The farmers living in the Nzema Dstricts of the Western region are predominantly coconut farmers, with over 30,000 ha, i.e. about 80% of Ghana’s coconut crop. Their livelihood, the coconut is seriously threatened by the lethal yellowing disease, commonly known in Ghana as the Cape Saint Paul Wilt Disease (CSPWD). Currently, the Ghana Government supported by the French Government through Agence Françaises de Developpement (AFD) has embarked upon the Coconut Sector Development Project to rehabilitate the coconut sector with seedlings resistant to the CSPWD.

2.1.2 Further, studies have shown that the unaffected coconut farms have serious nutrient deficiencies and the heavy rains have caused extensive soil erosion. The nutrient deficiencies and the soil erosion have come about because, since the late sixties, the husbandry practices of many coconut farmers do not take into full account the unique natural beneficial features of the whole coconut.

2.1.3 In the forties and fifties most coconut farmers practised integrated coconut farming ie the coconut was processed on the farm and animals such as the Atuabo dwarf cattle and pigs were reared on the farms. The animal dung served as manure. The shell provided fuel for various purposes. The husk served as mulch and soil stabilizing material. Currently, the raw coconut is harvested and transported over long distances to the villages for processing. This practice entails high cost of transportation, considerable drudgery and deprives the coconut trees of the benefit of the organic matter in the husk The current method of coconut farming does not harnesses the economic and financial benefits inherent in on-farm processing of the coconut, as is done in countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Sri Lanka, Philippines, etc.

2.1.4 The raw coconut is about five times in volume and four times in weight as the dried meat it is also more then fifteen times in weight and volume as the coconut oil. Hence, there is considerable saving in handling and transport cost if the coconut is turned into oil or copra on the farm. The processing of the coconut on the farm allows the farmer to use the husk as soil stabilizing material and plant food. Studies have shown that the gross caloric value of a kilogram of coconut shell is about 20,800 kilo Joules of energy and forty thousand coconuts husks would return to the soil the equivalent of 135 kg of KCl, 25 kg of Kieserite, 20 kg of Urea,10 kg of TSP and 5 kg of Lime,

2.2 THE PROBLEM Coconut farming in Ghana is mainly along the coastal lands where the ecological conditions are most favourable for the crop. The processing of the coconut into oil produces oily liquid waste, which is discharged on the beaches and the banks of streams. During the rainy season when the oily waste is washed into the sea, a lot of dead fish come unto the beaches. The oily liquid waste has polluted the streams and degraded the beaches and the land around the streams. Most of the streams, the Amanzure and the two major rivers in the area i.e. the Tano and Ankobra are, for all practical economic purposes, deplete of fish. The polluted streams discharge into the sea, the Amanzure and Juen Lagoons which link Ghana and Côte d’ Ivoire..

2.2.2 The main source of income of the inhabitants of the western coastal lands is coconut. The farms are made up of about 90% of small holders with an average farm size of about two (2) hectares. The uneconomic coconut farming/processing practices and the threat of the CSPWD have caused a decline in living standards of the community. One of the by-products of coconut oil production, coconut chaff, serves as pig feed. Hence, pig rearing has become a source of income. Unfortunately, this economic activity is gradually developing into another environmental and health hazard.

2.3 THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT The project seeks to develop and promote an integrated system for the production of bio-gas energy for small holder coconut farming and processing and organic manure for vegetable farming. This pilot project and the overall programme aim at improving farm yields and increasing the income of the inhabitants.

2.3.2 The small holder coconut farmers, processors and animal farmers are to be organized into an enterprise under the overall supervision of FILCOT. The coconut farmers carrying out this pilot project live at Azulenloanu near Esiama. The records of the farmers and a letter from the Chief of Azulenloanu are attached as Appendix B. The coconut farmers have committed their farmers to the project.

2.3.3 A Farmers’ Service Centre is to be set up within the farms. Pig sties and chicken coops are to be organized in the individual farms. The Farmers’ Service Centre will serve as the focal point for the provision of goods and services for the farmers and the processing of the produce from the farms. The participants will be coconut farmers, animal farmers and oil processors. The participants will maintain the farms and process the produce daily. There will also be specialists, experts, technicians and representatives of the District Assembly supporting the centre as facilitators. The Manager of the enterprise will be appointed by the participants and assisted by a management team. The management team will be made up of representatives of the various participating interests.

2.3.4 The project seeks to use the current method of coconut farming and processing while introducing basic scientific and technical ideas and modern management concepts that will:-

• Assist the small holder coconut farmer to improve on his income by rearing animals in his farm;
• Promote the use of bio-gas by a group of small holder coconut farmers as energy to process the coconut on the farm and the sludge for vegetable and fish farming;
• Convert the coconut shell into carbon for export;
• Use some of the coconut husk as mulch and sell the rest to a factory to produce soil stabilizing mat;
• Provide potable water and improve sanitation;

2.4 THE RATIONALE OF THE PROJECT The project will promote a sustainable economic usage of the agricultural produce of the area and encourage information dissemination and adaptive research. This concept of processing of the main components of the coconut and adding value to the waste and by products creates a synergy of a number of social groups within the community. The rationale of the project is to
• Enhance cooperation, partnership and networking among the main stakeholders in the coconut sector such as the Coconut Research Programme, Farmers and the Coconut Processing Industry;
• Reduce land degradation and the pollution of the major international water bodies i.e. the Amansure, the Sea, the Juen Lagoon, which link Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire;
• Support the small holder coconut farmers to build on their capacity to improve on their income generation activities;
• Promote the use of coconut husk as mulch and soil stabilizing mat to reduce soil erosion;
• Promote the commercialization of coconut shell thus improve the income of the smallholder coconut farmers;
• Promote the use of bio-gas as energy source thus reducing the burning of fossil fuel;
• Serve as an input to the Nzema East District Assembly’s developmental programme associated with the Coconut Sector Development Project, the Rural Enterprise Development Project, the NDPC’s Wealth Creation Programme and the National Livestock Project.
• Reduce the drudgery of handling and processing coconut;
• Increase the value of the coconut by commercializing the shell and husk;
• Promote a savings and credit scheme;

2.4.2 The different aspects of the facilities will bring together the men and women into various partnerships The work components are such that the skilled and unskilled will have definite roles. Further, the time tested and proven concept of ‘income being dependant on ability, performance and output” will be the basis of the management and operation of the enterprise.

2.4.3 This project will serve as a component of the Social Investment Project of the Government. The project will create wealth and improve the earning capacity of the community. The pig rearing aspect of the project will serve as an input for NEDA’s Pig Project of the Rural Enterprise Development Project. The organization of the coconut farmers and processors into a composite group and the creation of a credit mechanism will supplement the Coconut Sector Development Project.

2.5 THE SPECIFIC RESULTS EXPECTED FROM THE PROJECT The project will provide for the community the following:-

• 3 biogas digesters to generate energy for coconut processing thereby reducing the use of biomass;
• 30 coconut farmers will be assisted to incorporate pig and chicken rearing into coconut farming, thus enhancing their income;
• A Farmers’ Service Centre with facilities for storage of produce and a store for selling farm inputs to reduce overhead cost of coconut farming and processing
• A mini dam for production of fish and improve on access to potable water;
• A well and overhead tank and water distribution network to improve potable water supply;
• Facilities and equipment for processing coconut without polluting the environment;
• 10 Charcoal portable kilns to produce coconut charcoal for activated charcoal;
• Organic vegetable production is to be introduced in the Nzema East District.

2.5.2 Further, the project should reduce the pollution of the Tano and Ankobra rivers and the sea and the degradation of agricultural lands. There should be apparent improvement in the husbandry practices and the reduction in the cost of coconut processing and the maintenance of the coconut farms. The overall life style should be seen to have improved within two years after commissioning.

3.1 PROJECT ACTIVITIES The project will take eighteen months to carry out and will have four steps namely:

Step 1:- Detailed engineering including surveys;
Step 2:- Construction of facilities;
Step 3:- Commissioning and training of the users of the facilities;
Step 4:- Monitoring.

3.1.2 Detailed Engineering. The farmers have identified the intended sites for the Farmers Services Centre, the sources of water, the animal and vegetables farming and related facilities. Social surveys, sensitization of the participants and training have started.

3.1.3 There are about 29 families with over 120 ha of coconut farms involved in this pilot project. The farms are contiguous. Each farmer has demarcated his farm.

3.1.4 Land survey will be carried out to assist in the construction of the various facilities. A number of engineering drawings and details have been prepared. However, the first month will be used to finalize the engineering drawings, design details and the selection of equipment and materials for the works.

3.1.5 Construction of Facilities. During the first month minor construction work will be initiated. The construction and installation of the facilities are expected to move into full gear by the second month. All major works should be completed within twelve months after commencement of the works.

3.1.6 The training of the users will be carried out by FILCOT with the support of the District Agricultural Development Unit, Coconut Research Programme, and Water Research Institute (WRI). The training and sensitization is already being carried out and will be an on going exercise during the construction period and after commissioning.

3.1.7 The following will be carried out:-
• Construct a mini dam, a well, overhead tank and water distribution network;
• Construct 10 portable charcoal kilns;
• Construct two bio-gas digesters, related network of drainage system and vegetable gardens.
• Construct a Farmers’ Service Centre complete with facilities for processing coconut into oil, a central piggery to service sows, a chicken brooder house for day old cockerels;

3.1.8 The small holder coconut farmers will be assisted to construct and stock pig sties and chicken coops within their farms.

3.1.9 The Farmers’ Service Centre will have:-

• Accommodation for farm management and providing goods and services to farmers;
• Accommodation for the storage of produce, farm implements, etc;
• Machines for oil processing;
• A sow servicing building;
• Chicken Brooder house;
• A bio-gas digester and waste disposal system and vegetable garden;

3.1.10 Sensitization of the participants on the effective usage and maintenance of the facilities will continue during the construction period.

3.1.11 Commissioning and Training The commissioning will entail the official handing over of the project to the farmers. The training programme will continue after the facilities have been commissioned.

3.1.12 Monitoring The pilot project would be monitored for six months to ensure that adequate feedback is provided for effecting remedial measures and to develop new ideas for the overall programme. The training and sensitization aspects will continue during the monitoring period. At the end of the monitoring period a project completion report would be prepared for GEF/SGP.

3.2 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. The Project Manager will have overall coordinating responsibility for the project. He will see to the meetings with the various agencies and coordinate all issues associated with the project. He will be responsible for the implementation of the project. The daily management of the completed facilities will be undertaken by a Manager appointed by the participants and supervised by a Management Team made up of representatives of the participants.

3.2.2 Each organization or group of persons involved in the overall programme has been contacted and assigned a role, for the effective implementation of this project. The organizations and their roles are:-

• The coconut farmers’ at Azolenouanu will vest their farms in the enterprise
• The District Agricultural Development Unit (DADU) of the Nzema East District will act as facilitator for the Farmers’ Service Centre. DADU will also provide advise on animal husbandry and farming activities;
• FILCOT will implement and monitor the project and provide the relevant training and feed back;
• The Takoradi Branch of the Agricultural Development Bank and the Ankobra West Rural Bank will manage the savings and credit scheme. The recovery of the external funds will start six months after the commissioning. The relevant interest would be applied.
• SITOS and Central Carbons Company Limited (CCC) will see to the activities associated with the coconut shell;
• WEINCO and Densu Ventures will address issues on the coconut husk;
• FIL will be associated with coconut oil production, animal feed and other farm produce;
• The Chiefs of the district will assist to sensitize the participants and the community;
• Coconut Research Programme of the OPRI is to adopt the project as part of its adaptive research activities on coconut;
• The Fish Research Programme of the WRI is to adopt the project as part of its adaptive research activities on fish farming;
• GHASES and ISES are to monitor the project as part of their programme to promote the usage of renewable sources of energy;

3.2.3 The project will be a component of an overall programme to promote such cooperation, partnership and network among the small holder coconut farmers, coconut processors and some of the industries in the area.

4.1 THE SEQUENCE OF MAJOR ACTIVITIES The project, which is to be completed within eighteen months, will cover:-

a. Social Surveys and Engineering Details;
b. Land Surveys and Improving Access paths in the farms;
c. Construction of Water Supply and Distribution Network;
d. Reorganization of the Pig and Chicken Rearing Facilities.
e. Construction of Bio-gas Digesters, A Drainage System and Vegetable Garderns;
f. Construction of Farmers Service Centre Including Processing Facilities;
g. Training and Sensitization of the Participants;
h. Commissioning.

4.1.2 Social Surveys and Engineering Details This aspect of the project has already started. The documentation of the particulars and selection of the participants, farm sizes, farm location, landscape and other related data are being undertaken. This exercise will be completed during the first month. The participants will be assigned duties and responsibilities indicating time schedules and quality and quantity of work to be carried out.

4.1.3 The engineering drawings and details and equipment selection have started. All the drawings and associated equipment list will be in place by the end of January 2005.

4.1.4 During the first week of January 2005 there will be a project kick start meeting to spell out roles of all the stakeholders.

4.1.5 Land Surveys and Improving Access Paths in the Farms The land surveys will start immediately after the kick start meeting. Improving the access paths in the farms shall be carried out as a component of the land survey. This aspect of the project will be completed before the end of January 2005.

4.1.6 Construction of Water Supply and Distribution Network. The work on the water supply and distribution network begin during the dry season i.e. by the second week of January 2005. It entails the construction of a well, micro dams, overhead tanks, related pipe works and installation of hand and diesel pumps. It is estimated that the work will take four weeks to complete.

4.1.7 Reorganization of the Pig and Chicken Rearing Facilities This entails ensuring that the animal farmers have constructed their pig farrowing sties or the chicken coops according to guidelines. The pig farrowing sties and the chicken coops are expected to be ready by the end of February 2005. Each completed pig farrowing sty will be stocked with a served sow. Each completed chicken coop will have 100 eight week old cockerels.

4.1.8 Construction of Bio-gas Digesters, Drainage System and Vegetable Gardens. Construction of the of three bio-gas digesters, drainage system and vegetable gardens will begin by the second week of January 2006. The bio-gas digesters are to be ready for use by the third week of March 2005. The drainage system and the vegetable gardens are expected to be fully completed by the beginning of June 2005.

4.1.9 Construction of Farmers Service Centre Including Processing Facilities This is the hub of the activities to be carried. It will comprise of:-
• Site preparation for the Farmers Service Centre;
• Construction of offices for the management of the Enterprise;
• Construction of storage facilities for the working tools;
• Construction of five portable charcoal kilns;
• Construction of a store for selling the agro chemicals, farm implements, and other needs of the farmers;
• Construction of storage facilities for the farm produce;
• Construction of piggery for servicing the sows;
• Construction of brooder house for the day old chicken;
• Installation of equipment for processing the coconut;
• Adequate space for movement and other general activities

4.1.10 These works shall be started during the second week of January 2005 and be completed by December 2006

4.1.11 Training and Sensitization of the Participants. The training and sensitization aspects of the project have already been started. It will continue until after the commissioning of the facilities.

4.1.12 Commissioning. By April 2007, the completed projected should be in use and ready for commissioning.

5.1 COMMITMENTS The organization of the programme is such that the Nzema East District Assembly through the District Agricultural Development Unit and the Chief and people of Azulenloanu have discussed this pilot project for many months to ensure that the concept is clearly understood and it meets their aspirations and suits their normal daily farming culture.

5.1.2 The Nzema East District Assembly. The District Chief Executive of NEDA and the District Director of Agriculture have expressed interest in the project. They are participating in the project. The District Administration intends to adopt it as one of its development programmes for the whole district. Attached is a letter from NEDA expressing their interest and intention.

5.1.3 Azulenloanu Farmers. The Chief of Azulenloanu and his Elders have shown their commitment and are anxious to get the project off the ground. The Chief and about 29 families will be actively involved in the construction of the facilities and the management and operation of the farms, the Farmers Services Centre and related activities. Attached is the document indicating their commitment.

6.1 KEY ASSUMPTIONS The main specific identifiable risks are reliable market and effective management. Measures have been put in place to remove or minimize the risks.

6.1.2 Reliable Market Reliable sales outlets for the pigs, the chicken, the oil, the husk, the shell and chaff have been organized with a number of manufacturing companies. FIL, the main industrial enterprise in the locality has promised to purchase most of the produce for further processing at its factory. WEINCO of Tikobo and Densu Ventures of Canada have offered to buy the coconut husks. SITOS of Accra and CENTRAL CARBONS of Esiama have also offered to buy the coconut shells and charcoal.

6.1.3 Effective Management Effective management will be ensured through the direct participation of the community in the project. Almost all the farming and processing activities will be undertaken on the basis of the individual’s ability to earn an income commensurate with individual’s output. “Earn as you produce” is a time tested and proven concept. It is the main form of contract currently being practised in the community.

6.1.4 An enterprise will be set up to be managed as a private independent commercial venture limited by shares. The enterprise will be owned by the participants, who will appoint a Manager for the enterprise. A management committee made up of representatives of the participants will oversee the enterprise and formulate policies and programmes. The management committee will supervise the Manager of the enterprise. The District Assembly and FILCOT will monitor the enterprise with the support of an external auditor
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Project Snapshot

Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 28,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 51,000.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 81,800.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
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Nzema East and Jomoro District Assemblies

SGP Country office contact

Dr. George Buabin Ortsin
Ms. Lois Sarpong
+233 505740909


UNDP, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme P.O. Box 1423
Accra, Greater Accra, 233-302
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