West African countries such as Ghana, as part of a larger Africa ecology, abound in plethora of organic products that nourish the body and soul, which remain untapped for several reasons, chiefly the lack of technology and application of science.
While the more health conscious parts of the world go to great lengths in search of organic products as a shift from artificial and lab-generated food products, Africans have not been able to harness such resources which abound in their localities by virtue of the vast arable land availability.
However, all that is about to change, with Kasapreko Company Limited (KCL), a hitherto alcohol distillery, adding its might to the many small businesses which are making small dents of converting some of the country’s herbal resources into healthy beverages for nourishment.
The Group Chairman of KCL, Dr Kwabena Adjei, told journalists just before the inauguration of a new beverage bottling line that the company would soon start the commercial production of local non-alcoholic drinks such as “asana, sobolo and hausa beer.”
He said that would form part of the non-alcoholic beverages that the company had started producing.
Hausa beer is a home-made non-alcoholic beer which is common in Africa, while sobolo and asaana are also local drinks which are produced from roselle leaf and fermented maize, respectively.
The new plant, which was commissioned by President John Dramani Mahama on December 15, has the capacity to produce 70,000 bottles of alcoholic and 40,000 non-alcoholic beverages per hour.
It comprises a large warehouse with a loading bay, material storage areas and state-of–the-art production and packaging lines.
Dr Adjei said the company invested US$70 million into the project in order to scale up its production capacity of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Drinks from Cassava
Dr Adjei also stated that the company was currently looking at ways in which it could produce drinks from cassava.
The company recently acquired 40 per cent shares in Caltech Ventures Company Limited, an agro-based institution with expertise in cassava production and processing.
The group chairman said the company would also eventually obtain 50 per cent of its ethanol locally from the Caltech Cassava Company Limited.
According to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana produces about 16 million tonnes of cassava, of which about 11 million tonnes is available for non-industrial (human) consumption.
However, only four million tonnes of the crop which is available for human consumption is actually utilised, leaving more than seven million tonnes as surplus.
The decision of KCL to produce drinks from cassava will, therefore, help enhance the commercial use and value of the crop.
Ghana currently imports 60 million litres of ethanol annually, with KCL alone importing 25 million litres of ethanol from Brazil, Pakistan, USA and France.
Competing on the global market
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Richard Adjei, said the investment would enable the company to compete favourably on the global market.
He said KCL would continue to grow its business not only in Ghana but internationally.
Kasapreko exports about 50 per cent of its products to Nigeria, South Africa, Cote d’Iviore, Benin, UK and USA.