How To Start A Lucrative Gum Arabic Powder Production Business in Nigeria: The Complete Guide
Global exportation of gum arabic has amounted to a value almost three times the previous value within the last 25 years, from a value of 35,000 tonnes to an amount of 102,000 tonnes and counting. Exporters of gum arabic including Nigeria and Senegal, have produced high-grade gum arabic powder. However, in overall gum arabic production, Sudan has been ahead historically.
Crude gum arabic export revenues increased from an annual average of $95.4 million from 1992 through 1994 to a yearly average of $150.3 million from 2014 to 2016. During the same period, revenues from exports of processed gum arabic increased from $74.4 million to $192 million, 90% of which accrued to exporting countries in Europe.
Nigeria contributes about 30% to gum arabic globally. Almost a fragment of that amount is used for the gum powder. However, Nigeria isn’t harnessing her full gum arabic resources. Till date, production of gum arabic powder is still conducted at a local and individual levels, and this has resulted in inconsistency and low productivity. The gum arabic industry requires governmental support and financing, especially in the areas of machinery provision and advertising of the products. Notwithstanding, if you’re looking to start a business in Nigeria or Africa as a whole, gum arabic powder production is a wise choice!
What is Gum Arabic Powder?
Gum arabic powder is a processed form of gum arabic in which all moisture is dried out from the substance, and it is ground to fine, tiny bits of tightly-packed individual specks. Gum arabic powder is highly used for the production of various industrial products including thickening agents, confectionery, stabilisers and others. Gum arabic powder is as potent as gum arabic itself, and also comes with more advantages such as convenience and ease of use.
What is Gum Arabic Powder Production?
Gum arabic powder production is the process of extracting gum from the hardened exudates of plants Acacia Senegal and Acacia seyal, and then processing it to a powdered form. The powdered form of gum arabic is commercially available and sourced mainly from trees in Africa. Gum arabic is also available in other states such as granular, and spray-dried.
Business Opportunities Associated With Gum Arabic Powder Production Around the World
1). Food Binder:
Gum arabic is naturally a sticky agent which not only gives itself a thick feel but also puts food substances together, making them thick and increased in weight.
2). Glue Production:
Gum arabic is a naturally sticky substance used mostly in the production of various glue items.
3). Paint Production:
Gum arabic powder is also used in the production of several types of paint. Its properties contribute a great deal to the texture of the paint.
4). Medicine Production:
Gum arabic powder, especially one made out of the red acacia variety, is highly medicinal. It is used to treat various ailments.
Facts and Benefits of Gum Arabic Production
- Gum arabic powder contains fibres which help to control the level of cholesterol in the blood.
- Gum arabic is a dried sap obtained from the stems and branches of two specific acacia species.
- Gum arabic is used to protect the hair against precipitation, dandruff and weak roots.
- Gum arabic has a mixture of polysaccharides and glycoproteins, which make it edible after processing.
- Gum arabic is closely related to legumes.
- Consumption of gum arabic has multiple benefits but can lead to abdominal bloating if consumed in excess.
- Acacia seyal is used as a hair product.
Despite being medicinal, there are certain toxic varieties of gum powder.
- As medicinal as gum arabic is, there are still some toxic varieties.
- Some gum arabic plants produce the gum under adverse conditions such as poor soil, drought and heat.
- Damaged trees produce more gum.
- Gum arabic powder is used in a variety of products, ranging from liquid to solid, edible to inedible, and toxic to non-toxic.
- Nigeria is second only to Sudan in terms of exporting gum arabic products.
- Yobe and Borno states are the highest producers of gum arabic products in Nigeria.
- Sudan, Nigeria, Chad, Senegal and Somalia are some of the highest producers of gum arabic powder.
Types of Gum Arabic Powder Production Production
There are two basic types of gum arabic powder. They are:
1). Acacia Senegal Powder:
This is the gum arabic powder produced from the senegalia Senegal. It is a product of a small thorny deciduous tree from the genus Senegalia.
2). Red Acacia:
This type of powder, which is also called seyal, is multi-effective. It incorporates numerous components suitable for human health. The powder is used in treating diarrhoea, inflammations and various ailments.
How To Start Arabic Production: Step-by-Step Guide
To prepare the gum arabic powder, secrete the gum from the bark of a gum arabic tree. The gum arabic is best derived under stress conditions such as heat. Once the gum has been collected, remove all unwanted substances at the cleaning sheds to purify completely.
After the gum is harvested and purified, you have to dry it to eliminate moisture and make it suitable for the next stage. The drying process is best done using a mechanical dryer and should be carried out until gum is fully solid. The gum is then milled until it becomes a mass of fine powder.
Once gum arabic has been processed to a powdered form, you should keep it away from water or any liquid substance. Package the powder into cool, airtight containers and put in a safe location out of the reach of any liquid substance.
The Challenges of Gum Arabic Production Business in Nigeria
- The product is not widely known hence the minimum application by the public.
- Gum arabic powder production lacks a proper economic structure.
- Gum arabic powder production industry requires other industries to be fully developed in other to thrive.
- The gum arabic industry in Nigeria is confronted by poor market organisation.
- Low government assistance.
- Lack of funds to procure the needed machinery for processing gum arabic powder.
- Limited storage facilities.
- The inability of local gum arabic industry to reach the international market easily.
- Lack of capital and loans for large scale production of gum arabic powder.
- Desert encroachment leading to loss of acacia trees.
- Problems of Boko Haram insecurity and banditry in states in Nigeria where gum arabic products are mainly produced.
To Sum it Up
Gum arabic powder is a highly underrated product, and this limits its usage. Interestingly, it would make a great business idea because the competition is still relatively low. Benefits of this agricultural product cannot be overemphasised.
The gum arabic production business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a business to venture into, the gum arabic business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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