Productive Use of Thermal Energy in Agro-Processing



The goal of this project is to reduce the carbon intensity, health impacts and pressure on forests resulting from the use of traditional wood stoves for agro-processing.

The goal of this project is to reduce the carbon intensity, health impacts and pressure on forests resulting from the use of traditional wood stoves for agro-processing.

A large portion of traditional agricultural produce contributing significantly to food-security and livelihoods in rural areas, like Shea nuts, palm kernels, peanut seeds and cassava are processed using thermal energy. Processing is mainly done in small-scale industries using inefficient traditional three-stone fires or inefficient ovens. This results in high production cost, unhealthy working environments and negative impacts on the environment, mainly in terms of deforestation.

It is estimated that 25% of all cassava is processed to 'Gari', which is storable fermented flour. The production of Gari includes an energy-intensive roasting process. In total 740,000 tons of Gari are produced per year in Ghana creating a market potential for up to 50,000 improved institutional Gari cookstoves.

An improved cookstove for Gari processing can reduce fuelwood consumption by 30% and induce cost savings of Ghc 62.4 per month (based upon 52 kg daily combustion of fuelwood) which even at the very high commercial interest rates (5% per month) leads to short amortization periods of below 11 months.

Some efficient stoves and ovens are only available in very small numbers. The main reasons for the limited market penetration of improved institutional cookstoves and ovens for small and medium scale industries are:

  • Limited awareness about availability as well as costs and benefits of the technology

  • Few suppliers of improved institutional fuelwood stoves with weak entrepreneurial skills

  • Limited access to adequate financing and cost based charging for processing services

SNV incorporated these lessons and innovative technologies into the EnDev project in Ghana – through the implementation of SNV’s Productive Use Of Thermal Energy In Agro-Processing project. The rationale is to improve fuel efficiency, increase health, and incomes of women for sustainable processing of cassava in Ghana, by introducing improved gari cookstoves. The goal is to support producers to install 300 improved fuelwood stoves for Gari processing by 31 May 2017.

By the close of 2016, the Gari Production Project (GPP) had achieved the following:

  • 4 ICS entrepreneur’s identified and are being supported to respond to the growing demand of ICS in agro processing;

  • 3 other ICS products are under development

  • Partnership has been established with 3 Financial Institutions who are supporting agro-processors with loans to procure ICS;

  • 150 improved gari stoves have been installed so far including an LPG Gari stove in five regions in Ghana

  • Over 50 gari processing communities, 11 districts and 5 regions have so far been reached with project activities. These are areas with greater potential for ICS adoption

  • 11 direct and indirect Demand Aggregators and Community Animators engaged to facilitate demand and supply of ICS for gari processing

  • Over 6,000 gari processors have been reached and educated on the need for improved stove in their operations

  • Working with major stakeholders at both the demand and supply side to ensure a thriving ICS market for agro processing industry in Ghana

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