Profit-making idea: Cassava processing offers unexploited potential

Profit-making idea is a series of short posts, each with a piece of information that we think you might find useful: for investment, for growing your company or to start a new business. Read our previous posts here.

How we made it in Africa asked Ian Sendagala, founder of online African B2B marketplace eFoods Trade, to identify one untapped business opportunity in Africa. Here was his response.

“Africa is rich with raw untapped opportunities in value addition. We export many fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs that should be exported only after value addition. Let’s look at cassava, a staple food in many African countries. Cassava, a root crop which looks like a large sweet potato, is one of the most widely grown crops in Africa.

“Cassava flour is a whole industry in itself. Refined cassava flour is used as a raw material in the manufacturing of paper, textiles, pharmaceuticals, food products and building materials such as plywood. Processed cassava flour is further used in commercial laundry products.

“Significant research has also been done around the use of cassava to manufacture biofuel, an alternative green energy source. Cassava tubers and hay are used worldwide as animal feed. Cassava hay is high in protein and is valued as a good roughage source for ruminants such as cattle.”