After Kakum forest journey this morning, we were heading to palm oil processing factory continually. 2 days ago we had visited Jukwa farmers' farms of palm tree, corns, oranges and vegetables. Today, we were going to realize their processing steps of palm oil.
Ghana farmers have organized a co-up to promote their palm oils. In 2005, they had set up a new automation factory which was subsidized 90% by the government. But it doesn't start using yet till now.
Below is one of the traditional palm oil factories at a private place.
Step 1. Separation - getting palm seeds from palm branches.
Step 2. Boiling - cooking thoroughly fresh flesh.
Step 3. Grinding-separate palm fibers and shells.
Step 4. Boiling - heating palm fibers in order for getting oil easily.
Step 5. Extracting - pressing palm fibers and shells and getting pure oil.
Step 6. Separation - make palm fibers and shells apart.
Step 7. Boiling - only boiling palm fibers in order for getting second time palm oil.
Step 8. Extracting - pressing palm fibers with hot water
Step 9. Boiling - boiling second time oil and evaporating water out of oil. And pour 2nd time oil into 1st time oil. They are finished palm oil of pure and high quality.
Step 10. The palm fibers will regard to match for boiling step 2 & 7.
Step 11. The shells will go to another processing step - Cracking, to get second class oil for the ingredients of soap.
That's is local traditional and primitively processing procedure. But, you may wonder the sanitation, oil quality control, fab safety, palm oil yield rate, packaging and so on. Yes. Indeed. Those are also our queries about the process. Under such shabby and insufficient environment, what they can do may be as followings:
1) Extract high quality palm oils.
2) Sell second-class oils to soap factories for uneatable ingredients.
3) Create their co-up's own supplier chain, like distributor and marketing.
4) Process biodiesel if possible.
Above actions should take times and need long-term planning. Those are what OVF did for such long time in Jukwa.
On the other hand, because the palm oil will be sold in the market with dedicate and well-look package, for marketing, we can establish a communicatable bridge between local artists and farmers. The artists can help design palm oil packaging in order to higher retail price. At present, their packaging takes lots of part in whole cost. So, reconstruct packaging is a kind of chances to gain more profits. Second, one of the ways we can help is to re-design fab flows and make it more efficiently.
By the way, farmers are not different. Their vexations are similar to one another in the world. The weather is main factor to determine plants growth. Water is the second. Youths usually tear themselves away from their hometown to modern big cities. When farmers get older and older, they can not work in farm anymore.
However, Ghanaian farmers seem to be more poor and impoverished because of no irrigation canals at all. The successful plants are merely destined by God. That's why the farmers' efforts usually waste due to the weather. Another problem is lack of agriculture techniques. Therefore, they still make use of ancient techniques which result to bad harvest. As Taiwan's experience, our government put much efforts on agriculture industry. Consequently Taiwan's farm products enjoy highly reputation in the world nowadays. Today, Ghanaian agriculture can't be solved without government's supports. That's the most radical problem of all.