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    How to Generate Income From Plantain Flour

    Plantain flour is flour obtained from milling unripe plantains. Plantains are a staple food in tropical regions of the world. It can either be used for domestic consumption or as an input by other producers. It is rich in iron, ascorbic acid, vitamin C, carotene, and other vitamins.

    Plantain flour is flour obtained from milling unripe plantains. Plantains are a staple food in tropical regions of the world. It can either be used for domestic consumption or as an input by other producers. It is rich in iron, ascorbic acid, vitamin C, carotene, and other vitamins.

    Plantain flour is lower in calories than regular all-purpose flour; it is naturally gluten- and lactose-free. It is an excellent substitution for wheat flour in dishes such as pancakes. In breads, it can replace up to 30% of regular flour. Plantain flour is made by drying green, unripe plantains and grinding them into flour.

    The demand for plantain flour is increasing daily, especially with the increasing reported cases of diabetes; therefore, the degree of need, health considerations, and rising standard of living contribute in no small measure to the rising demand for plantain flour. With an estimated population of over 200 million people, the demand is 20% higher than the current supply.

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    The consumption of plantain flour is becoming more acceptable and popular today in both local and international markets, as it is a remedy for people who have diabetes or are trying to control their fat. The potential national demand for plantain flour has been estimated to be in excess of 300,000 tons per year. Also, the demand for plantain flour in the international market is very high, especially in Europe and the U.S.A.

    Plantain fruit is the major raw material and can be found in commercial quantities in different parts of the country, including in Edo, Delta, Ondo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Abia, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Anambra, Enugu, and Lagos states.

    EQUIPMENTS NEEDED FOR PLANTAIN FLOUR

    Drying machine,

    slicing/chipping machine,

    milling machine

    packaging machine

    STAGES ON HOW TO PROCESS PLANTAIN TO PLAINTAIN FLOUR

    Sorting:this involves separating the plantains that will be used from the non-useful ones. In plantain flour production, the plantain pulp must be well matured.

    Blanching:since the production of the plantain flour is for commercial purposes, which means it is large, there is a need to put the plantain in very hot water to soften or weaken the bark before peeling for a few minutes in order to make them easier for peeling; this is termed blanching.

    Peeling:sharp objects such as a knife are used for the peeling (removing of the bark of plantain fruit) in order to avoid wastage. There are machines that can handle this for large-scale production.

    Slicing and chipping:this is done with the use of a machine for an easy and faster result. The pulp is sliced into pieces (chips).

    Drying:the pulp is dried in a drying machine (dryer) for some minutes (a short time).

    Milling:A hammer mill is used in milling the sliced pulp. This is very important. It is one of the pieces of equipment you cannot do without.

    Sieving: It is important to sieve the milled plantains for uniform sizes.

    Packaging:the last thing to do after sieving is to package the sieved flour. Use thick nylon to package it to prevent moisture from entering it.

    Sealing machine:it is used in sealing the flour nylon.

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    How to Market Plantain Products in Nigeria

    Sell at local markets:One of the most popular ways to sell plantains in Nigeria and Africa is by selling them at local markets.

    Sell to food processing companies:Large food processing companies in Nigeria and Africa require a steady supply of plantains for their products.

    Export to international markets:Plantains are in high demand in international markets, and exporting to these markets can be a lucrative option.

    Sell to wholesalers:You can sell your plantains to wholesalers, who will then distribute them to retailers.

    Sell to retailers:Small retailers, such as grocery stores and roadside vendors, often buy plantains in bulk to sell to their customers.

    Sell online:With the increasing use of e-commerce platforms in Nigeria and Africa, selling plantains online can be a great way to reach a wider audience.

    Sell to restaurants and hotels:Restaurants and hotels use plantains in various dishes, making them a potential market for farmers.

    Advertise at trade shows:Attending trade shows related to agriculture and food processing can help farmers market their products to potential buyers.

    Social media marketing:Social media platforms can be used to showcase plantain farming products and reach potential customers.

     

     Health Benefits of Plantain Flour

    Rich in fiber:Plantains are high in fiber, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system and prevent constipation.

    Promotes heart health:Plantains are rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.

    Lowers cholesterol:The fiber in plantains can also help lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.

    Boosts immunity:Plantains contain vitamins A and C, which can help boost the immune system and protect against infections.

    Good for the skin:The vitamin A in plantains can help improve skin health and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

    Anti-inflammatory properties:Plantains contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce inflammation in the body.

    Regulates blood sugar:The fiber in plantains can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent spikes and crashes.

    Improves vision:Plantains contain vitamin A, which is essential for good vision and eye health.

    Rich in antioxidants:Plantains contain antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage and prevent disease.

    Helps with weight loss:Plantains are low in fat and calories, making them a good food to include in a weight loss diet.

    COST OF PRODUCTION

    The amount required for a plantain flour business depends on your scale of production. If you are starting small, #100,000 can start you up. But if you are starting big on a larger scale, then #15,000,000 will comfortably start the plantain flour business. On a larger scale, you can cut costs by employing more hands to peel the plantain skin.

     RETURN ON INVESTMENT

    The profitability of plantain flour production largely depends on the cost of the primary raw material, matured, unripe plantain. The price fluctuates with season, demand, and supply. As the price of plantains changes, so does the price of plantains’ flour.

    The average cost of plantains is N540,000 per ton. Depending on the quality of plantain, an average of 450 kg of plantain flour is obtainable from processing 1 ton of matured or unripe plantain. This implies that it will cost N1200 to produce 1 kg of plantain flour or N 1,200,000 to produce 1 ton of plantain flour.

    Meanwhile, 1 kg of plantain floor is sold for #2500 per kg, making #2,500,000 per ton, showing that processing plantain into plantain floor is a profitable business venture with a great return on investment.

     

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