How To Start A Palm Oil Processing Business In Ghana

Palm oil processing business in Ghana is a highly
profitable business that you need to give serious attention.
The palm oil fruit is indigenous to Ghana.

Everyday, thousands of
tonnes of palm oil is processed for consumption and use.

Still yet, barely enough is available locally.

We have to
import from Asian countries and other foreigners that do not
grow half as much as we do.

There is no debate about it, we are in need of more
processing plants in the country both large scale and
medium scale.

Large scale palm oil processing plants are
scarce if there are any available in the country.

medium scale plants do just fine and can process within
3-50 tonnes daily depending on size and sophistication of

Here we will be talking about setting up the
medium scale plants, what it takes and how.

The Steps Involved in Processing Palm Oil

There are five major steps when processing the palm fruit
bunch to its final product – the palm oil.

These steps are
listed below accordingly:

Weighing and Offloading from trucks: The act of weighing is
very crucial to the operation for easy calculation of the
amount you are producing and calculation of the cost from

Offloading from trucks has to be done carefully
because it may affect the overall quality of the product.

If it
is handled carelessly the acid content may rise and offset
the taste and increase the processing hurdles as the acid
content has to be reduced to a certain minimum.

Threshing: This is the process where the fruit are cut off to
separate them from their bunch.

They are subjected to high
temperature boiling in water to loosen the fruits in a
process known as sterilization by pressurized cooking.

Pressing/Extracting the Palm Oil: This is the peak of the
processes involved in the processing of the palm oil, where
the oil is being extracted from the fruit bunch.

Filtering of the palm oil: The oil at this stage will contain
unwanted remains of the fruit shells and water and some
other dirt.

So it is purified at this stage.

Storage of the palm oil: After the whole work is done, they
are stored in gallons or barrels, to be transported later to
the market or for buying customers to come and pick up, as
palm oil is often sold on-demand.

Find Suitable Space and Location

First, you will need a decent amount of open space for the

Then the next consideration is the distance the plant
is from the nearest farm that can supply you with the palm
fruits known as Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB).

The location
should be able to accommodate a parking space for trucks
for offloading the palm fruits.

Also, some of the processing might be done manually by
hands, make sure there is enough room for many workers
to roam about.

Water Supply

You will need a constant water supply for the boiling/
steaming of the palm fruit during processing.

It has to be
clean because hygiene is of utmost importance in palm oil

There is a high possibility of being located in a
remote area where there is neither electricity nor treated
water supply.

So you might have to pay the water board to
fix a pipe from the nearest town to your processing plant.
Or a preferable alternative is to dig a borehole on site.

will save you a lot of money from paying water bills and it
is always available whenever you need it.

The Equipment You Need

A mill is setup for the processing of palm oil.

The mill does
most everything in the palm oil processing operation such
as the boiling, threshing, fermentation, fruit clarification etc.

Depending on how much of the processing plant you wish
to mechanize, the machines you need may vary.

If for
example the threshing is left to manual laborers, you
wouldn’t need a thresher.

But of course there would be a
wide gap when it comes to efficiency between the workers
and the machine.

Machines will perform faster and reduce
waste significantly.

The most common machines found in a palm oil processing
mill are the thresher, boiler, presser, and the clarifier. Each
mill has a capacity rating, that is an amount of palm oil it
can process daily.

Small ones usually produce about 1
tonne every 24 hours and medium to large ones produce
over 10-100 tonnes daily.

The suppliers of the machinery provide tech support, they
should be able to provide you with any information you
need regarding the setting up of the mill and its

Hire Trained Staff

The workers that will be operating the mill should be
experienced in the job or at least they should have training
on how to operate the specific set of machines available in
your processing plant.

But some workers don’t require an
extensive training, those responsible for offloading the fruit
bunches and other manual labours.

You may also need among the staff professional engineers,
chemical engineer for testing and evaluating of the oil
product and mechanical engineer for the mill maintenance.

Another option is to hire them temporarily whenever they
are needed.

Capital to start business: $5000.

Business type: Capital intensive.

Potential customers: Sold on-demand.

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