Nigeria has the potential to meet the challenges of food production. Also, the food sector offers vast opportunities for processing. But there is a dire need to produce some classes of machinery, devices or technologies for food processing. This is because most locally produced machinery are unable to fulfill the demand of food manufacturers. Hence, they import the machinery for food processing.
In response to this, the Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE) Lagos Branch has taken a hands-on approach to promoting sustainable mechanisation
The association unveiled scaled down rice de-stoner and castor oil de-husking machine at a programme titled: “Driving Innovative Technology to Boost Nigeria’s economy in Lagos.”
The programme held at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) Oshodi, Lagos.
NATE National President Mr. Ahmed Muhammed Yabagi said the Federal Government has taken agriculture as a priority and rice as one of the most consume food in Nigeria, but that research has revealed that the major challenge with locally produced rice is stone.
NATE in its own capacity had decided to key in and boost the current agricultural revolution going on in Nigeria. This has led to the fabrication of the Rice De-Stoning machines as a solution to the worrisome problem facing our farmers.
He reiterated the readiness of the association to work with the government, service providers and farmer organisations to develop strategies that support the implementation of sustainable mechanization at the local level.
“Mechanisation that was overlooked in the past must now be on the drive, as a factor to fully analysing the way out of funding this nation with our local rice, and actualising food security at large.
The Vice-President, NATE Southwest, Engr. Emmanuel Adesina noted: ““Averagely, a unit of a Rice De-Stoning machine can provide training for undergraduates and job for our youths.
Hon. Bridget Obi said: “In the last few years, the Lagos State Branch of NATE has continued to live up to its vision and objectives by adding to the local market, locally fabricated smart and innovative technological solutions to accelerate production and reduce drudgery especially in the processing of Agricultural produce in Nigeria.”
She added that: “As innovators, we should continue to focus more on the problems our products are meant to solve. As we are creating value for people in the process, we get reward and make the economy to grow.
She said: “With the innovations of NATE in the area of scaled down rice de-stoner and castor oil de-husking machines, the next huge task we are facing is to find strategies on how the end users can have access to these machines.”
The Chairman, NATE Lagos State Branch, Engr. Ibidapo Kayode Samuel said the organisation is a professional body of practical technologists and engineers, member of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), with the major aim of promoting professional excellence among technologists and engineers.
SOURCE: THE NATION