There is no doubt that one of the biggest problems confronting our nation today is unemployment. It is the root cause of poverty, youth restiveness, gangstarism, bank robbery, outlandish assassinations, lawlessness, kindnapping and all sorts of deviant behaviours. The number of unemployed youths is mind-boggling and among them are over five million young boys and girls with NYSC discharge certificates roaming about the noaks and crannies of the country searching for jobs that do not exist.
The situation is not totally hopeless because governments, communities and civil society organizations are coming up with strategies that can alleviate poverty and empower rural folks by creating wealth. Some of them are Improved Gari Production Plants, Cottage Industries, and Entrepreneurship etc.
We encourage state governments, Local Governments, Community Development Bodies and others to join in the task of creating jobs by establishing and expanding projects in their localities that will use local raw materials in creating wealth and jobs.
Cassava is God’s gift to the tropics because it can grow in poor soil with inadequate rainfall. The starchy roots of assava are major source of food for more than 700 million people all over the world. It ranks third in order of staple food crops in developing countries after rice and maize. It is called Manic in French, Tapioca in Latin America, Mandioca in Portuguese and Yucca in Spanish. It has universal applications.
Nigeria is the world largest producer of Cassava. We produce over 41 million metric tones per annum and we are followed by Brazil, Thailand, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Gongo), and Indonesia. Thailand does the largest global business in cassava because it is not part of their food security. They export over $20 billion worth of cassava products annually. Nigeria has tried to expand the local cassava business through the Composite Flour Initiative and the Cassava Empowerment Fund but so far, they have attained little or no success. Cassava is produced in all the Southern and Middle Belt States of Nigeria.
It is produced from Cassava Tubers and is the commonest stable food in Nigeria consumed by over 130 million people. We consume about 7.7 million tons of gari per year and it comes to about 30.7 million tons of our cassava production. This shows that about 75 percent of our cassava out put is consumed as staple while only 25 percent is used as raw materials for starch, chips, pellets and flour which are industrial raw materials that can be exported. Our actual annual demand for gari is 12 million tons but to accomplish this, the production facilities must be improved and up graded and Cassava Product must also improve.
Our population grows at the rate of 3.5 percent annually and this means that the food capacity must also grow commensurately. Gari is produced in the rural areas by local women and the process is full of drudgery and stress thus most of them are giving up the trade and the younger ones are not interested because they prefer life in the cities. The modern Gari Processing Plant is designed to fill this void.
4. EQUIPMENT AND PRICE
The heart of this Modern Gari Processing Plant is the Roasting or Frying Pot which is made of Stainless Steel and insulated with fiberglass to absorb heat from the fire. It is powered by 2HP gear motor that rotates the paddles that continuously turn the frying gari mash. The full lists of the equipment are:
1 (NO) Stainless Steel; HAMMER Mill with 15 HP Electric Motor Capacity – 1 ton / hr.
4 (NO) Fermentation Racks
4 (NO) Hydraulic Jack (Mechanical) Press Capacity 1 ton / hr.
1 (no) Stainless CAKE Granulator with 7.5 HP, Motor, 1 ton / hr.
2 (NO) Gari Roasting / frying Pot with 2 HP Gear Motor, Exhaust Pipe and can be fired with Firewood, Charcoal etc. 2 tons / day.
4.1 PRODUCTION CAPACITY
The Hammer Mill or the Cassava Grating Machine and the Granulating Machine have capacities of 1 ton per hour. This means that within one day of 8 hours, they will process 8 tons of cassava mash. The two frying machines will then roast or fry them into two tons of gari or 40 bags of 50kg per day. Four tons of cassava tubers produce one ton of gari. The capacity of the plant is therefore 2 tons of gari or 40 bags of 50kg per day of 8 hours. Output will increase if production hours increase.
4. 2 THE PRICE OF THE PLANT
The price of the plant is N5 million (Five Million Naira). It is rugged, resilient and made of stainless steel to satisfy both SON and NAFDAC requirements. It reduces drudgery and stress which are the bane of local gari production. The gari has moisture content of 10 percent, sand of less than 1 percent and hydrocyanic acid of less than 10 percent. The shelf life is over six months and the gari is hygienic and free of microbial contamination and infestations.
5. TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF PURCHASE
80 percent of the price will be paid at commissioning, 10 percent after delivering, and before installation and 10 percent after installation and test run.
Civil works for the mounting of the machines and electrical connections will be the responsibility of the client.
Delivery Period: Delivery of the machines shall be 8 weeks from the payment of the 80 percent and the clearing of the cheque.
Transportation: The transportation will be born by the client. We envisage that one 911 truck or 20 feet container can carry one plant.
Installation: Our technicians will install and test run the plant. The client will provide the central gear switch of about 100 amps, motor starters and gear switches. We will do the bases for the hammer mill and the granulator but the client will provide the materials. It will take a maximum of 1- 2 weeks if the electrical connections, water, power etc are in place. The client will take care of their accommodation, transportation, feeding etc. The production space should be about 200 squaremeters and frying pots should be located in a well ventilated location.
Test run: About 5 tons of cassava tubers shall be required for the test run and it will be provided by the client.
Training and commissioning: Your operators: Technician (1), welder (1) and electrician (1) will be trained during the installation. They are therefore encouraged to participate in the installation and commissioning.
Warranties: 6 months for any production problem excluding changeable parts affected by aging, misuse and accidents.
Technical support: Supply of spare parts at short notice, maintenance, quality control to ensure standard and consultancy services when needed.
Validity: This quotation is valid for 90 days from the date of submission after which the price may change.
6. PROFITABILITY OF THE PROJECT
1. The conversion rate of tubers to processed gari is 4 tons of cassava tubers to 1 ton of gari.
2. That 1 ton of cassava tuber delivered to the plants is N 5,000 per ton.
3. That the other costs of production are not more than 50 percent of the cost of cassava tuber .i.e. 50% of N 20, 0000 which is N 10,000.
4. That the selling price of one 50kg bag of gari is N5,000
6.2 Profit forecast
2 Tons per day of 8 hrs N
Cassava tubers (8 tons x N5,000) 40,000
Other costs of production (50%) 20,000
Net profit per day 20,000
Profit per year (working 6 days
Per week or 313 days in a year
(313 x N20,000) N 6,260, 000
The project will retire all debts after the first year of operation and return a profit of about N 1,260,000. This shows that it is viable and feasible. It can also retire the debt within six months if it operates on two shifts per day.
7. OTHER APPLICATIONS OF THE PLANT
The plant can also be used in processing unriped plantain flour which is consumed mostly by diabetic patients. About 15 percent of our populations are diabetic and the number is increasing rapidly because of our eating habits. Most states that produce cassava also produce plantain. Plantain is manually peeled, grated in the hammer mill and pressed in the hydraulic jack to dewater it. It is then granulated, roasted and finally milled again in the hammer mill to reduce it to the appropriate particle size. The demand for hygienically produced plantain flour is high because doctors often prescribe it for patients. It does not contain carbohydrate. It also has high export potential. Gari processing Plants can also incorporate it in their activities to maximize profit during the plantain season. The unripe plantain must not be more than four days old before it is processed.
The plant is robust and versatile and will help in creating employment in the rural areas while enhancing the availability of gari. It will reduce the drudgery and stress in gari production and will also attract unemployed graduates to gari processing. The profitability is impressive since it can retire all debts within the first year of operation and return a net profit at N1.26 million profitability will also increase if the shifts are increased. The plant can also be used in processing unriped plantain flour. It is highly recommended to state governments, local Government and community Development Agencies who should use it in poverty alleviation, rural empowerment, employment creation and revenue generation.