When people tell you they want to start selling garri, you tend to look at them like they do not know what they are doing, what you do not know is that Marketing ‘Garri’ is a very lucrative business that can generate millions of Naira if started with a good capital. West Africa Garri is the powdery food material flour made from the tuberous roots of the cassava plant, which in the process of its manufacture is changed into dry edible granules.
In this article i am going to teach you how to generate millions of naira from processing and marketing garri in months. The taste of garri can range from bland to acidic sour depending on the level of fermentation. The level of fermentation is basically how long a bag of cassava mash is left to sit out on an elevated rack. The longer the days, the less toxic and more sour the resulting garri becomes.
Garri processing business is very lucrative, irrespective of the scale you are starting from you will make it big time. Advancement in technology has brought about increase in Garri production through the use of machines. You can package your garri the same way yam flour is packaged and supply to supermarkets.
To make garri flour, cassava tubers are peeled, washed and grated or crushed to produce a mash. The mash can be mixed with palm oil and placed in a porous bag, which is then placed in an adjustable press machine for 1–3 hours to remove excess water. Garri,a product gotten from the processing of cassava tubers is a very important staple food item in Nigeria. It is one of the food items that defy socio-economic class, religious and ethnic boundaries, It is doubtful if it is not eaten daily in one of every two homes in the country.
The annual national demand for garri is estimated at 1,000,000 tonnes while the national supply estimate is about 250,000. The Standards Organization of Nigeria classifies gari into: Extra Fine Grain Gari – where more than 80% of the grain passes through a sieve of less than 350-micrometre aperture. Fine Grain Gari – More than 80 % of the grains pass through a sieve of less than 1000 micrometre aperture.
You do not necessary need large amount of capital to start, Processing of cassava for food involves combinations of fermentation, drying, and cooking and Submerged fermentation involves the soaking of whole peeled, cut and peeled, or unpeeled cassava roots in water for various periods, as typified by the production of fufu and lafun in Nigeria.
How to process cassava into garri
Step 1: Harvest and sort your cassava to get the best
This is the last step in cassava farming and the first step in the process of garri production.
After harvesting your cassava from the farm, select only healthy whole roots that are appropriate for producing garri.
Because there is a need to select healthy cassava tubers, you need to sort your roots and pick the best ones.
After the sorting, transport the tubers to the cassava processing plant.
Step 2: Peel the Cassava Roots
When you reach the cassava processing plant, peel the cassava root using a knife.
You can also peel the roots before taking it to the cassava processing plant, especially if the processing plant has a good waste disposal system.
Some processing plants have complete cassava processing machines including peelers which you can use to peel larger quantities of cassava.
Step 3: Wash and clean the cassava root
Wash the fresh cassava roots in clean water to remove excess mud and sand.
Use a clean sponge or scourer to wash the cassava clean, removing extra peel, spots or dirt.
There is a special garri processing machine for this step too.
This step of Garri processing is very important so that the quality of the final Garri is without sand.
Step 4: Grate the Cassava Roots into Mash
The need to grate cassava roots into mash is to remove some cyanide from roots in the process.
In ancient times, people use a rough metal sheet to grate the cassava by hand. They usually sustain severe injuries on their fingers.
Nowadays, there is more efficient cassava processing machinery which is safer and easier to operate.
There are also locally fabricated garri processing machinery in Nigeria which you can get at an affordable price. However, the grating machine must be one with a stainless steel grating drum.
If you use a grater that is in any way less of stainless steel, you may be risking introducing rust and contaminating your product.
To grate the cassava using a cassava grating machinery, load the roots carefully on to the engine while is running to grate it into a mash.
Collect the mash from the output port of the machinery into a clean bowl.
The next step is to pour it into a clean polythene sack and allow it to ferment and drain.
NEVER Ever try to use your hands to force the roots deeper into the grater while it is still running!
OMG! I can’t imagine the gravity of injury you will sustain if the machine mistakenly grabs your hand.
Step 5: Ferment the Cassava Mash to Remove Hydrocyanic Acid
The essence of fermenting the cassava mash is to get rid of the hydrocyanic acid (HCN) which is natural in cassava tubers.
You must control the fermentation process properly because if you leave it to ferment for a very short period, it will result in incomplete detoxification and a bland product.
If you leave the cassava mash to ferment for too long a period, it will give the product a strong sour taste.
So, both over-fermentation and under-fermentation of garri will greatly affect the texture of the final gari.
How to Ferment Cassava mash in cassava processing
- Collect the cassava slurry into a clean polythene sack.
- Tie the sack using a very strong chord
- Arrange the sack of cassava slurry in the fermentation rack.
- Allow it to stay for one or more days to ferment
- While waiting for the garri to ferment enough, prepare the press for pressing.
Step 6: Press the cassava sack to drain the water in the garri
Before going into sifting and frying the garri, you need to drain the water completely.
You know you can’t achieve that by squeezing the bag of garri with you hands.
So, you have Load the bags directly on to a hydraulic press and tighten it very well.
Some people, especially those in rural areas, use wood and strong chords to tie the bag of garri. Some, place a heavy stone on the bag of garri to increase the pressure.
This is a very slow and unhygienic method of draining water from your garri. It is not a good method for a commercial garri producer.
The key thing to note in this step is to find that perfect moisture balance for the garri.
If after pressing the garri mash it is too wet, it will get lumpy during roasting. Also, if it is too dry, it will be too floury and dustlike.
How to know that the garri is ready for frying is that it will form a firm wet cake inside the bag.
Another way is when no more water comes out of the bag, it means that the garri is ready for the next step.
You will need to break it apart so that it comes out in smaller blocks which you can crush with your hands for sifting.
Step 7: After draining the garri mash, sift the wet cake into grits
In this step, all you have to do is to take out the wet garri cake and break it down with your hands.
What you will have will be grits of garri. Using a sifter, sift the garri grits to remove the lumps and fibrous roots it contains.
The aim is to obtain a high-quality product with uniform size granules.
Step 8: Fry or roast the grits to form edible garri
To fry the garri, gently spread some quantity of the grits into a frying pan or a garri fryer made of stainless steel material.
A garri fryer can make use of electricity, natural gas, firewood or charcoal as the heat source.
Whatever the source of heat is does not matter, what matters is the consistency of the temperature.
Use a temperature of 80 ºC/175 ºF to fry the garri until it is okay for removal.
If you use lower temperatures, the product will simply dry up slowly and produce a dry white powder.
Also, if the temperature is too high, it will result in charring of the product and it will make it stick to the roasting pan.
One thing you must do is always stir the garri until it is ready for evacuation from the fryer.
Doing this will make the heat spread uniformly throughout the garri roasting process.
How to know that your garri is ready after roasting?
- Scoop a little quantity of the garri out of the fryer
- Let the hot garri cool down a little
- Handle it with your hand and judge; if it is dry and crispy, then it is ready for evacuation, otherwise, continue frying.
When the garri finally gets the right texture, scoop everything out of the fryer and repeat the process of frying another quantity of garri until you finish everything.
You also note that you do need a cassava processing machine, if you do not have onne you can contact people who process garri and pay them then you distribute. i bet you will be amillionnaire in no time.