"Asaase Nofosuo", the organic fertilizer made from cocoa waste by Farmers Hope, could soon be sold in three countries in West Africa, including Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin. The Ghanaian start-up plans to set up a larger waste recycling plant to be installed in Kumasi in southern Ghana.
Farmers Hope is looking at new markets in West Africa to distribute its “Asaase Nofosuo”. The young company wants to sell its organic fertilizer in Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin. The Ghanaian start-up specialising in the processing of cocoa waste wants to increase its production in order to conquer new markets. Akwasi Osei-Bobie Ansah, the founder of Farmers Hope recently unveiled his project to build a new cocoa waste processing plant in Kumasi in southern Ghana.
Officially launched in 2012, the organic fertilizer for the young shoots has since been introduced to markets in Ghana and Burkina Faso. “Farmers Hope will not accept any new orders until the new plant is operational. We have enough stock to last until the second quarter of 2021,” says Akwasi Osei-Bobie Ansah.
The partnership with Olam
The future cocoa waste recycling plant will be equipped with three locally manufactured machines. Each unit will be capable of producing 400 bags of fertiliser per hour, i.e. 6,600 bags per day as opposed to the current 600 bags per day. This organic substance should provide the plants with additional nutrients to improve their growth and increase the yield and quality of the crops. Ghana is the world’s second largest exporter of cocoa, after Côte d’Ivoire (2.1 million tonnes). In 2017, Ghana supplied 882,175 tonnes of cocoa out of an estimated world production of 4.7 million tonnes according to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO).
Farmers Hope’s first major supplier of cocoa husks is ADM Cocoa, a company acquired by Olam, a Singaporean food trading and brokerage company. The Ghanaian start-up has also received funding from the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) in the form of a loan, as well as an investment of about $500,000 from Acumen, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that fights poverty by investing in sustainable businesses, leaders and ideas.
“Farmers Hope is also testing a liquid fertilizer for certification. We are also waiting for the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) to certify “Asaase Nofosuo” fertiliser as an approved product,” says Akwasi Osei-Bobie Ansah, the founder of the start-up.