NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Ecological Food Processing Unit [NDF C3 D4]

Scheffler reflector. Photo: ISOMET
Rice husk will provide energy for the food processing unit. Photo: ISOMET
Waste of mango, which could be reduced by drying them. Photo: ISOMET
The project will pilot the first renewable and waste energy-based food production unit in West-Africa.

Burkina Faso
Ecological Food Processing Unit
Ref: NDF C3 D4

Nordic Partner: Danish Technological Institute
Local Partner: Isomet
Other Partners: n/a
Total Project Cost: EUR 531,521
NCF Financing: EUR 393,940
Agreement Signed: 22 March 2013
Project Classification: Mitigation
Duration: 24 Months

Project Objective

The goal of the project is to implement and demonstrate the economic and technological viability of a renewable energy-based food processing unit and increase the value of the harvest through to the processing of refined products. The initiative also aims to mitigate climate change through reduced demand for firewood in food processing, provide rural business opportunities and promote high yield tuber plants to improve food security in Burkina Faso.


The project will pilot the first renewable and waste energy-based food production unit in West-Africa. The installed food processing unit will be powered by solar power and energy from bio-waste. The sustainable energy sources will preserve trees by giving more value to non-timber products than to firewood. The unit is a response to the increasing demand for processed products and high quality groceries - which would also meet the quality, hygienic and nutritional standards. The main output of the project is a full-size food processing unit based on locally available renewable energy that will demonstrate its technical feasibility as well as its economic viability in order to encourage local entrepreneurs to use renewable energy sources for income generating activities.

The unit will primarily concentrate on producing three selected products:

i) Steamed rice, which will be sold to retailers in order to ensure fast rotation. Rice husk, the production waste, will provide energy in addition to solar power to process other products.

ii) The overabundance of local mangos will be turned into a high value product by drying them and distributing them to European markets.

iii) Cassava couscous will be produced for local markets in order to demonstrate the benefits of high yield tuber plants.

Relevance for Climate Change

This project is motivated by the need to reduce CO2 emissions as well as the desertification in the necessary and fast growing food processing sector. The sustainable energy sources will have mitigation impacts through reduced demand for firewood in food processing. The climate change-related food security threats call for the optimization of agricultural production. The traditional cereals of maize and sorghum, which are also the most consumed, are not grown in the dry season and have a yield that often does not exceed two tonnes per hectare, whereas cassava can have a yield of up to 25 tonnes per hectare

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

The first of its kind in West-Africa; the unit will reduce the country’s dependence on imported processed goods, promote the cultivation of climate resilient products and demonstrate the economic viability of sustainable food processing for further replication. A scale-up is expected to be possible after the pilot phase without the need for grant funding.

Key recent milestones achieved as of June 2016

  • Electrical gasifier genset under installation
  • Solar parabolas installed
  • Rice dehusking running on pilot scale
  • The husk successfully tested as fuel for thermal gasifier
  • Attieke production ongoing subject to cassava availability
  • Laboratory tests finalised for mango drying process and dryers installed (some challenges with storm damage)

More information

Danish Technological Institute´s Energy and Climate Division