Garri is arguably the most common staple food in Nigeria. Almost every household in Nigeria eat garri every week. Gone are the days when garri was regarded as the food for the poor. Many people including the rich eat garri as eba or eat garri soaked with groundnuts and milk.
Garri is a grain-like food substance produced from cassava tubers. Hot water can be added to garri to make eba which is eaten with soup. Cold or water at room temperature can also be added to garri and eaten with sugar, honey, milk, groundnut or even honey.
The high demand for garri makes the business of production and sales of the product to be very lucrative. There is a popular saying that, no advertisement is done to sell garri. This is true because, with or without advertisement, garri is sold every day in the market. It is one of the bestselling food products in the Nigerian market.
Most of the garri consumed in Nigeria is produced using local means, but you can step up the business by using modern processing technology which is easier, efficient and suitable for larger production.
In this article, I will be explaining how you can set up your own garri production business and start making profits.
Equipment needed in the production of garri.
Traditionally, the following equipment are needed in the production of garri :
- Knives – for peeling the cassava tubers.
- Large basins – for washing the peeled cassava tubers.
- Large frying pans – for frying the garri.
- Frying spoons – for turning the garri while frying.
- Tripod & fire woods – fire source for frying.
However, there are modern machinery you can use to make the production of garri less stressful and more efficient. Some of these machines include:
- Cassava peeling machine – can peel up to 2 tons of cassava tubers per hour.
- Cassava grating machine – has the capacity to grate up to 3 tons of cassava tubers per day.
- Hydraulic press
- Garri frying machine
- Garri sieving machine
- Packaging machine
I did not include the cost of the equipment because price of items change with time. However, if you need the current price of the machine you can find out here.
Processes used in the production of garri
- Peeling – harvested cassava tubers are peeled.
2. Washing – the peeled cassava tubers are washed to remove dirt.
- Grating, crushing or grinding – the washed cassava tubers are reduced to small shreds or mash.
- Pressing or dewatering – the mash is put in a porous bag and weights are placed on it to allow the water to drain out. This may take several days. However, in recent times, a hydraulic press is used to compress the mash and drain out the water within few hours.
- Sieving – The dry mash is sieved to get fine granules.
- Frying – the sieved mash is fried in large frying pans and it is turned during frying with frying spoon. Oil may or may not be added during frying, depending on your customer’s demand. Adding oil into the oil results in yellow garri otherwise white garri is produced when oil is not added.
- Cooling – the fried garri is allowed to cool to room temperature.
- Packaging – the product is bagged in different quantities and sold.
Sourcing your cassava tubers.
You can buy your cassava from raw foods market in your town or city. You can get it cheaper from village markets, especially from the southern part of Nigeria.
With time you can set up a cassava farm of your own.
Storing your produced garri
Improper storage of garri can lead to development of fungi in the product and which can lead to deterioration. Garri can be stored in polythene bags, rice bags or plastic bucket. However, if you intend to store the product for longer period, it is better to store using plastic buckets which will prevent ingress of moisture into the product. Also during the process of frying and drying of the garri, ensure that the garri is dry enough and with a low moisture content.
This was confirmed in a research finding carried out at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, on garri shelf life stability. According to the finding, ‘’ If garri is well dried to a moisture content level below recommended safe levels of 12.7-13.6 % and are stored in such a way that there is no subsequent moisture uptake from the atmosphere, garri might be stored very well for a long period of time. Therefore, garri meant to be stored for longer periods should be properly dried to lower moisture content level using an air tight plastic buckets. The local methods of using heavy stones to press garri in order to remove the juice and spreading after frying should be discouraged. Lastly garri offered for sale in the markets should be adequately covered to prevent being contaminated with spores of microorganisms in the dusty air.’’ You can read the full report findings here.
Marketing your garri
Garri sells even without advertisement. However, to be unique and build a brand for yourself, you need to adopt some good marketing techniques.
You can package your garri in customized bags with your company name and address on it.
The easiest and most effective way to market your garri is to find distributors. Supply to wholesalers and retails.
Go to local markets, supermarkets and everywhere garri is sold and make good offers to the sellers of the product. Offer to sell your garri to them at a discount. This would encourage them to buy from you and make them your customers. Having a good distribution network is very effective and efficient in marketing any product and increasing the reach of the product.
You have seen that the process involved in the production of garri is not very complex. This article has provided you with the basic processes involved in setting up your own garri production business. However, I advise you to go to any good garri processing factory around you and get a practical experience of the production process.
You can always start your production in small-scale and grow the business into a standard factory. You may also choose to partner with someone else to do it. If you need help regarding getting the funds needed to start the business, you can read my previous article on how to start a raise start-up capital for your business.
If you have a garri processing factory, you can share your experience here with others. Kindly do so using the comment section below.