|Small Scale Processing of Oilfruits and Oilseeds (GTZ, 1989, 100 p.)|
|2. Target Groups and Technologies|
Oil processing at the district level (in the sense of a group of a few villages), offers interesting possibilities.
At this level, however, the technical performance of the equipment is only one side of the picture and, in fact, less problematic than the management of such a project. Important aspects include:
- the ability of the people concerned to organize themselves (in
a cooperative or in a private business),
- the ability to handle funds,
- the ability to take care of the rawmaterial supply and
- the marketing of the products.
Nevertheless, centralization can contribute considerably to the feasibility of the more sophisticated technology as already described for the village level. For instance in the case of oil palm fruit processing, mechanized equipment, such as the TCC pounding machine and certainly the CALTECH and COLIN expellers, need to be well utilized owing to the high investments involved. Where the infrastructure is well developed and the distances not too far for economic transportation, a combination of the raw material resources of several villages and a centralized processing facility could be a realistic alternative to processing at the village level.
In that case, one could think of a well engineered unit, equipped with:
- steaming facilities for bunches and loose fruit
- threshing facilities
- a good quality expeller type press (such as the CALTECH or COLIN)
- clarification tank
- oil dryer.
In the case of oilseed processing, an expeller - often to be imported - could become a possibility, provided that technical prerequisites are fulfilled, such as the availability of spare parts and the necessary skills for maintenance and repair.
Apart from the technical aspects, it should be kept in mind that such highly mechanized technologies are in principle:
- capital intensive,
- economically sensitive to bad harvests and falling oil prices, and
- socially geared to the use by men instead of women.
A considerable decline in employment opportunities at the village level (particularly for the women) might therefore be the effect of a larger scale oil processing operation at the district level.
Although such units might look attractive from the technical
point of view (see details in Chapter 5), the setting up of: centralized units
cannot be recommended as long as there are still doubts as to the possibility of
finding appropriate solutions for the technical as well as the man agement and
more human-oriented problems.