Sankofa snacks: upcycling plantain waste with Ghanaian farmers
Did you know that from a plantain tree 88% of the total mass is discarded or incinerated, while on the other hand the plantain industry accounts for 13% of Ghana's total (!) GDP (gross domestic product). Ridiculous! We are a team of 4 students of the TU Delft and from november until february we are travelling to Accra, Ghana for our minor International Entrepreneurship and Development. Our mission is to start a green revolution by building a sustainable future for Ghanaian plantain farmers by generating a steady income for them through irrigated arable farming, upcycling plantain waste and improving the production cycle of banana chips.
Meet the team:
We are Feline Nuijten (BSc Industrial Design Engineering), Guusje Smit (BSc Mechanical Engineering), Hanna Vijver (BSc Industrial Design Engineering) and Frederique Spruijt (BSc Mechanical Engineering). With our multidisciplinary backgrounds, we can complement each other with different and unique perspectives.
We are working together with Sankofa Snacks, a local plantain chips company, whose vision is to celebrate the rich non-artificial flavors and ingredients of global black food culture while championing a more equitable and sustainable food system. By supporting smallholder farmers in Ghana and promoting youth capacity building and skill development through their local production and training, Sankofa is both an important beacon for local community and continued agriculture.
"these days we don’t know when to expect the rains, I cultivated about two acres of plantain in April in anticipation of the rainy season, however, the rains didn’t come and my farm perished”
In Ghana, a lot of crops go to waste before it even gets to a shop or market. Unprocessed products are often highly perishable, as a result of which a lot of products are lost during transportation or once it reaches the shelves. Besides, due to scarcity of water in the dry season, a lot of crops fail to grow. Therefore, local farmers have income for only half the year, creating poverty and instability. By reducing food waste, boosting shelf life and creating greater added value for agriculture products, we are solving the main challenges faced in the industry that include lack of overall structure in relation to a key staple crop and food (Plantain) that has such strong economic and social potential for underdeveloped communities.
Our project plan:
The first part of the project has to do with improving the production process by analysing the current way of production. Here, the focus is on enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, increasing output yield and maintaining or improving product quality. In this part we will work closely with the production team to review and optimise each segment of the process. The second part is related to the plans of Sankofa Snacks to create a plantain farm by February 2024. This will provide the opportunity for independent local farmers to lease irrigated land to cultivate plantain, from which they will benefit from the farm's infrastructure and technical support Sankofa Farms provides.
As a team we will be focussing on the waste reduction of the Sankofa Farms. A key challenge for us is to find innovative ways to utilise not only the fruits of the plants, but also the stems and leaves. Did you know that the strong fibers of the banana plant can be used in animal feed, made into all kinds of fabrics and can even be used as fiber for hair extensions. By coming up with products that can be made from these materials, additional income for farmers is generated and environmental degradation is reduced.
With your donation we can:
- Invest in sustainable machinery in the factory of Sankofa Snacks
- Start constructing the irrigation system for Sankofa Farms
- Perform lab tests to improve the shelf-life of the plantain chips
- Produce prototypes for products made from the plantain by-products
We appreciate any kind of financial contribution to support our project. If you have any questions about the project or are interested in a partnership, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information about Sankofa Snacks, take a look at its website: sankofasnacks.com.
Als u vragen heeft over het project of geïnteresseerd bent in een samenwerking, neem dan contact met ons op via email@example.com. Voor meer informatie over het bedrijf Sankofa Snacks kunt u kijken op website: sankofasnacks.com
Daarnaast zijn we telefonisch bereikbaar op:
+31 6 16 89 42 95 Frederique Spruijt
Schroom niet om contact op te nemen en wie weet tot ziens!