KUFUOR SCHOLAR INVENTS COCOA POD BREAKING MACHINE
Kufuor Scholar, Daniel Amoshie, has invented a cocoa pod breaking machine which breaks more than five cocoa pods at a time and sieves the beans automatically.
The machine separates beans from the husk and placenta, reduce debris in beans, and reduces time in removing the placenta during drying.
The machine which is fuel-powered and hence can be used in places without electricity has tires for easy mobility to any farm.
Cocoa pod breaking is a post-harvest activity that farmers still struggle to undertake, several years after Ghana started growing cocoa.
Farmers usually break the pods with either blunt cutlass or a wooden pub. Sometimes, they hit the two pods together to get the beans and this usually requires a lot of labour and time.
Daniel who is a student at Ashesi University says he hopes the invention will help improve the quality of beans, as well as reduce the stress and time cocoa farmers spend breaking pods.
He is confident it can also help avoid injury to cocoa farmers that is usually caused by other crude methods of breaking the pods.
He says the machine will reduce the cost of hiring labour for cocoa pod breaking. It will also improve the quality of beans produced which will earn farmers more income. “
Also, I believe that this innovation will help to motivate youths to go into cocoa farming as a profession considering that breaking of cocoa has always been regarded by them as a drudgery,” Daniel explained.
“My hope is to use the design to create job opportunities for local fabricators and help farmers as well,” he added.
Daniel says it took him only a few weeks to develop the machine.
“I designed the machine on software called SolidWorks. It was all done in less than two weeks and then I started fabrication. The first phase of fabrication was completed in two weeks and included only one week of active work.
“The first phase gave me the opportunity to test all the necessary parameters such as the speed of the machine, the best engine type, the sieving process, etc.,” Daniel explained.
“All that gave a positive outcome and so that allowed me to proceed to the next phase. The machine will then be taken to a farm to test its full operation capacity and other factors,” he added.
Daniel says he has been motivated by several factors to work on this including his participation in the Kufuor Scholars Program which has taught him to use his acquired knowledge to solve problems in society. “
Another motivation is the fact that Ashesi University has taught me ‘innovation and action’ which remain key learning goals at Ashesi… I am using the design thinking process as learned from Ashesi,” he explained.
He is calling for support from investors to be able to scale up the fabrication of more machines for the benefit of farmers.