BusinessDay

Nigeria’s seasonal egg glut creates investment opportunity in powder production

Nigeria spends billions of dollars importing egg powder into the country despite its yearly glut recorded by farmers across the country.

Experts say that entrepreneurs can tap into the opportunity in the industry created by the glut if they start processing fresh eggs into powder.

This they say will also save the country billions of dollars it would have spent on the importation of egg powder while creating both direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.

“We need to start processing eggs into powder to help address the issue of egg glut in the country and also increase the shelf life of our eggs,” said Kabiru Ibrahim, former president of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN).

Nigeria is the largest producer of eggs in Africa, with 10.3 billion eggs annually, according to data from the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), but has failed to take advantage of its status through the processing of eggs into powder.

Each year, millions of tonnes of eggs are harvested in Nigeria but a good number of them go down the drain as wastages, due to the short shelf life and low demand for the product at a particular period, making farmers experience glut.

This usually occurs between February and May each year, which farmers attribute to rising temperature at that time of the year, and a corresponding fall in the consumption of tea, bread and fried eggs. Currently, they say there is also a low demand for fresh eggs owing to the economic crunch in the country.

Nigeria’s inability to process its excess eggs into egg powder, despite suffering a yearly egg glut, is costing the country a minimum of a $1billion every year, Nigeria’s Poultry Association says.

Egg powder is used in the production of oil-based emulsions. It is also used in the preparation of foods such as ice-cream, bread, cakes, biscuits, noodles, and doughnuts. It can likewise be rehydrated to make dishes such as scrambled eggs and omelets.

It is used in the manufacturing of a wide range of products across the food and beverage industry.

Raw eggs are said to last about four weeks, while powdered eggs can last up to a year. The yolk, the whole eggs, and the albumen can be processed into powder.

Tapping this opportunity currently in the country is Answer Industries Limited, makers of Kara Kara egg powder. The company is the only player in Nigeria and West Africa egg powder market.

Answer converts fresh farmed eggs into powder at its factory located at Atoyo Ijebu in Ijebu-East Local Government Area of Ogun State.

“We produce a ton of egg powder per day using between 3,400 and 4,000 crates. The demand for the powder is very high as we have a lot of food and beverage companies patronising us,” said Samuel Sewoniku, director of general operations, Answer Industries Limited.

“We use the spray drying technology that is used by the dairy industry in converting milk to powder to extract the moisture content from the eggs, turning them into powder,” Sewoniku said.

He noted that investment in technology is very vital for the country and the poultry sector in particular, as it would help address some of the fundamental problems besetting the sector.

Players in the poultry subsector have estimated Nigeria’s egg powder industry to be worth about $1 billion (N350bn) currently.

With less than five percent produced locally, the country spends about $950million on the importation of egg powder. On a monthly basis, an average of $79.2 million of egg powder is imported into the country. In terms of volume, this could not be ascertained as the country does not have any data for the industry.

The business is viable and suitable because eggs in powder form are more durable, stable, portable and applicable for multiple usages in various food and beverages industry, military establishments and production of fast foods, instant baby formula, beverage and health products; athletes’ and bodybuilding foods, several value-added products and mayonnaise.

 

Josephine Okojie

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.