Commercialisation of traditional food products

BY: Daniel Ofosu Dwamena
Commercialisation of traditional food products
Commercialisation of traditional food products

The commercialisation of some local food products in the country is promoting manufacturing at the lighter industry level, which ultimately has compelled many farmers to cultivate such crops to feed the industry in highly productive zones rather than just to feed family.

This has led to the situation where Ghana is experiencing a rapid growth rate in the agricultural sector which recorded a growth rate of 8.4 per cent at the end of 2017 as compared to three per cent in 2016.

The crops sub-sector contributed a 9.4 percentage point increase in 2017 as against 2.5 in 2016.

This gives the indication that crop production is contributing immensely to economic growth, while at the same time hunger in rural households are being reduced.

Industry also saw a giant leap from negative 0.5 per cent in 2016 to 16.7 in 2017, with manufacturing contributing an average of 3.7 per cent in 2017 after poor performance in previous years.

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Other contributions

Aside from these contributions, key traditional staple food and other food groups such as nuts, seeds, wild fruits and vegetables used in diets play significant roles in maintaining the health and well-being of consumers.

In an effort to promote the production of local food items on a commercial basis, the country has seen small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) manufacturing various products to serve a number of people, both locally and for exports.

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It is no gainsaying the fact that these light industries are also contributing in the stimulation of the manufacturing sector in the county.

However, little or no attention has been given to these businesses and their impact in both the agricultural and manufacturing sector.

Some commercialised food products

A product such as Koko King started producing porridge flour with food products such as maize, millet, wheat, rice and sorghum.

Unlike porridge prepared in households, the company added value and branded it with nice packaging.

Like every start-up, initial capital and public acceptance was a challenge. However with constant determination to commercialise what was already in the system, the product made significant turnover in terms of patronisation from 20 meals per day to 100 within few hours in the morning.

As a company aimed at providing high-quality nutritious, reliable, healthy, affordable, convenient and tasty meals, driven by excellent customer service and timely delivery, it has become one of the household products in the country.

It has also been seen as a great local food brand with global food safety and quality standards providing innovative local food solutions to the local and international markets after it was produced in large quantity for export.

Icy Cup concept

In 2016, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology (KNUST), Kumasi partnered Peak Investment Capital (PIC) to establish the country’s biggest dairy company which manufactured Icy Cup, a yogurt product, on a larger scale to feed the people in the country, especially students on its campuses.

The partnered company transformed the yoghurt produced at KNUST into an international standard product which also promoted research in the Dairy Beef Cattle Research Unit of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department of the university.

The transformation, according to the school’s authority, has made significant turnovers in the number of sales per day.

Neat fufu, Cornani, Nkulenu palm nut soup, ‘Kube’ Republic, among others are products that are reshaping the lighter manufacturing landscape to boost the commercialisation of local food products such as maize, millet, cassava, nuts and fruits for exports.

Way forward

Manufacturers, especially those in the light industry, should monitor the trend at which customer demands change overtime.

There are some local foods that are very much enjoyed by many people, especially the elite, but they are unable to take it under some circumstances.

This was the missing gap that was identified and filled by Kube Republic, a product and service enterprise which retails fresh coconut in a modern way using coconut cart.

Therefore, regaining control of your manufacturing business by identifying the shortfalls in the environment to fix it with your product can optimise your business.

This can lead to improved profit based on the superior delivery capability. — GB