The latest survey on market price of food product has shown that the cost of garri has dropped by more than 60 percent in Enugu within four months.
According to the report from a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, who conducted the survey on Nigeria staple food on Monday, October 23, the price has gone down from as high as N1,250 to between N450 and N500 per paint bucket – a four-litre normally used as a standard measure for cereals in South East.
The latest development was confirmed by buyers who expressed happiness as they made purchases, saying they could get white garri for N450 and yellow garri for N500. Customers prayed the price should crash further or remain at current price.
Also, the traders attributed the price crash to the current bumper harvest of cassava after many Nigerians had yielded the call to return to the farm. One of the Garri sellers at Garki Market told our correspondent that many people ventured into cassava farming since last year and for that reason, its price had drastically dropped.
Others are optimistic about farming as a means of alleviating the high cost of food products in the market. At Kenyatta market, there is widespread belief that the cost of garri and other local farm produce may not get higher as most people had joined the farming system.
Like wheat flour, garri is a staple food in Nigeria coined from cassava and is consumed in various forms; as an appetizer, entree or dessert.
As an entree, the garri is cooked (eba) and eaten with soups of choice. As a dessert, it is soaked in cold water and sweetened with sugar and milk and goes well with coconut, groundnut/peanut etc.
Nigeria is currently the world largest producer of Cassava producing over 41 million metric tonnes per annum. Followed by Brazil, Thailand, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), and Indonesia.
Thailand does the most important global business in cassava since it is not part of their food security. They export over $20 billion worth of cassava products annually. Garri is largely produced in all the Southern and Middle Belt States of Nigeria.
Watch Video of Garri production
Many people shy away from garri processing or manufacturing the due to the perceived strenuous nature. It may have been so in the past but agriculture in recent times have experienced an encouraging development with the provision of mechanisms that ease the once tasking process of food production.
Garri processing requires a collective effort for a faster procedure and better produce.
A brief step by step procedure is this:
- First, the cassava tubers are harvested from the farms or bought in markets.
- Peeling. Then they are peeled and washed thoroughly till they are sparkling white.
- Grinding. The next stage is to grind the cassava tubers. A group can make this faster by collectively carrying them to the grinders.
- Drying. The grounded cassava is allowed to stay for four days to achieve absolute dryness.
- Sieving. The dryed garri is then sieved properly to rid the substance of
- Frying. After the sieving comes the frying of the dried cassava. At this stage it is safe to call the product garri.
Some people go ahead to re-sieve the garri to remove extra particles.