Tuesday, May 6, 2014


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Maize (Zea mays, L.) is a staple food of great socio-economic importance in the Sub-Saharan Africa of which Nigeria is inclusive with per capital kg/year of 40.

Nigeria has an annual maize production in excess of 7 million metric tons. In terms of volume produced, maize is the third most important cereal grown in Nigeria after sorghum and millet. It comes after wheat and rice in terms of world importance.

The total land area planted to maize in Nigeria is above 2.5 million hectares with an estimated yield of about 1.4 metric tones per hectare.Maize is produced in virtually all the states in Nigeria, though some states produce more than others.

Some of states that maize is produced in large quantity in Nigeria includes Plataeu, Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Gombe, Bauchi, Zamfara, Benue , Kogi , Nassarawa and Taraba.

Different products like corn starch, corn flakes and corn flour can be produced from maize seed. This article focuses on the investment opportunity existing in the production of maize flour.

Maize flour is derived from grounded and desiccated seed of the maize seeds. It is whitish in colour and It is the second most produced and consumed flour after wheat flour, competing with rice flour.

Dry corn millers process corn in one of three ways:

1. A tempering degerming process;
2. stoneground or non-degerming process; or
3. alkaline-cooked process.

The main products of tempering / degerming process are

Flaking grits (large grits) 30 – 40 %
Brewers grits Small grits) 20%
Corn meal (coarse powder) 12 %
Corn flour( fine powder) 10%
Animal feed including germ 17-20 %

The most common process is the “tempering-degerming.” The first step in this process is to dry clean the corn, separating fines and broken from the whole corn. Occasionally wet cleaning follows to remove surface dirt, dust and other matter. The clean corn is tempered to 20 percent moisture. While moist, the majority of the outer bran or pericarp, germ, and tip cap are removed, leaving the endosperm. The bulk of the corn endosperm, known as the “tail hominy fraction,” proceeds through the degerminator, is dried, cooled, and sifted. A portion of this “fraction” is isolated as large flaking grits. Further separation is accomplished using roller mills, sifters, grinding tables, and aspirators so that an infinite variety of smaller grits, meals and flours can be produced.

Some of the equipments required for the production of corn flour includes cleaning equipment, degermer, roller mills,sifters, grinding tables, and aspirators.

The product can be fortified with vitamin A and the packaging would be in PP bags and different sizes of 2Kg, 5Kg, l0Kg, 25Kg and 50Kg packs can be produced to meet the differents needs of the market.

There is high demand for corn flour in Nigeria. With a population of over 165 million people and an estimated national population growth rate of 5.7% per annum ,an average economic growth rate of 3.5% per annum in the past five {5} years, Nigeria has a large market for corn flour.

The national demand for corn flour in Nigeria is estimated at about 800,000 tons/ annum while the current national supply is estimated at 350,000 ton per annum.

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