Nigeria is the largest producer of Cassava in the whole world. Garri is produce from cassava tubers as the most common and popular staple foods in Nigeria, consumed by over 130 million people. The industrial processing of cassava in Nigeria has huge potentials, as cassava can be processed into different products. Some of the products include Garri, Cassava Flour, ‘Fufu’, Tapioca, Ethanol, Cassava Chips, Starch, Glucose Syrup, etc, which are all in high demand both locally and in the international market.
About 75% of cassava produced in Nigeria is processed into garri, which makes it one of the major products obtained from processed cassava. On the average about 7.7 million metric tons of Garri is consume in Nigeria annually. There are various types of Garri in the market and what distinguished them is usually the method of processing, grain size and the location where it is produced.
However, the actual demand of Garri in Nigeria is 12 million metric tons per annum, leading to a deficit of about 4.3 million metric tons per year. This can only be resolved by the use of modern technology as against the traditional methods mostly being used presently. The huge deficit in the supply of Garri is as a result of the many small scale Garri producers scattered all over the rural areas using the traditional method of production.Therefore, a modern Garri processing plant is the key tool that will bridge this huge deficit gap and tap into the Garri market, as it will eliminate the stress and was
Topagro Modern Garri Processing Initiative is a new project aimed at economic empowerment and poverty alleviation of rural women and young people in Kwara state and Nigeria as a whole. The major objective of this initiative is to enhance and improve the households’ income and standard of living of the community in general, by establishing a Modern Garri Processing Factory in the community and also as a profit venture.
Ogidi, Okolowo and Alapa are remote village that consists of people with low income, high poverty and unemployment rates. Although, farming forms the major occupation of the people where the cultivation of Cassava constitutes the major crop produced. The major problem confronting this community include; the traditional farming methods (Labor intensive, Stressful, Drudgery and unattractive), lack of Value Addition to farm produce and very poor marketing channel. All this contributes to high level of wastage and loss of farm produce after harvest due to damage and deterioration.
This initiative, as a business venture will serve as off-taker for all the cassava produced and provide the community with viable market for all the farm produce. The Modern Garri Processing plant will be involve in purchasing cassava in large quantity and process into garri to be sold in bulk to the market. It will not only provide a ready market for the purchase of all the cassava produced, eliminating the fear of the cassava been damage or rotten, it will also provide the women and young people the opportunity to earn additional income by being engage in the garri production processes.
It will also help the farmers improve cassava farming using modern farming equipment's, improve seedlings and fertilizer to replace the subsistence traditional method that is stressful, labor intensive and unattractive in nature.
The success of the Topagro Modern Garri processing Ventures will propel TOPAGRO to replicate this initiative in other communities and villages around the country that are also involve in cassava production in large quantities. The aim is to be involved in ventures that will generate sufficient revenue that can support community development of the rural people where the projects are located.