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Cassava is a major staple crop in Nigeria, as cassava itself and its product are found in the daily meals of Nigerians. Currently, cassava crop is undergoing a transition from a mere subsistent crop found on the field of peasants to a commercial crop that will be grown in large quantities in plantations. This expansion of Cassava production is attributed to the discovery of cassava as a cheap source of edible carbohydrate that could be processed into different forms of human delicacies and animal feeds.
Furthermore, cassava could be source of raw materials for a number of industrial products example include, the starch, flour and ethanol. Due to the comparative advantage of cassava that could be grown in commercial quantity in most Agroecologies in Nigeria, the potential is enormous for exploitation.
Cassava is a tuberous root that contains 60 to 70 percent moisture and has a shelf life of 2 to 3 days. Once harvested, it has to be either consumed immediately or processed into more stable product forms. Cassava farmers are often unable to process harvested roots and have to sell their crop at a very low price to middlemen who are willing and able to reach them.
However, with the help of several research and development over the years, the crop can be processed into several secondary products of industrial market value.
These products include:
· Cassava chips,
· Cassava pellets,
· Cassava flour,
· Cassava adhesives,
· Alcohol, and starch
Which are vital raw materials in the livestock feed, alcohol/ethanol, textile, confectionery, wood, food and soft drinks industries. These products are also of high demand in the international market.
Gari is dry, crispy, creamy-white and granular. It is estimated that 70% of the cassava produced in Nigeria is processed into gari. As a result, gari is the most commonly traded cassava product. The gari prices, therefore, are a reliable indication of the demand and supply of cassava. Other relevant processed cassava foods in the traditional (food) market include fufu, lafun and abacha (Onabalu, 2001)[i]
Traditional methods of processing cassava roots can result in poor quality products that contain unacceptable levels of cyanide, as well as being contaminated by foreign matter and disease-causing agents[ii]. If people eat these kinds of products, they can suffer from acute cyanide poisoning, goiter, and a nerve-damaging disorder that makes them unsteady and unable to walk properly.
Proper processing converts fresh cassava roots into safer and more marketable products by:
• Reducing cyanide levels in the processed products
• Prolonging shelf life
• Reducing post-harvest losses of fresh cassava roots
• Avoiding contamination of the products and the environment
In Nigeria, mechanized cassava processing is still on the developmental stage and the potential is very high.
The basic processes involved in the production of Garri from cassava are:
1. Sorting: After harvest, some roots may be damaged or rotten. These are sorted to select the wholesome roots for processing; only healthy roots (without rot or other damage) should be processed.
2. Peeling and washing: Freshly harvested cassava roots are covered with soil and dirt and. The roots are peeled to remove the outer brown skin and inner thick cream layer and washed to remove stains and dirt. The water source should be checked regularly to ensure it is not dirty or contaminated.
Source: Federal Institutes Of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO)
3. Grating: As part of the process to remove the cyanide and make the root safe to eat, the peeled cassava are grated into a mash or pulp. Mechanized graters are needed to produce a sufficient quantity of cassava mash to meet market demands and standards.
4. De- watering and fermenting: This completes the process of removing cyanide from the cassava mash. The water content in the mash is reduced using hydraulic press. The bags are then left to drain and ferment for a few days.
5. Granulating: The cake is mechanically reduced in size to produce fine granules of greater surface area – known as grits.
6. Roasting: The grits are then roasted or fryed in a hot frying tray or pan to form the final dry and crispy product. Gari is normally white or cream, but will be yellow when made from yellow cassava roots or when fried with palm oil. It is important to make sure the taste and smell is acceptable to local consumers. Yellow cassava roots and palm oil are rich in vitamin A and therefore make nutritious gari. The roasted gari are spread on a raised platform in the open air to cool and dry.
7. Sieving: The Gari is sieved to separate coarse particles, with a standard size sieve to produce fine granules. A grinder is used to break the large granules into smaller ones. The
8. Packaging: The gari are weighed and then packed for marketing.
Machinery and Equipment[iii]
The major equipment for production of Gari are: Garifier, Grater, Hydraulic press, Granulator, Cone Blender, Vibro Sifter, Hammer mill with cyclone, Packaging Machine and weighing Machine. The cost of this equipment with capacity of 4 tonnes of Gari powder per day, including the cost of installation, can be made on request.
Capital Requirement: The estimated total initial investment by FIIRO is N23, 802,280. This consist of the initial fixed capital N18, 629,650 (including factory building, machinery and equipment, office furniture and equipment and borehole), initial working capital N3, 202, 310 and production expenses N1, 970, 120
Space requirement: Two plots of land are adequate for the project
· Production Days/Week - 6
· Production Weeks/Day - 50
· Production Days/Annum - 300
· Production Volume/Day - 4 Tonnes
· Production Volume/Annum -1200 Tonnes
· Input Output Ratio -1:0.20 or 5:1 or 20%
· Total revenue 92, 400
· Total production cost 60, 579.42
· Gross profit before tax 31,820.58
· Tax at 30% 9, 546.17
Net profit 22, 274.41
Gross Profit to Sales 14.50%
Net profit to sales 24.10%
Return on investment (Year 1) 93.60%
Return on equity 233.0%
Payback period 0.9years
Break- Even point 35.20%
Net present value @ 25% 36, 554.18
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[i] Onabolu, A. (2001) Cassava processing, consumption and dietary cyanide exposure, Ph.D.
Thesis, Division of International Health, Department of Public health Services, Karolinska
Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
[iii] Curtsey of Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, FIIRO, material on Mechanized Gari Production.
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