Egusi Storage Business

Egusi is the seed of Catullus lanatus a watermelon looking plant. The actual fruit is not edible while the seeds are the treasured product. All Egusi seeds come from the cucurbit species of the plant.
The seeds are rich in oil and protein and are also found in cucurbitaceous plants such as gourd, squash and melon. The seeds are harvest, dehulled and dried before culinary application.
Egusi is grown primarily for its seeds because of their high economic value. As a major ingredient in soup the dehulled seed are coarsely ground and added to soup. They could be roasted, fermented, boiled or soaked depending on the meal of choice.
Top Egusi Producers
 The cucurbitaceous plant is grown widely in West Africa. Top producers are Nigeria, Cameroon, Benin and Cote d’ivoire. Others are Burkina Faso, Togo, Mail and Ghana.
  • Nigeria
  • Cameroon
  • Benin
  • Cote d’ivoire
  • Burkina Faso
  • Togo
  • Mail
  • Ghana
Benefits of Egusi
Egusi contains 23.4% protein, 45.7% fat, 10.6% carbohydrate. Others are phosphorous, essential amino acids such as methionine and leucine and 12% fibre.
Once the Egusi seed are harvested they are sun dried and roasted. It contains high content applicable to livestock feed, margarine or butter.
Culinary dishes made from Egusi are the delicious Egusi soup, Egusi stew, mixed vegetable and Egusi and Egusi sauce. Experiments show that Egusi has active properties for treatment of arthritis, inflammations and treatment of boils.
Other medicinal properties include appetite booster, anti-diabetic properties and dermatological properties.  Some livestock feed makers include Egusi in the ingredients.
Food Applications
  • Livestock feed
  • Margarine
  • Butter
  • Egusi soup
  • Egusi stew
  • Mixed vegetable
  • Egusi sauce.
  • Parched snack
Medicinal Applications
  • Treatment of arthritis
  • Inflammations
  • Treatment of boils
  • Appetite booster
  • Anti-diabetic properties
  • Dermatological properties
Planting Egusi Melon
The Egusi melon plant grows easily in different terrain. They are rugged, durable and distinguished by climbing tendrils.
The farmer first tills the land and adds manure. He then plants a few seeds in a hole 3 inches deep.
Water the farm regularly and the wonder plant starts growing within a week. Make sure the farm is properly tendered to avoid competition from weeds.
Processing Egusi
Processing Egusi is labor intensive and time consuming. The Egusi seed needs to be harvest from the watermelon looking fruit. The fruit is left to decompose before removing the seed.
The decomposition is achieved using any three methods. They open the shell and lay faced down, burying the fruit or crack the shell and heaped into a mound.
The seed is then harvested or removed from the in-edible fruit. It is a dirty smelly process not for the faint hearted. Once harvested it goes through washing sorting, roasting or frying.
  • Harvest the fruit
  • Fruit Left to rot
  • Seed harvested and removed
  • Washing the seed
  • Sorting
  • Roasting or frying.
Egusi Wholesale, Retailers Business
The best option for an entrepreneur is to go into Egusi wholesale or retailing. This is because you stand to make over 100% on your investment.
For example the major producers of Egusi are in northern Nigeria. They sell the product in mudu/modu about 9 small cups.
A mudu is sold about $1 while in an urban city like Lagos a cup is sold for .50cents. Once the transportation is factored a wholesale or retail merchant stands to earn $2000 on a sale of 20 bags.
Egusi Storage
The seeds once processed can store for a very long time. They are durable and retain the economic value.
However extensive storage might impact on the color and nutritional quality. The seeds should be stored in a dry location away from pests or rodents.
Egusi Storage Business
There are a few things to consider before starting an Egusi storage business. You need working capital to buy produce in large quantity.
Other funding requirements are adequate storage facility, transportation cost and labor. Other considerations are sourcing and marketing the product.
Incorporation is not mandatory but would aid loan applications. Make sure your write an Egusi business plan and carry out a feasibility study.
  • Working capital
  • Adequate storage facility
  • Transportation cost
  • Labor
  • Funding
  • Sourcing the produce
  • Marketing
  • Egusi business plan
  • Feasibility study.
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