Gari, the food product, is a granular, whitish grit with a hint of fermentation in its flavor. It has a slightly sour flavor. It is very popular in Nigeria, Ghana, and other West African countries. Also patronized by Africans in diaspora. Mostly used for a popular West African dish called “Eba” (Yoruba Language/Nigeria).
HOW TO PREPARE EBA/GARI
Eba is made by sprinkling gari into a bowl of hot water or pot of boiling water and stirring with a wooden spoon until a supple dough of gari is formed. Add more water to the dough and stir to your desired texture. Eba is served with vegetable soup and fish or meat. In combination, this constitutes a very balanced diet like the popular Ghanaian delicacy, Gari Fotor, aka Gari Jollof. There are different types of gari, depending on how it is processed, the grain size, and the region of West Africa where it is produced. For more Recipes click; https://eea-marketing.com/products-uses/
GRADES OF GARI
Extra fine grain Gari – Where more than 80% of the grain passes through a sieve of less than 350 micro meter aperture
Fine grain Gari – More than 80 % of the grains pass through a sieve of less than 1000 micro meter aperture
Coarse grain Gari – Not less than 80% of grains passes through a sieve of 1400 micro meter or less than 20 % of weight passes through a sieve of 1000 micro meter
Extra coarse grain Gari – Less than 20 % of grain is retained on a sieve of 1400 micro meter aperture or more.
GARI THE FOOD PRODUCT TYPES
Gari the food product, can be classified; based on fermentation length in days and if palm oil is added to make it yellow or not. Such classifications include:
This is the type of gari commonly found in the Edo, Delta, and other eastern parts of Nigeria. They also call it Bendel Gari. Made exactly the same way as described above, but with the addition of red palm oil after grating the cassava. Made to ferment for two to three days. Adding palm oil to the gari further helps to reduce the low level (0.0253 mg/kg) of cyanogenic content and gives it a unique flavor.
Same as Bendel Gari, it is left to ferment for two to three days. Red palm oil is not added during processing.
The same process is used to make Ijebu Gari, however the fermentation process can go up to seven days. Added palm oil is absent. The frying is crispier. It is typically sharper in flavor and less starchy. This is a favorite among many residents of Western Nigeria and makes a tasty “soakings” snack.
Ghana Gari Production
The Gari industry in Ghana is dominated by small scale producers, with capacity of less than 0.1 tons per day. The production plants are usually found in the southern and middle parts of Ghana where, the raw material; Cassava tubers are in abundance.
Ghana is one of the leading producers of cassava tubers in the world. With an annual production of about 17,000,000 tonnes. The annual national demand for Gari is estimated at about 1,000,000 tonnes, while the national supply is estimated at about 740,000 tonnes.
In recent times, due to demand for other Cassava by-products (Cassava Starch, Ethanol and Flour), the production of Gari in Ghana has witnessed a reduction in volume. Equally, a shift in the demand-supply equilibrium is in favour of Gari producers. For further reading click; https://eea-marketing.com/blog/gari-carbohydrate-food/
The supply gap has been identified, and it continues to expand as with the population of the country. Now, estimated to be about 32 Million and continues to grow at abpout 2.1% per annum. Also, the rural urban drift in the country would help to deepen the market for Gari. Which is estimated to be over $100 million dollars annually in Ghana. The processed Cassava exported; also runs into millions of dollars.