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Agriculture and the Nigerian Economy

 

Nigeria Economy is blessed with series of Natural resources, yet they suffer in the midst of plenty. Nigeria has a high poverty rate comparison with other African countries despite its high GDP.

well I once shared an article on Ways to boost the Nigerian Economy Through Agriculture Maybe you should check it out.

However, Nigeria’s Agricultural sector has a high potential for growth, but this potential is not realized. Productivity is low and basically stagnant.

Farming Systems, which are mostly small in scale, are still predominantly subsistence-based and for the most part depend on the varieties of the weather . Many agricultural policies have also been ineffective, either because they have been misguide  or because their impacts have been swamped by macro policies affecting inflation,  exchange rates, and cost of capital.

Recognizing these challenges the Federal Government of Nigeria has identified the modernization of the agricultural sector as a major priority.

This article is aimed at shedding some light on the role of agriculture in the Nigerian Economy.

SEE ALSO:  How to start plantain farming In Nigeria and Make millions

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Agriculture involves the science, practice and occupation of cultivating land ans raising crops. It also involves the feeding, breeding and raising of livestock, The main purpose of agriculture is to provide food and raw materials for human use.

Nigeria is currently poised to be a world power in the Agricultural sector.

The fact that Nigeria is richly blessed with abundant human and Natural resources is one point that has been consistently repeated in Various fora.

Agriculture contributes between 30 and 40 percent to the national gross domestic product (GDP) of the the country with a huge majority of the rural population engaging in subsistence Agriculture.

The relatively diverse variety of climate condition in Nigeria makes it possible to raise a wide range of crops across the country.

The major crops grown in economic quantity in Nigeria are beans, cashew nuts, cassava, cocoa, groundnuts, gum, Arabic kola-nut, Maize, melon, millet, oil palm, plantain and banana, rice, rubber, sorghum, Soy beans and yams.

Coupled with these crops Nigeria also produces fruits such as pineapples, oranges, lemon, lime, and tangerine.

Prior to the discovery of oil in Nigeria, agriculture was then the highest earner of foreign exchange for the country, and Nigeria was also largely self-sufficient in food production.

Although agriculture is no longer the focal point of the Nigerian Economy, it still plays some important roles in the country.

………………..To be continued on Roles of Agriculture in Nigeria’s Economy.

 

See how banana & plantain business can generate Millions

 

Banana farming is the most neglected farming in Nigeria, yet, holds more promises and profit potential than most other farming. Knowledge is power and useful, but when it is kept away from the others it becomes useless! In this post we want to take a look at banana and plantain farming in Nigeria and how to get started.

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You can be making N1million monthly from banana and plantain farming if you take it to the commercial standard. If many people Nigeria today could sit down and review their living standards, they will see that most of their complaints for poverty and their inability to take care of their situation were actually their own making.

Why would the city be clustered by hungry people who are doing nothing when the surrounding states are made up of vast expanses of productive farmlands? Even when you can make millions from farming without stress? Take up banana farming today and see how it goes.

Hear what a man said with regards to this: “I was shocked that I was largely to blame for the poverty I was wallowing in. Since then I resolved to do something to turn round the situation,”

Many people today are still wallowing in abject poverty notwithstanding that they can still conveniently do some things about the sad situation and rescue themselves from poverty, take care of the situation by embarking on personal business or the other instead of waiting endlessly for a white collar job that may be here today and gone tomorrow.

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Do you know that plantain and banana mean much more than being carried with tray-pan and running after vehicles on the go-slow as so many are seen doing in many parts of Nigeria? If we realize that the demands of these fruits that has become staple food in Nigeria and other parts of the world is increasing by the day, we would then know that thinking towards that area would make some serious business senses.

Take plantain for example, Nigerian are not playing with it as they prefer eating it in various ways both ripped and unripe and very good for those working on their sugar levels.

Again other foods like beans, rice, and groundnuts all make very good combination when taken with banana or plantain. Think again about the delicious chips that we like to eat, all these and many more are the end products of plantain.

So without going into much details, looking at various usages of these fruits is enough to tell someone with entrepreneurs mindset that this is simply, money in bunches!

You may be new into farming or has been farming but hasn’t cared enough to consider banana and plantain as all that important.

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But with the above brief analysis, we are encouraging you to give it a trial, with the assurance that if done properly,  you will not regret it.

For those interested in plantain/banana cultivation, we will be glad to provide you with just enough knowledge needed to go into its farming and take part of the profits that those already in the business are enjoying.

Guidelines For Starting Banana And Plantain Farming

  1. Look for the right climate –

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Plantain and banana have one thing in common and that is, they thrives very well in an average climate that is neither too hot nor very cold. They do well in naturally fertilized soil or thick compost manure. Having them in groups is another tricks to getting good harvest because they protect each other from harsh rays of the sun or alternatively, if there are other trees to provide some needed shades that could help to maintain the humidity of the environment, that would suffice.

SEE ALSO: Ways to boost the Nigerian Economy through Agriculture

  1.  Get Healthy suckers –
Banana and plantain suckers
Banana and plantain suckers

Bananas and Plantain are not grown like other plants but its grown through suckers and as such, choosing healthy suckers goes a long way to producing healthy harvests. Always use suckers from matured and dying plantain or banana plants.

  1. Transplant –

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While transplanting, make sure that the corm or the roots at the bottom is trimmed properly to facilitate good growths. Give five meters gap between plants and keep the plants moist at the early days but do not over wet the soil because the leaves are not yet out for much water evaporation.

 

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Also apply any method to have it protected from some strong winds and throwing the dead plantain leaves back into the plant is good to sustain the needed manure for good growth.

Do not leave much suckers to be attached with a plant as two are usually enough. Cultivating plantain or banana doesn’t usually cost much except the initial securing of the land and planting the suckers after which the plants keeps growing unassisted.

Once it starts to produce, another form of work involves is to make sure that strong winds doesn’t get freely to it as that could bound to be falling the trees.

Starting a plantain or banana farm is not in any way expensive if you have a sizable land. The only thing that you would spend little money on are for the clearing of the farmland and buying of the suckers for planting.

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For an acre of land, you may spend less than N300,000 to have every thing done and includes some clearing as the needs may be until the first harvest.

Once a plantain plantation picks up, the owner stands the chance of continuous harvest for the next 20-years or more depending on how the farm is maintained.

The best breeds to go for, is the “hybrid/agbagba” this is a good specie because apart from producing on time when properly taken care of, it’s usually very big and long; making people to compare it with elephant trunks.

Maintaining the plants doesn’t entail more than heaping soil around the suckers, removing of the unwanted suckers, fertilization, mulching and weeding once in a while.

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In a banana or plantain farming is very lucrative because any amount it gives you on the first harvest, be sure that with less hard work than all that you started with, you would be making an increment year by year till the next 20 years or there about.

Plantain farming is a sure business if only the farmer see it as such. When you go to mile 12 market, Ketu market or any other markets where the fruits are being sold, you would be made to understand better that those making it possible are not in any where joking because it is a viable business.

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Though the business is lucrative but the advice from long time farmers is,

‘The size of your farm should depend on the size of your dream, creativity and innovation. Avoid taking on too much than you can be able to handle financially and in terms of personnel’. Besides embracing modern farming practices, seeds and technology, be passionate about what you do and give farming additional time’.

Those are the words from the horse’s mouth, those who had changed their life stories with various forms of farming, banana and plantain inclusive.

The man we started his testimonies with in this post still has much to share with us as he continues….

“I had always dreamed of becoming a big farmer. Naturally, I was inclined to the agriculture sector, in which I believed I had some basic skills to do a decent job,”

That didn’t do much for him until he backed up his words with determination and stood up to carry out his long held heart desires of going into farming and that changed his life for the better as he have this to say “I could now see my dream taking shape…I could see myself as the biggest farmer in our locality. I was determined to make commercial farming a pedestal for a better future for my family,”

You may be surprised to know what this successful farmer is giving these praises to. He started with Pineapple farming and cattle rearing and later diversified into banana cultivation. His testimonies continues…

“I was among the poorest people in the sector, but he now I owns the most beautiful house in the entire village. My children are studying in one of the best schools in town.” This farmer concludes with this counsel for farmers: “Always plan your projects well and be focused. He adds that only those that dare to dream big and take that extra-mile achieve goals. The reality of this saying can only be proved by embarking on the lucrative plantain farming.

Ways to boost the Nigerian economy through Agriculture

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According to Wikipedia, agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants and fungi for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. It is important therefore to work towards boosting the Nigerian economy through agriculture.

Nigeria is a nation that depends solely on crude oil to drive its economy. Nigeria has been having it good economically until recently, due to the crash of oil price globally and no thanks to the resumed hostilities in the Niger Delta region which has immensely and adversely affected Nigeria’s economy.

To say it simply, Nigeria can no longer depend solely on oil to survive economically. Nigeria must as a matter of urgency diversify its economy for its survival and agriculture readily comes to mind to answer the question of diversification.

Before the discovery of crude oil, Nigeria was basically operating an agrarian economy, which involved the cultivation and exportation of cash crops like cocoa, groundnut, palm oil, etc. It is now high time Nigeria got back to agriculture for economic sustainability. As Anietie Udoema once said, “you cannot change a winning formula.” If agriculture sustained Nigeria in the past, it can equally sustain Nigeria now.”

✅Important Reasons Why Nigeria Must Embrace Agriculture

Nigeria stands to gain a lot if particular if urgent attention is paid to agricultural development. According to Wikipedia, agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing over 300 million farmers.

According to Chief Audu Ogbe, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), as published by The Guardian Newspaper of February 13 2016, Nigeria spends a whopping $20b on food importation yearly and National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria reported that agriculture’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP), decreased from N4.5b in the fourth quarter of 2015 to N3.2b in the first quarter of 2016.

The above therefore implies that Nigeria loses so much in food importation and generates so little economically with regards to agriculture. Other reasons are:-

  1. Employment opportunity.
  2. Food security.

  3. Economic sustainability.

✅Practical Ways To Boost Nigerian Economy Through Agriculture

  1. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has farms across the 36 states of Nigeria, which is managed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should undertake a national survey and tour of the FGN farms and publish the addresses of the farms.

  1. The FGN through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development should employ youths into the Federal farms to cultivate the farms. The employees should be paid as civil servants. However, they must be supervised and monitored to make sure work is done.
  • Offices should be built on the farm where full administrative and supervisory work takes place.

  • Ranches, piggeries, poultries, etc should be built on the farms and animal and crop farming will be going on simultaneously.

  • Markets should be built on the farms so that harvested farm produce can be sold immediately without the stress of transportation and other inconveniences.

  • The farmlands or shops in the market could be leased or rented to as many as are interested.

  • Food storage should be a top priority of the government. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as President established 7 silos for the storage of food. One of the silos which is located in the Sheda Area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is 100,000 metric tonnes silo and is reputed to be the largest in West Africa. More silos can still be built. Every farm should have storage facilities.

  • Public Private Partnership should be encouraged. Government should bring in investors.

  • Farmers and investors should be encouraged by favorable policies, tax rebates or tax holidays, etc.

  • Agricultural Science or agricultural studies as the case may be should be introduced into the education curriculum as a compulsory subject or course from nursery or elementary to tertiary institutions. Every Nigerian student at any level must learn about farming and own a farm while in school. At the tertiary level, the FGN can get a clue from Landmark University, Omu Aran, Kwara State, which ‘Agrarian Revolution’ as its mission.

  • Conclusively, according to the words of Allan Savoy, “without agriculture, it is not possible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of any civilization and any stable economy.”

     

     

    how to Start plantain farming in Nigeria and Make millions

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    By now, it should be no surprise to you that agriculture is the most

    lucrative business sector in Nigeria . This has led to a huge boost in local and international investment, which has seen the agriculture industries potential increase exponentially.

    If you’re still thinking about whether or not to invest in Nigerian agriculture, you should stop thinking and make a decision today. My advice to you is – don’t delay. The industry is so full of potential, and moving so quickly that you risk being left behind.

    If you are already planning to start plantain farming in Nigeria, then you have made the right choice to help you turn your financial status around. With very little capital, plantain farming can help you make millions of Naira every year.

    The secret to successful plantain farming is to ensure that you learn the basics, and master a few tricks of the trade. This is why you can start small and scale up to earn a lot from it.

    The Plantain tree is a native of Asia, having been cultivated first in 500BC by South Indians. It has spread widely throughout the tropics, moving from Africa to the Caribbean and Latin America. At present though, Nigeria is a large producer of plantain. Nigeria produces more for local consumption in comparison to export.

    You might be wondering why is plantain farming such a lucrative business? Plantain farming in Nigeria is so lucrative because plantain features heavily in the staple diet of most Nigerians. The few farmers who are successfully operating in this sector are making millions of Naira.

    There is a large demand for plantain across the world and in Nigeria, but supply is struggling to meet demand. By following the simple steps given ahead, you will be well on your way to fulfilling this demand and providing yourself with a healthy income!

    But before you start, it is important that you are aware of the health benefits of plantain.

     

    Health Benefits of plantain 

    1. Plantains are very reliable sources of starch and energy.
    2. Plantains contain a high amount of dietary fibre, which helps ensure healthy bowels and reduces constipation.

    3. Plantains have more vitamin C than bananas. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen- free radicals.

    4. Plantains have more vitamin A than bananas. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin A plays a vital role in the visual cycle, maintaining healthy mucus membranes, and enhancing skin complexion.

    5. As in bananas, they too are rich sources of B-complex vitamins, particularly high in vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine). Pyridoxine is an important B-complex vitamin that has a beneficial role in the treatment of neuritis, anemia, and to decrease homocystine (one of the causative factors for coronary artery disease (CHD) and stroke episodes) levels in the body.

    6. Plantains also contain folates, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin. Folates (folic acid) are essential for healthy pregnancy.

    7. Plantains also provide adequate levels of minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorous. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well.

    8. Plantains have more potassium than bananas. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure, countering negative effects of sodium.

    9. Plantains are famed to be diuretic and can help prevent kidney and bladder problems.

    10. Plantains ease the discomfort associated with the menstrual period.

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    how to Start plantain farming in Nigeria 

    Step #1: Purchase suitable land to start your own plantain farm

    Plantain needs the right kind of climate to grow- for it cannot survive in too hot or too cold environments. If you already have land you need to ensure that it meets these basic conditions.

    Plantains grow best in conditions where the soil retains water, that’s why plantain plantations in Nigeria are irrigated. You may not have the means to carry out irrigation so you should consider soils that retain water, have a good humus layer and you should always improvise by incorporating animal manure to the soil to improve on the humus and texture of the soil to retain water. You can also make your own compost by using chicken manure to increase its fertility.

    Step #2: Clearing the land

    Once you have purchased your land, you will need to clear it.

    Clearing of land includes removal of trees, brush, stumps and stones amongst other obstacles. This is necessary to increase the area of the land base for producing crop, or to make your land suitable for plantain farming operation.

    Depending on your budget, available equipment and the location of your plantain farm, you can go for either manual or mechanised clearing.

    Step #3: Prepping the land

    Once the land for your plantain farm is cleared, you will need to take certain steps for making the land suitable for growing plantain. This is necessary for creating the right soil conditions for a healthy growth of these young plants, and to ensure that your plantain plantation is successful in the long run.

    Land preparation should be done long before you start the process of transplantation of the plant suckers. Although this step may require significant efforts and investment, you cannot skip it, or you will have an unsuccessful harvest, which will set back your plans of owning a successful plantain farm.

    Prepping the land will also enable you to structure and plan your farming operational processes and procedures.

    The areas that you must consider are:

    ⏩The availability as well as the quality of water for irrigation that you have

    ⏩Mechanical actions that will need to be implemented and how they will be implemented

    ⏩Selection of land

    ⏩Any chemical requirements for improving the soil before transplantation

    ⏩Equipment and tools that will be required for the cultivation of plantain

    ⏩Labor and manpower requirements

    ⏩Leaching schedule

    ⏩Time schedule

    ⏩Financial requirements

    ⏩Hole preparation

    Step #4: Purchasing Plantain Suckers

    Plantains are propagated vegetatively, from corms, which are underground bulbs or rhizomes or from suckers, which are shoots that grow from the bud that is at the plant base.

    Since the use of the entire corm is quite laborious, the more common method is to grow those using small corms. The mother plant makes three kinds of plantain suckers, namely sword suckers, maidenheads and water suckers.

    Sword suckers come with a short pseudostem and have narrow leaves, similar to blades, along with a narrow base. When they mature, they have fruitful and healthy pseudostems.

    Maidenheads come with a pseudostem that is large and does not produce any fruit; white water suckers have broad leaves with short pseudostems.

    Water suckers do not have a strong attachment to the rhizome, and produce less fruit with weaker plants. They are less preferred in comparison to large sword suckers and maidenheads.

    It is essential that you purchase suckers only from a farm that is reputable and trusted. There is no fixed price for these, a conventional sucker can cost anywhere around N50 to N100, while a hybrid will cost around N120 to N200. This price may again, vary depending on where you procure it.

    Step #5: Planting

    It is essential that before you begin your plantain plantation, you eliminate any grass or weed competition. To prevent any re-growing of weed, you can use mulching.

    However, for turf grass, you will need to either use herbicides or go by the hoeing technique. If you are planning to plant for producing fruit, there should be a space of at least 8-10 feet in between. Irrigation needs to be applied at regular intervals to keep the soil moist. Ensure that there is no standing water since plantains are not tolerant to wet conditions.

    Step #6: In-organic and organic fertilization

    After planting, you will need to manure them using a combination of household waste, poultry manure and woodash for improving the growth and yield of plantains. It will also help to reduce the infestation by nematodes and borer weevils.

    Organic manure helps maintain the temperature of the soil, conserve its moisture content and help regulate soil acidity. This will help you make the most of your efforts for plantain farming in Nigeria.

    Step #7 Harvest

    Plantain trees produce large bunches of heavy fruit, which may cause the tree to slump or droop. If you find that your plantain tree is struggling to stand up due to the weight, use string and bamboo poles to tie and prop the tree.

    Fruits appear within 90 to 120 days after the tree flowers. Upon fruiting, plantains are typically ready for harvest within 6 to 8 months.

    Step #8 Market

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    As a farmer or producer of plantain your ultimate aim is to secure buyers for your produce. In most instances this should be straight forward as there is currently a high demand for plantain.

    Buyers can range from the mama in your local market to large companies/industries. However, since industries do not buy small quantities and require that plantains meet international standards, you will only gain access to this important market if your production is to industry specification, both in terms of quantity, quality and time.

    Conclusion

    Following these steps with dedication is how you successfully establish your own plantain farm in Nigeria, which is not only a source of great income, but also a way to help the economy of Nigeria.

    How To Produce Garri In Commercial Quantity And make Million

     

    20160716184956For instance, if you taste a Yoruba made garri and Igbo version,you are bound to notice some major and minor differences just like you would of a Togo and Ghana garri.

    The guideline is to know what appeals to your market, if not onemay end up with the right product in the wrong market.In Nigeria, one may have the options of producing garri with varying methods and have it taken to the market for sale but among these various methods of productions, manually produced garri usually last longer than quickly made ones which contains moisture and starts getting bad as soon as it’s bagged, but the downside of this methods of production is that it doesn’t pass the international standards and are not fit for exportation.

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    Garri production is a very big business that is churning out millions of naira for those doing just the ways it should be done. The investors with the right machinery are making real money producing this essential commodity in some great quantity to serve the market that is far from being saturated as the demands of it continues to increase.

     

    It is a viable business because it is one of the most widely consumed food in Africa and beyond.jdghjhgkhgkhg As the population of Africa continues to grow along with its economy, likewise the demands of staple foods like garri continues to match up with it.

     

    To start with, Garri is a product of Cassava which thrives in African soil due to good tropical climate. Even when other farm produce fails, cassava is is very sure to live up to expectations in bringing good harvest to the farmers.

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    There are so many ways to convert the produce of cassava into different foods in Africa which garri happens to be the most among the list and its accepted throughout Nigeria as a common food for all.

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    common man’s food

    Put simple, garri is a common man’s food.

    Sometimes and no matter how intense the economy is or howhard other food commodities may be to obtain in the market, the common question from caring relatives or others are usually,‘Hope you are eating garri or ebba?’ as its otherwise called. Just to show you how sure and affordable garri is.

     

    Garri is very common and that has affected its prices for a long time now and making it to be stable. At least,close to 80% of cassava produce are processed into garri  just to show you how high the demands of garri is around within the country not to talk of having it exported to other countries which those who met the stringent exports requirements are doing.

    You may not have to concern yourself over that because you can still make it big producing and selling it locally and even contact those exporting it to be buying from you if are sure of enough quantities and best processed products.If you have interest in garri production, here are some tips to guide you into making it a reality as you are sure to have your millions to show for it.For any serious entrepreneur to go into garri production, he may have to invest in cassava production which in its own is a profitable farming in Nigeria.

    But if you are sure of having a steady supply of cheap and fresh cassava tubers, then you can still make it without your own farm.Another important thing to keep in mind is that cassava is a perishable item and if left for a long time it may get spoiled and that would affect your end product; because of that, always have the time frame in mind whenever you are placing order for a fresh supply or going to the market to buy yourself.

    You also need to understand that there are varieties available in the markets and so make yours to be in line with what is preferred locally and in various demands too in case you have different markets with different taste traditions in mind.

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    If you want garri to last for months without any form of degenerating, then take time to prepare yours by making sure that there is no moisture contents in the finished products which can be achieved using machine production.Instead of just going the markets and buying finished products for sale which may not meet the preferred standards, if one could spare the time and effort in having it produced properly even if it costs higher, you will be assured of having regular buyers that prefers good and well processed garri for distribution to markets of interest.

    For those that could afford it, investing in cassava processing machinery could go a long way in having quality end products in market and that gives the person peace of mind while selling it because those who are dealing with quickly processed ones are usually in a hurry to have theirs sold of before it begins to spoil in their hands, but if you are known tobe having good quality of well processed garri in the market, that has the capabilities of positioning you well even before the exporters to the foreign markets.Since every other things are going technological, garri processing is not left behind.

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    Before now and still, there are those who are still using the old and crude methods of processing garri, which many say is economical, but in terms of hygiene, it scores zero.

    There are now some machines in the Western parts of Nigeria which takes up the process of cassava tubers on the arrival at the plant and have them turned into hygienically ready to eat end product of garri.

    One stand better chances of having this done perfectly if he is into the farming himself,which is not all that hard as it’s explained here.Go for this modern tech in garri productions as it is sure to take off manual labor and give you the best of what you want. Garri production is a serious discussion on the internet and offline because people are just waking up to the realities of what are achievable with good production of well processed garri in the market.Farming has been discovered to be the number one investment that many people can be in and still not be able to satisfy the market demands.

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    Garri is such that no matter how much you are able produce it, once it’s of some high qualities of internationally acceptably standards, you are sure to be shaken hands with full time exporters that are into millions themselves and with you would become by having business dealing with them.