HOW TO START A HIGH QUALITY CASSAVA FLOUR PRODUCTION BUSINESS

  1. Introduction

High quality cassava flour (HQCF) is simply unfermented cassava flour. It can be used as a partial replacement for many bakery and pasta products. High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) can be used as an alternative for starch and other imported materials such as wheat flour in a variety of industries in many countries in Africa. Uses of HQCF include raw material for the production of glucose syrups, industrial alcohol and bakery products, the production of adhesives, as an extender for plywood glues and as a source of starch in textile sizing.

The by-product obtained from the production of HQCF is called ‘cassava peels’. cassava peels are mostly used as an ingredient in the production of feeds for poultry, cattle and other livestock.

  1. Industry Analysis

The annual national demand for High Quality Cassava Flour {HQCF} is estimated at 750,000 tonnes while the national supply estimate is about 50,000 tonnes. The High Quality Cassava Flour {HQCF} industry in Nigeria is dominated by small scale producers with production capacity of less than 0.1 tons per day. The production plants are usually found in all parts of Nigeria where the chief raw material, Cassava tubers,  is produced.

The demand for High Quality Cassava Flour {HQCF} in Nigeria is high. The driving force behind the demand is the federal government policy on cassava flour inclusion in wheat flour for cassava wheat composite flour production especially for bread and confectionery baking.

  1. Raw Materials Requirement

The basic raw material for the production of HQCF is cassava tubers. Cassava is a perennial woody shrub with an edible root, which grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Cassava originated from tropical America and was first introduced into Africa in the Congo basin by the Portuguese around 1558. Today, Cassava supports the livelihood of over 500 million Africans.

It is rich in carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins B and C, and essential minerals. However, nutrient composition differs according to variety and age of the harvested crop, and soil conditions, climate, and other environmental factors during cultivation.

Nigeria is currently the largest producer of cassava in the world with an annual production of over 55 million tonnes of tuberous roots. Cassava is largely consumed in many processed forms in Nigeria. The demand for cassava and its constituents is high in the domestic economy. However, the supply has been unable to meet the huge demand.

Benue and Kogi states in the North Central Zone are the largest producers of cassava (IITA, 2004). Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Delta dominate state cassava production in the South South. Ogun, Ondo and Oyo dominate in the South West and Enugu and Imo dominate production in the South East.

Other raw materials that will be needed in a HQCF production business are water, additives and packaging materials.

  1. Machinery & Equipment Requirements

The major equipment needed in a small-scale HQCF production plant are: Cassava Peeling and Washing Machine, Cassava Slicing Machine, Drying Machine, Hammer Mill, Sifter,, Weighing Scales and Sealing Machine.

EquipmentFunctionPicturePrice
Cassava Peeling & Washing MachinePeels & washes the cassavaN1,600,000
GraterGrates the cassava into smaller sizesN900,000
Automatic Presser2 UnitsPresses and dewaters the grated cassavaN600,000 per unit
Flash DryerFor DryingN9,500,000
Sifter 2 UnitsFor siftingN200,000 per unit
Hammer Mill With CycloneFor grinding/crushingN600,000
Weighing ScaleFor weighing productsN100,000
Sealing MachineFor sealing final products in bags.N50,000
Sealing MachineFor sealing final products in sachetsN70,000

Notes: The above prices are applicable as at the time of writing this report.

  1. Production Process

Typically, when cassava tubers comes into the mill, it goes through the following steps:

A. Peeling & Washing

Cassava tubers are passed through the peeling and washing machine which peels and at the same time wash the cassava.

B. Grating

Peeled and washed cassava tubers are grated into a mash using the grating machine. 

C. De-Watering

The cassava mash is packaged in bags and transferred to the presser machine. This machine presses the mash and expels the water content of the mash.

D. Drying

The dewatered cassava is transferred to the drying machine which dries it within a short period of time.

E. Milling

The dried mash is passed to the hammer mill which grinds it into fine flour.

F.  Sieving

The flour produced is sieved using the sifter machine to remove particles such as fibre, etc.

G. Packaging

The final product is then packaged into desired packs of %0Kg, 25Kg, etc.

  1. Profitability

The profitability of HQCF production largely depends on the cost of the primary raw material, cassava. The price fluctuates with season, demand and supply. As the price of cassava changes, so also does the price of HQCF.

  • As of the time of writing this report, the average cost of cassava is N60,000 per ton. Depending on the quality of cassava, an average of 1,000Kg of HQCF is obtainable from processing 4 tons of cassava. This implies that it will cost N240,000 to produce 1 ton of HQCF.
  • The average factory price for HQCF is three hundred and eighty naira (N380) per kilogram.

This implies that a revenue of (N380 X 1000) = N380,000 is obtainable from processing 4 tons of cassava to produce 1 ton of HQCF.

Gross Profit is calculated by subtracting the cost of production from the sales.

Gross Profit = N350,000 – N240,000 = N110,000

Assuming operating expenses (including cost of packaging) takes 20% of profits, profit realisable from producing 1 ton of HQCF will be eighty eight thousand naira (N88,000).

The proposed setup will have the capacity of producing 5 tons of HQCF per day.This will translate to a profit of N88,000 X 5 = N440,000 per day.

If the factory works for 25 days per month and at 50% of the installed capacity, this will translate to a profit of N5,500,000 per month.

  1. Capital Requirements

The estimated total required capital for setting up a small-scale HQCF production plant is put at twenty three million three hundred thousand naira (N23,300,000). This includes the cost of factory rent, machinery procurement and installation, staff training, and working capital.

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