High Quality Cassava Peels (HQCP) production

 HQCP/CASSAVA PEELS FLOUR: Exploring the emerging markets in Cassava Processing Business


The operators in High Quality Cassava Peels (HQCP) production are not many in the Cassava Processing Business. And not much attention is on them or there business until recently. It was and still a smooth sail for them unlike the situations with other low entry cassava Processing businesses like garri, Fufu etc.

When I was first introduced into the business some four years ago by a big player in Oyo town, my eyes became opened to the mass market of animal feed production compare with human food production. One strong point is that we have more population of domesticated animals than human being on this surface of Earth. And the fact that they are domesticated makes their food demand from human being to be so huge.  Domesticated Animals like pigs, goats, cattle, rabbits, grass cutters etc and various poultry birds all depend on feed supply by their breeders.

The business of animal feed production is not only lucrative but the market is also very big and under satisfied. Aside the big players in this field; both local and foreign, we also have a class of players who engage largely in formulating feeds to breed their own animals. And this big market keep growing every day.

The feed production business started experiencing raw material challenges some 5 years ago when the price of dried maize was becoming too high. This led to increase in price of manufactured  animal feeds in the market. The ripple effect is much noticeable in poultry industries especially on the increased prices of chicken and eggs. Then, HQCP became a choice as carbohydrate source in compounding animal feeds either as a complete alternative or as supplement for dried maize. Since then, the market demand for HQCP has been very steady which unfortunately, its producers are unable to satisfy.

Unlike the regular wet or dried cassava peel that is used to feed ruminant and non ruminant animals, HQCP is largely use in the formulation and compounding of poultry feeds, fish meals and pelleted feeds for rabbits, grass cutters etc. Because of the processing the peels have passed through, it becomes easily digestible for those animals, birds and fishes. Its starchy content makes it a good binding agent in pellet feed production and also makes it flakes easily in float feed production. Almost all Animal feed manufacturers in Nigeria as of today source HQCP as an alternative carbohydrate source in their feed formulation.

Recently, the market for HQCP became more interesting - as the demand as recently skyrocketed. Lot of companies around (beyond feed Mills)  are now requesting for Cassava Peels flour. Which is simply made by grinding the dried peels into fine flour. I cannot confirm what it is being used for in these companies but the good thing is that cassava peel that used to be a waste and environmental mess some years back is now a business platform that one can easily cash out from. 

As at today, a ton of HQCP/Cassava Peel flour is sold for between N70,000 - N75,000. The lowest price per ton in the last four years was N55,000. Compare with garri production (with its monsterous associated cost), cassava peel business is much more lucrative.

Earlier this year when I was doing a business review of my activities in cassava value chain, delving into commercial HQCP production came up as one of the strategic way - forwards. New capital investment demand for procurement of needed machines and land at a strategic location that will guarantee continuous steady supply of raw cassava peels, necessitated the need for an investment partner(s). Unfortunately, none of the people I approached then saw the business from my point of view. Many of them preferred going into garri Processing. I don't blame them. I was also once attached emotionally to garri Processing like they do. Now, see as money is flowing from left to right among traders and operators in cassava peel business. It is well with us.

To be consistent in this business, one needs a dehydrator. It is not enough to depend only on solar drying. It limits production during the raining season. And that is exactly what is happening at the moment. A good cabinet dryer or Rotary dryer that can produce up to 5 tons per day is a good way to start. Economic heat source of such drier is also very important as many farm areas where such factories can be sited are without electricity. And cost of diesel nowadays is making use of generator counterproductive.

With 1.3 million naira or thereabouts, one should be able to get a high capacity cabinet dryer that will be using firewood as the heat source. The blower system and the furnace will help circulate the heat and control the smoke respectively. Other major machines required are hammer mill (with high capacity diesel engine, preferably R 1115), grinder and hydraulic press jacks. To say the least, it is a good business.

Let's keep exploring alternatives in Cassava Processing Business.

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