By Daniel Alfred
Food processing is a set out method or techniques used to transform raw ingredients into finished food or to transform them into other forms for consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing industry.
Meanwhile, the food processing industry has become very paramount for subsistent farmers who survive on what they grow as it helps provide a variety of foods for consumption by humans and animals. But growing these foods does not only serve for the purpose of consumption but as a means of business transaction with the aim of making profit.
Therefore, production of food items like cornmeal, Cassava, Millet and other of its like has to go through grinding process to determine its immediate consumption, which is the reason grinding machine was brought into existence for bitting these foods or grains into pieces ready for process so as to aid immediate consumption.
However, grinding business has also become the most sort after for all and sundry, thereby providing a platform for business transaction and profit making for those in that line of business and for the consumers as well.
Though, the business might be so discouraging but its profit outcome from investigation proved that it is quite lucrative and good enough to sustain any family needs, which has been proven to be true in recent time.
Speaking with Sikiru Owoyemi, a native of Kwara State and a teenage boy who saw himself through his secondary school education, by helping his elder brother run a grinding business. The teenage boy who resides with his grandmother narrates how he was able to go through the huddles and at the same time his education.
According to him, “ I live here with my grandmother and also run this grinding business, while in secondary school. The business of grinding is good and lucrative. Most times we make about 1500 and in some cases, 500 naira per day and that is when the business is very bad.”
“Light has been one of our major problems in the business but we have no other option than to buy fuel and diesel to run the machines which costs us a fortune. Meanwhile, when the machines are faulty, the money we spend fixing them is quite on the high side than what we make most times in return” he said.
Speaking on his charge rate, he said, “We grind a paint of corn for 150 and a paint of wheat for 120 naira as the case may be. And when one wants to grind something like dry cassava, locally called Elubo, we usually grind it with 1500 or 2000. Though, I am not the owner of the business but I generate good money, enough to help me buy some of my school materials and other personal effects.
I had to relocate from Orile so as to help my grand mum do some of the house chores and run errands for her, since she is far aging and that was how the business for me began.”
“This is also the job my Dad does and it is through this same business, he was able to build this house where my grand mother lives with tenants and that which he also lives in Orile. I had to shuttle between my education and the business. Sometimes, when a job comes and I have to be in school, it means I will have to wake up very early to do the job before heading for school. I make money for the purpose in which the business was set up and little enough for my self as well. Like I said, the business is not mine.
But frankly speaking, the business is very good and if it is not, my dad wouldn’t have been able to put up a structure as this here with tenants in them.
“Though, the advantages are better than the disadvantages. When we use electricity, we make more gain than when there is no electricity, that is quite obvious.” he said.
Young Sikiru noted that he doesn’t know what life holds for him in the business but don’t think he would like to continue in his fathers line of business since his brother was already there, which is the reason he said he is struggling to further his education so as to have a more responsible and respectable life. “I really don’t want to do what my father is doing but if that be where I will dwell, then I have no problem at all with it but trust me, the business is very good. If you have a conducive environment where no one will disturb you, and where there is constant electricity, you will make it real big.
Electricity has always been an issue with us, especially here in this neighbourhood where we have no transformer. Even the small pumping machine here the light can not power it. With light the business is very profitable and for the fact that people must eat, we must also remain in business whether big or small,” he said.