international market price
  • Lack of adequate widespread knowledge on how to produce high-quality products
  • Lack of funds to import international standard processing machinery
  • Thieves and criminals
  • Poor demand and over-dependence of wheat flour

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To Sum It Up

Since the discovery of cassava flour been an excellent complement in the baking of bread and other confectioneries, the demand for cassava flour has sky rocked, making it a very viable investment with high returns.

The cassava flour production business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your own ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a food-based business to venture into, the cassava flour production business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.

 

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