The good news for investors and entrepreneurs is that investment in egg processing plants, which can process egg powder, could earn a revenue of up to $1billion per annum. Currently, less than 5% of the country’s egg powder demand is met by local production.
Nigeria is the largest producer of eggs in Africa, with 10.3 billion eggs produced annually, data from the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) shows. But the poultry farmers in the country are yet to fully take advantage of the large production capacity by processing eggs into powdery forms.
Nigerian poultry farmers usually experience a glut between February and May every year, largely because people tend to consume fewer eggs during this period of the year and there is a short shelf life for eggs. This situation results in wastage of eggs, as eggs are mostly consumed during the rainy season. But if we are able to process excess eggs into powder especially for use in the food and beverage industry like other advanced countries do, then we would save the country $1billion used to import egg powder every year,” according to the report from Nigeria’s Poultry Association.
“In Nigeria, there is low usage of eggs because the food and beverages industry in the country uses egg powder that is not being produced in the country but imported,” Francis Toromade, former group head, policy and strategy at Amo Group Farms, told journalists recently. This increases the pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves, money that could have been saved if the country processed its fresh eggs into powder.
The good news, however, is that investment in egg processing plants could remedy the situation and earn investors up to $1billion per annum. Currently, there is only one company in the country that processes fresh eggs into powder and it is located in Ogun State. The company can barely meet 5% of the market, which means there is a huge opportunity in that line of business. In terms of numbers, Nigeria’s egg powder industry is worth $1 billion dollars (N350bn) currently, with less than five percent produced locally.
This implies that about $950million worth of egg powder is imported into the country. On a monthly basis, an average of $79.2 million worth of egg powder is imported into the country. The actual volume could not be ascertained as the country does not have any data for the industry.
Egg powder is in huge demand for various uses which include: 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. The egg powder can also be used for oil-based emulsions.
“Nigeria has been losing a lot of money due to its inability to process eggs into powder. It has really been a tough year for poultry farmers, yet they still have to struggle with the annual egg glut,” said Kabiru Ibrahim, former president, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), in a telephone conversation with journalists. “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,” Ibrahim said.
Raw eggs have a shelf life of about four weeks, while powdered eggs can last up to a year. The yoke, the whole eggs, and the albumen can be processed into powder. The longer shelf life of egg powder means output could be preserved rather than wasted.
Eggs contain protein and are consumed in homes across the country, especially by the middle and upper class. Eggs likewise serve as a cheap source of protein for young Nigerians between the ages of five and 40, which constitute over 60 percent of the country’s over 170 million population.
According to industry sources, the spray drying technology is used to convert milk into powder to extract the moisture content from the eggs, turning them into powder. A ton of egg powder can be produced with 3,500 to 4,000 crates of egg daily.
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 industries, military establishments and in the production of fast foods, instant baby formula, beverage and health products; athletes’ and bodybuilding foods, several value-added products, including mayonnaise