Once Cassava (Gari) has been grown, much of the crop gets wasted due to the roots rotting and slow & inefficient processing
Once the roots have been harvested then a quick and efficient processing by our new peelers, graters, our Solar Powered Hammer Mill, Dewatering press and Dryer designed by the University of Greenwich - NRI all help to reduce crop loss.
Current peeling of Cassava roots. An NRI Peeler can be used to speed this process up.
The Hammer Mill speeds up processing to produce the Cassava Mash
Once the Cassava has been Milled the mash is seperated by the cyclone
This is a very important stage in the processing of Cassava, the mash is pressed to remove water and many toxins
The pressed mash is then dried. This Dryer designed by NRI is a very important bit of equipment as it can help resolve health issues of workers and also have less environmental impact.
Please contact us if you have a need for the equipment and we will try to provide a funding package as part of the President of Ghana's "One District - One Factory" programme. It is hoped that the $26,000 cost of the equipment and solar power needed to process Cassava could be made from profits from possible Solar Farms or Solar Mini-Grids in Ghana - this is an ongoing project for development.
The fully processed cassava into Flour
The equiment can be powered by our Solar PV panels
Grating is usually done with a rotary drum grater (USD 1,500). Dewatering is usually done with a screw-operated press (USD 1,000) or a jack-operated press (USD 1,500). Pulverizing is done with the same rotary drum grater, used to grate the cassava. Drying is done in a pneumatic dryer
(USD 7,500) or a flatbed dryer (USD 3,500). Milling is done with a hammer mill (USD 4,000).
Our equipment is made by Food Products Enterprises in ACCRA, GHANA- NRI - Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich is the lead Technical partner on this Cassava Flour project. Cassava starch is a very different product from cassava flour and the equipment and steps needed to produce them are distinct - please make contact with your enquiry.
This is a project that can bring many smiles to the people in small village cooperatives in Ghana & Africa in general. It could speed up processing of Cassava, more efficient processing, save wood from being burnt to dry the processed Cassava, help Mitigate against Climate Change, increase the Duty-of-Care of the workers, increase economic activity of a Nation
Design and Development of direct-coupled photovoltaic powered agri-processing machinery.
INNOVATE UK FILE REFERENCE - 105654
Project Monitoring Office Dr Adele Carter
NRI - Dr Aditya Parmar & Dr Marcelo Precoppe
Technical Lead - Natural Resources Institute - NRI, University of Greenwich “NRI” whose registered office is at Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB. UK
1. Size of the market
In the last two decades (from 1994 to 2016) the cassava production in Ghana has tripled from 6 million tonnes in 1994 to about 18 million tonnes in 2017. Cassava accounted for 40% of the total agricultural products produced in the country (~40 million tonnes) in 2016 (FAOSTAT 2016). Estimates suggest that 70% of all the farmers in the country are involved in cassava production and processing, of which 90% are smallholder (> 2 hectares), with close to 1 million hectares of land area. Translating this into a number of households involved in cassava production and processing will account for about 3.5 million rural and urban agricultural households all over the country (Ministry of Food and Agricultural, Ghana, 2017 report). Approximately 9 million tonnes (50% of total production) currently goes into the production of value-added products such as gari (roasted fermented cassava), agbelima (fermented cassava mash), kokonte (dried chips) and industrial products such as HQFC (high-quality cassava flour), animal feed, starch and ethanol. Availability of a processing machine (grating, chipping and milling) can enhance this percentage significantly and increase the income of the rural agro-processing based communities where women play a major role in management and labour force.
Centralised commercial processing of cassava is still in an early stage in Ghana and the majority of the roots are processed at small scale or village-based industry level in rural areas into traditional products. In a relatively recent report (2015) by Dalberg Global Development Advisors in cooperation with IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative and Grow Africa, it was mentioned that 30-40% of the total cassava production in the country is either wasted or remains un-harvested at primary production and processing levels, due to lack of processing capacity. Mechanising the processing at the farm level will help reduce this significant food losses and wastes, which in turn will open another potential to add value to cassava and promote growth in the sector. A large commercial opportunity can be exploited if a significant proportion (10-20%) of the wasted or lost fresh cassava can be rapidly processed before it degrades. Such a situation will even make available the preprocessed cassava base for commercial products such as starch and ethanol without putting any effect on food security.
The current situation is either the smallholder cassava producers and processors have no mechanical processing tool (the majority of the work is done manually, predominantly by women) or the available machinery is not appropriate in terms of investment cost, operating cost and capacity. Despite the recent efforts towards electrification by Ghana government, the supply and demand mismatches are significant especially in the rural areas (Centre for Global Development Policy Paper 109, Sept. 2017). As per the latest report (2018) of Energy Commission Ghana, 59.9% of the nation’s electricity is generated by thermal energy (by the use of imported fossil fuel) and 39.9 from hydroelectricity. Only 0.2% of non-conventional energy sources such as solar power. Hence the use of decentralised solar-power to run the household and small industry processing of cassava would reduce the burden on electricity generated from expensive imported fossil fuels and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions.
The target of the innovative decentralised solar-power based processing solution which the consortium is proposing will be the individual smallholders, producer groups, cooperatives at village level and micro and small scale rural cassava processing centres. The participatory approach of the proposed project is such that, during design and construction processes, the machinery will be oriented to the abilities of the future local manufacturing in Ghana. For this, the local business partner in Ghana will be a key actor. Such an arrangement would lead to the creation of additional employment opportunities (particularly for youth) in local production and maintenance at rural and urban levels. A growing number of African suppliers are already in the market for PV panels and can extend their portfolio from light, TV and radio equipment to deliver the technology for PV-driven agricultural machinery. Furthermore, single machinery for individual users can be assembled to larger decentralised solar powered processing units with own PV-connections which can run on village level or commercial basis by contractors. This will generate employment and new business possibilities in rural areas. The approach towards sustainability is further based on the assumption that any party involved in the project activities is likely to benefit.
2. Exploitaiton and dessimiation of the project results
The final outcome of the project is a fully functional prototype which is being designed and tested at user location and ready for the next phase of process optimisation for production.
The project work will be divided into two phases, the initial phase will be participatory design and development of the first prototype, where a test stand or experimental setup will be created at the research facility in Ghana. The subsequent phase is the field testing phase, which will happen in the second half of the project where the laboratory prototype will be replicated to test in the practical conditions at the sample user locations or a model village/town. To provide a rough timescale, the opening period of 10 months would be dedicated to the development of an initial prototype and remaining eight months on the dissemination activity of establishing the three sample user units.
The consortium intends to make the results of this work available as a public good for the larger benefit of the resource-poor agricultural communities in the least developed tropical and sub-tropical countries.
Eastern, Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions are the three major cassava producing areas in Ghana. The consortium will identify one farmer/processor group (preferably women groups) in each of these three regions at the commencement of the project. In this way a more participatory research approach will be adopted, where inputs from the direct user groups will be taken during the design and development phase also. Women and young girls do over 90% of the cassava processing activities with limited capacity to source processing machinery. Hence consortium anticipates a far greater partnership and involvement of the female members of the community.
Another key element of the project is the proposition of training to the target users and local fabricators on the operation, maintenance, construction, and assembly. The purpose is to create a self-sustainable environment where target users (the cassava producers and processors ) and, young and dynamic local artisans, mechanics and smiths will benefit mutually. These trained and skilful individuals would play a crucial role in making the machine accessible to the masses once the scientific team develops and install the first prototypes. To ensure that the concept and the market for this product sustain after the completion of the project, it is of utmost importance that the locally available materials are sourced during the initial construction of the PV powered machinery and local capacity building approach is followed. Hence, the transfer of benefit would again take place in two steps, the immediate beneficiaries who will come in the direct contact with the project during the project duration and the gradual beneficiaries who will further engage with the direct beneficiaries in the due course by supplying, maintaining and using the proposed machinery.
It is anticipated that business and research institute partners in Ghana after accumulating this initial innovative technological information from the cassava processing case study, and looking at the environmental, value addition and reduction of food loss benefits, will further expand this to other agricultural commodities.
Also, on a much broader measure, the results of this project may be exploited to formulate or guide the future national policy of not only Ghana but other African countries on enhancing the use of solar energy in various food processing applications. Use of clean energy such as solar power for food processing is a sustainable solution towards addressing global challenges such as climate change, pollution and food loss and waste.