AGRICULTURE: Potential Industrial Uses For Cassava.

Cassava and garri

The potential industrial uses for cassava and research priorities for developing cassava starch and dried cassava roots as industrial raw materials in six different industries in Nigeria: textile, petroleum drilling, pharmaceutical, soft drink, beer malt and ethanol/alcohol industries. Among these six industry, there are three potential industrial uses for cassava is high: soft drink, beer malt and ethanol/alcohol industries.

The first is syrup concentrate for the soft drink industry. In Nigeria, the soft drink industry is dominated by Coca Cola which imports the syrup concentrates and keeps them as a trade secret. Syrup concentrate has been successfully made from cassava starch by International Institutes of Tropical Agriculture - (IITA) post-harvest technologists. A pilot project is needed to determine its acceptability and potential profitability in making soft drinks.
The chart flow of cassava flour making processing

The second potential industry use of cassava is in the beer industry. Beer has been brewed in Nigeria with imported barley malt for many decades. However, in 1985/86, Nigeria banned grain imports and the brewery industry began to produce beer malt with sorghum produced in northern Nigeria. The initial concern that sorghum beer would not be acceptable to consumers proved to be without basis as beer consumption did not decline after sorghum malt was used to replace barley malt. The Nigerian beer industry currently uses about 200 000 tonnes of sorghum each year to make beer malt (RMRDC, 1996). No attempt has yet been made to prepare beer malt from dried cassava roots produced in southern Nigeria where most of the beer industries are based. However, biochemists at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) believe that given the right enzyme, it is possible to prepare beer malt from dried cassava roots. The manager of the Golden Guinea Brewery, Umuahia believes that consumers would accept cassava malt beer judging from their ready acceptance of sorghum beer in the mid 1980s. However, the manager reported that Golden Guinea would be reluctant to invest in research on making beer malt from cassava roots because patent law is not enforced in Nigeria. Research is needed to develop the technology for making beer malt from dried cassava roots.

Cassava washing and peeling machine

The third potential industrial use for cassava as an industrial raw material is a cassava-based alcohol industry. Currently, Nigeria imports about 90 million litres of alcohol annually with about 80 million litres being used by the liquor industry. If the 80 million litres were produced from cassava, it would require 500 000 tonnes of dried cassava roots which would increase the demand for cassava, raise farm income, generate on-farm and off-farm jobs and save foreign exchange. However, a cassava-based ethanol industry should be of more help to other cassava producing countries that import petroleum because Nigeria is subsidizing the retail price of gasoline. A feasibility study should be carried out to determine the economics of a cassava-based alcohol industry in Nigeria and a cassava-based ethanol industry in other African cassava producing countries that import petroleum.

Did you know there is a huge potential for the establishment of Cassava Processing Plant in Esanland. You can process Cassava for local use and export. The market is huge and untapped. check out Matna Foods Limited, a Cassava Processing company, near Akure, in the Southwest, who’s been in business since 2001; this modern plant has been producing high quality, food-grade cassava starch for export and for local manufacturers.

For high yield cassava stems, cassava research from production to marketability visit IITA, in Ibadan.  
To learn on Cassava processing machines visit: Doing Company