Extraction of Coconut Oil by Small-Scale Processors in Ghana: Operations and Constraints

William Odoom, Vida Opoku Edusei, Mohammed-Kamil Abukari Piegu


This article explores the various procedures and constraints associated with coconut oil processing by small-scale processors in Jomoro District of the Western Region of Ghana. Thirty (30) respondents from four randomly selected villages with significant coconut oil production and processing were interviewed using a questionnaire. The study revealed 53% males and 47% females, 87% within the age of 20-49 years with 53.3% literate are engaged in the enterprise. Processing of coconut oil involves removing husk using a spike, cracking shell with a cutlass to remove the meat   followed by size reduction into fine textured fibre by a rotary grater. Fibre is mixed with water to obtain milk, which is decanted into long plastic/metal barrels for settling and fermentation ranging between 2-3 days for quality oil. Oil suspended is skimmed off and refined immediately to avoid rancidity. Refining involves boiling the oil to evaporate water. Oil is cooled, filtered and stored in lightproof, airtight containers in a cool place. Containers for re-use are not cleared of previous oil, affecting oil quality. Challenges processors face include lack of improved coconut oil extraction technologies, financial constraints, lack of support from local authority. The small- scale coconut oil extraction provides job for the youth therefore the need to promote the industry by provision of modern and improved technologies, credit and training.

Keywords: Small-scale processors, Operations, Constraints, Wet processing, Rotary Grater.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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