For almost everything you find in Africa, little or nothing is known of its value until white people tell us. That had been the case up till now; a curious case of apathy for knowledge. From the aqua petroleo in Equatorial Guinea to beautiful black silt on the grounds in Itakpe, Nigeria, I have come to believe that the black race has not applied itself in knowledge at all. We in Africa literally walk on billions of dollars every day without even knowing. But what hurts more, is the abject refusal to learn. The acculturation for many of us has been to go to school, graduate and get a job…and maybe get married, have children and die middle-aged.
That said, this article is about one of those things you find on the streets in a lot of Nigerian cities.
I am guessing you might have come across these tiny nut-like tubers carried in wheel-barrows by Northern Nigerians and sold in little polythene bags. Some call it ‘Chufa sedge’ and others, ‘earth almond’. However, in Nigeria, we know the Cyperus Esculentus by many other names: the Hausas call it, ‘Aya’, the Yorubas call it ‘imumu’ and the Igbos call it, ‘aki hausa’.
In more plain references this local snack is known as ‘tiger nuts’.
And beyond being a snack, Tiger nuts have very large potential for cash because of their commercial value. Tiger nuts have long been recognised for their health benefits as they are high in fibre, proteins, and natural sugars. They have a high content of soluble glucose and oleic acid. Along with a high energy content (starch, fats, sugars and proteins), they are rich in minerals such as phosphorous and potassium and in vitamins E and C.
It is believed that they help to prevent heart attacks, thrombosis and cancer especially of the colon. They are thought to be beneficial to diabetics and those seeking to reduce cholesterol or lose weight. The very high fibre content combined with a delicious taste; make them ideal for healthy eating.
Tiger nuts are rich in oil which can be extracted for culinary and industrial uses. The ‘Horchata’, a vegetable milk produced in Spain is made with Tiger nut juice, hence Spain is the world’s largest importer of tiger nuts.
Customers abroad, particularly in Europe are willing to pay as high as $790.00/Metric Ton for a minimum typical order of 400 Metric Tons of dried median sized tigernuts.
So if you are unemployed and looking for a job, you are in good fortune. Search for a company looking to buy tiger nuts, source locally and ship. This could be a start to earning good money.
One more thing. Be weary of company’s that aren’t willing to open a letter of credit in your favour. Typically, they could be fraudulent.