Innovation That Matters

The Kilishi factory is powered by solar energy | Photo source Abubakar M. Ahmad/Wikipedia

Solar-powered factory to make traditional Nigerian food more sustainable

Food & Drink

The factory not only makes the process of preparing Kilishi more hygienic and resource efficient, but has the potential to create new employment opportunities

Spotted: Kilishi is a traditional Nigerian dish made by family-owned businesses in small towns across Katsina State. Similar to beef jerky, the dish consists of thin strips of raw meat that have been seasoned with spices, smoked and sun-dried outside. The process is laborious, taking two to three days, and resource-demanding with 20 kilos of firewood needed for every 100 kilos of Kilishi. 

To increase the hygiene during preparation and decrease the intensive resource consumption, in 2020, the Katsina state government partnered with the NEWMAP. According to a press release by the World Bank, the project aimed to demonstrate how making Kilishi could be more sustainable and avoid the use of charcoal or firewood. For this, the collaboration designed the Kilishi factory powered by solar energy. Everything from the meat drier domes, fuel-efficient kilns, heat extractors, security lights, borehole, and the office are powered by solar, they say. 

The project not only is an example of technological innovation and sustainability, but it also supports the development of the local community by opening employment opportunities for the younger generation.  

Unlike the traditional process of preparation, which takes 3 to 4 days, it only takes 3 hours at the factory on a sunny day. A total of 1,600 kg of meat can be prepared every day. This amount would normally take 20 Kilishi makers 2 weeks with traditional methods, said the World Bank. This has opened up exports across the country, with increased hygiene and tastier products raising the market value of Kilishi.

In addition to providing a more hygienic product, Alhaji Nasiru Hamza, the Yaba Village Chairman told the World Bank that it has benefited a plethora of people’s employment opportunities. Security guards, cleaners, and office support staff, in addition to the women who supply the chilly and groundnut cake powder (from home), as well as suppliers of packaging material, etc.  

Written By: Katrina Lane

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