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 has piloted 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 459,684
NCF Financing: EUR 340,488
Agreement Signed: 22 March 2013
Project Classification: Mitigation
Duration: 59 Months

Project Objective
The goal of the project was to implement and demonstrate the economic and technological viability of a renewable energy-based food processing unit and increase the value of local agricultural products through to their processing into refined products. The initiative also aimed to mitigate climate change through reduced demand for firewood in food processing and provide rural business opportunities to improve food security in Burkina Faso.


The project has installed the first renewable and waste energy-based food production unit in West-Africa. The food processing unit is powered by a mix of solar thermal energy, biofuel and photovoltaic power.  The project has demonstrated the economic and technological viability of the plant, and opened up new sales opportunities for local farmers who now can increase the value of their agricultural produce such as rice, attieke (cassava couscous) and dried mango, through their processing into refined products. The products complement each other as rice residues provide energy to the production process, cassava generates stable local activity and income, and mango generates seasonal export income.

The unit concentrates on producing three selected products:

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

ii) The overabundance of local mangos is turned into a high value product by drying them.

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

Relevance for Climate Change

During the implementation period the project has reduced 71 tCO2e. Once fully operational, the plant has the potential to reduce up to 9,000 tCO2e during the expected lifetime of 20 years. While the project was classified as a mitigation project, it has created some adaptation impacts as well. The project has supported local agriculture to adapt to climate change by promoting the processing and conservation of local farm products in order to reduce post-harvest losses and to enhance food security outside the harvest season. It has also introduced a solution to securing availability of food which is threatened by reductions in sorghum yields due to dryer climate.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

The first of its kind in West-Africa; the unit reduces the country’s dependence on imported processed goods, promotes the cultivation of climate resilient products and demonstrates 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.


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