Garlic is very easy to plant, grow and harvest. In fact, the plants are so compact that you can grow a large amount of garlic in a small space. But as much we love to grow and sell products straight from the field, it’s important to try and diversify into value-added products. This means changing your raw garlic product into something new through packaging, processing, drying etc. So, today, I’ll give you a few ideas about what kind of products you could be making from raw garlic.
If you’re a small scale Zambian farmer, you’ll find garlic to be one of the easiest and most profitable cash crops. What’s more is that it has fewer pests and diseases due to its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. If you want to read about growing garlic then click here.
Four Value-Added Garlic Products
1. Garlic flakes
These are quite easy to make. Firstly, remove the skin. Separate the cloves peel and wash. Slice the cleaned garlic the pread it in a cheesecloth using tray. Insert the tray in a dryer under 60 degree Celsius until fully dried. Pack after drying.
2. Garlic braids
There are more benefits to braiding garlic than just the tidy appearance. Braided garlic stays fresher longer because of improved air circulation. Most garlic users especially hotels and restaurants prefer to buy braided garlic. Garlic braids sell for 50% to 100% more especially for exportation than plain garlic bulbs, and takes just minutes to make.
3. Garlic food products
From pickled garlic to garlic vinegars and chutney, people love garlic-based foods. However, these have a short shelf life. The most popular is garlic paste. Cut your garlic into smaller pieces and fill a food processor. Blend the scapes, adding 1-2 cups of olive oil to make a smooth paste.
4. Garlic powder
To make garlic powder, remove skins from the cloves. Once peeled, slice the cloves and chop. The chopped garlic is dried. This process dehydrates the garlic. Garlic powder can be made by grinding the dehydrated garlic.
Garlic insecticide is great for your field. This easy-to-make natural insecticide kills 95% of insects and repels mice. It takes just minutes to mix and bottle a new batch, and is safe and non-toxic.
Note: Processed garlic can produce an income of up to K500 per square meter. So give it a thought.