Yam flour is powdered starch widely used in food preparation. Typically white, the flour is commonly used in African dishes, such as amala. It may be used in many other recipes if desired as well. It is prepared by grinding dried yams until they reach a powdered consistency. Dehydrated flour from yams may also be produced from sun drying.

Much attention has been given to the development, cultivation and processing of cassava in Nigeria as oppose to the lack of coordinated effort towards the development, cultivation and processing of yam, another root crop like therefore leaving most of the harvested crop to be wasted and a great investment opportunity to be tapped by savvy investors especially in the processing of yam to yield yam flour used in the preparation of pounded yam.

Yam is the common name for some species in the genus Dioscorea (family Dioscoreaceae). These are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. There are many cultivars of yam though only six are important as staples in the tropics. The economically important species grown are Dioscorea rotundata (white yam), Dioscorea alata (yellow yam), Dioscorea bulbifera (aerial yam), Dioscorea esculenta (Chinese yam) and Dioscorea dumenterum (trifoliate yam).

Yams are high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese; while being low in saturated fat and sodium. Vitamin C, dietary fiber and vitamin B6 may all promote good health. Furthermore, a product that is high in potassium and low in sodium is likely to produce a good potassium-sodium balance in the human body, and so protect against osteoporosis and heart disease.

Worldwide yam production in 2007 amounted to 52 million tons, of which Africa produced 96%. Most of the world’s production comes from West Africa representing 94%, with Nigeria alone producing 71%, equalling more than 37 million tons. Though yams can be stored up to six months without refrigeration most of the yearly production is lost through spoilage because is lack is post harvest facility in the country.

In Nigeria , Though yams can be consumed by boiling, roasting and processed to yield Amala (especially in South western part of the country) ,the kernel of this article would focus more it use in the processing and production of instant yam flour.

Due to the increasing number of middle class family and the rise in health consciousness amongst the populace, traditional ways of processing pounded yam in Nigeria is fast becoming a thing of the past as more and more family are shifting from the use of piston and mortars to ready processed yam to be used for pounded yam production, in order to reflect there new found status.

The production process of producing instant yam flour is quite simple; it involves slicing, parboiling and milling of the product to yield flour. The machinery and equipment required to production can be sourced locally though the promoter can also source the machine from abroad.

Equipment For Making Yam Flour

The following machinery and equipment are required for small scale pounded yam flour production. These equipments can be sourced locally at affordable prices. They include:


Milling machine,


Weighing scale,

Sieving machine,

Sealing machine,

Branded Polythene or nylon bags for packaging.

Raw Materials For Yam Flour

The only raw material for pounded yam flour production is Yam Tubers. The yam tubers can be sourced locally from the local farmers in the villages. Note that the quality of yam tubers used for production will tell on the quality of your pounded yam flour. So go for the best yam variety.


Making Yam Flour

Below is the five easy steps of pounded yam flour production and packaging.

STEP1 Wash the yam tubers properly, making sure that all sand and dirt are washed away.

STEP2 Peel the tubers and rewash properly.

STEP3 After peeling, grate it immediately using the grater.

STEP4 After grating, dry it using the drier or you can sundry for some days until properly dried.

STEP5 Mill the granules and sieve the powder, then package it in the branded nylon bags and seal properly.