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|Project||Location||Funding Level||Funding Period|
|Elsa Foods Processing Project||Tema, Ghana||$250,000||FY 2004-2008|
Commercial food production in Ghana has undergone rapid expansion and diversification over the past two decades. Its agricultural sector produces vast surpluses of cassava, yam, cocoyam and plantain, and these staples offer tremendous profit potential to the small-scale farmers who grow them because they do not require significant investments in fertilizer, weed control, pest control or irrigation.
Yet about 30 percent of Ghana’s annual food harvest currently goes to waste due to underinvestment in the nation’s food processing industry. More than 90 percent of the country’s foodstuffs are still sold to regional and international consumers in raw form, a factor that substantially limits opportunities for rapid, efficient and cost-effective distribution and reduces profits that could be derived from value-added processing.
This situation diverts precious income out of the hands of small food producers, increases the cost of domestically consumed processed foods, limits Ghana’s capacity to earn foreign exchange through the international sale of value-added goods, and prevents Ghana from becoming a breadbasket for west Africa.
ADF’s trade and investment initiative in Ghana is helping locally owned food processing enterprises expand the scale and quality of their operations and become engines of economic opportunity for surrounding communities. ELSA Foods will receive ADF funds to purchase new processing equipment and provide their employees with training in new processing techniques, financial management, and marketing. These investments will help ELSA deliver more goods to market, provide local growers with a reliable point of purchase for their produce, and return measurable social and economic benefits to local communities.
Based in the town of Kpone, 25 kilometers east of Accra, ELSA is a woman-owned small business that produces and distributes a wide range of ethnic foods to consumer markets across Ghana under the homespun slogan, “Mother’s Pride.” With the support of a new trade and investment program, ELSA will purchase new drying, boiling, blanching and dicing machines to improve its processing of the fufu, cassava, and maize flours that are the foundation of Ghana’s national cuisine. The ADF/GOG project will also provide ELSA with capital to expand its purchase of raw food stocks from small farmers based in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
Local consumer demand for Elsa’s product line is strong because ELSA is Ghana’s most popular domestic producer of instant, ready-to-make fufu and cassava meal. The company also exports a small quantity of its production to markets serving Ghanaians abroad. It is thus expected that improvements in the company’s processing capacity and supply chain will allow it to:
Triple its total sales of dehydrated fufu, cassava, and maize meal over five years,
Multiply its net profits ten-fold,
Increase the number of its full-time employees from 18 to 66,
Pay its employees average salaries that are three times greater than Ghana’s average gross national income (GNI) (US $1,232 vs. US $380),
Provide every employee with affordable access to health insurance, and,
Develop a long-term savings fund for employees that will match employee salary contributions up to the level of 10 percent.
ELSA’s growth will also deliver measurable economic benefits to local farming communities - benefits that go well beyond profits from increased sales. Whereas most foodstuff traders in the Kpone area purchase their stocks on credit, ELSA will make immediate cash payments to its suppliers. This assured income will give farmers confidence to increase the size of their plots to meet ELSA’s demand. The enterprise's growth is also expected to provide more than 200 Ghanaian women with a strong source of independent cash income.