… Farmers in 774 LGAs to get dehydration machines
By Palma Ileye
In a bid to boost Agriculture and reduce post-harvest losses, the Federal Government on has commissioned the Multipurpose Grain Dryer Machine.
Performing the Commissioning Ceremony yesterday at Kwali Area Council in Abuja, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri stated that the Multipurpose Grain Dryer Machine was meant for Smallholder Farmers in order to reduce post-harvest losses, boost production and enhanced livelihood of Farming Families.
Shehuri further stated that the introduction of the Grain Dryer Machine to the Smallholder Farmer was in line with the Ministry’s comprehensive Mechanization Policy as presented in the Green Imperative Project and it would aid in tackling the high level of post-harvest losses in the country as well as preservation of crops.
He pointed out that 90 per cent of farmers in Nigeria were Smallholder Farmers and that the Federal Government’s approach towards revolutionizing the Agricultural Sector was to empower the Smallholders Farmers.
The Minister disclosed that efforts were underway to circulate dehydration machines for farmers in the 774 Local Government Areas, LGAs, in the country.
He said: “The drying infrastructure you are seeing today is a pilot one, effort is on the way to provide this dryer in almost all the 774 local governments in the country.
“This is the right decision and time for the commissioning of these machines. 90 per cent of our farmers in this country are small holder farmers. Our approach towards revolutionising agriculture, is to empower these small holder farmers.
“Our culture in the cooperative approach, because it is not deeply entrenched in our culture, you will find out that by the time you form cooperative communities or groups, they will start fighting over the machine.
“We want to appeal to representatives of farmers here, we would appreciate if the manufacturers come up with a simpler technology that individual farmers can afford to buy and use.
However, the Minister charged benefiting farmers on effective utilisation of the machines and to facility.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, represented by the Director, General Services Department, Mr. Solomon Abdul stated that the new extension approach of providing necessary Machines to farmers group would guarantee treating Agriculture as a business venture to attract the necessary investments, innovations and best practices for National Development.
Earlier, in his remark, the Director, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension Services, Engr. Frank Kudla said that the adoption of the multigrain dyer technology would effectively expand marketing opportunities, contribute to better livelihood of Smallholder Farmers and significantly enhance Food Security in the Country.
He added that the Multigrain Dryer would strengthen the Agricultural Extension Services efforts to effectively promote Post-Harvest Losses, PHLS, reduction in Nigeria.
In a Goodwill Message, the Traditional Ruler of Kwali, Etsu Shaban Audu, commended the Federal Government for providing the multi- purpose dryer machine for the Smallholder Farmers.
Highlight of the event was the commissioning of the Multi-Purpose Crop/Grain Drying Machine by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development and other Dignitaries. While a Traditional dance group from Kwali entertained guests.
The GTR 750 Mobile Dryer has the capacity to dry 1000kg of maize per hour and reduce its moisture by 10 percent. In addition, the machine has heating capacity of 290kw (direct) and air capacity of 12000m3 per hour.