Processors' experience in the use of flash dryer for cassava-derived products in Nigeria
This study was designed and carried out to ascertain the situation and perceptions of end users of cassava flash drying equipment in Nigeria with the aim of giving suggestions to policies and approaches for improved technology. Forty-one processing firms were selected and interviewed. Descriptive analyses were used and a logistic regression model was estimated. The results revealed that 49% of the firms stopped using their flash dryers due to the low demand for high-quality cassava flour (HQCF) resulting from the high cost of processing occasioned by an inefficient heat-generating component. The estimated model provides evidence that cost effectiveness (p < 0.05) and energy cost (p < 0.10) are the two major determinants of the continuous usage of flash dryers in the study area.
Forty-one percent of the firms indicated willingness to pay for any technical adjustment of their flash dryers, supposing such adjustment would improve on drying and the energy efficiency of the equipment up to 40%. The study recommends that machine fabricators in Nigeria and other African countries should be trained on the production of energy- and cost-efficient small-scale flash dryers. Again, the design and commercialization of flash dryers that can be mounted on mobile trucks for farm-gate processing should be encouraged to facilitate farm-gate processing, thereby reducing postharvest losses resulting from transporting perishable and bulky roots over a long distance.