By Okuanwan Offiong
Lagos – The Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE) said it would embark on fabrication of rice dryer, shea butter and castor oil seed processing machines this year.
Mr Ibidapo Kayode, Lagos State Chairman of NATE, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos that the fabrication would help boost the nation’s agricultural sector.
He said most farmers in the country faced huge losses for lack of proper preservation due to improper drying of grains such as rice.
“Research has shown that Nigerian farmers do not only face the challenge of how to de-stone the rice they produce but that they also experience huge loss due to lack of adequate preservation resulting from improper drying.
“The presence of moisture in freshly harvested grains and favourable temperature enhances germination of stored seeds; to prevent loss, this needs to be controlled by removing the moisture completely.
“It is important to dry grains before storing because it contains moisture that is favourable for growing of microorganisms which can spoil the grain.
“In order to tackle the above, NATE Lagos branch has decided to embark on the fabrication of rice dryer,’’ he said.
According to him, shea butter, mostly known as “Ori” in the Western Nigeria, has one of the most important anti-aging agents for the skin.
The technologist said vitamins A and E found in shea butter kept the skin supple, nourished, and radiant.
“ If used regularly, it reduces wrinkles and also prevents premature wrinkles and facial lines. It is also used to restore hair moisture.
“The association believes that fabricating a machine for processing this seed and making it readily available for the masses will make life easier for our farmers,’’ Kayode said.
He identified the major challenge of the post- harvest processing of castor seed as the de-husking and shelling.
He disclosed that the association had already fabricated the machine to de-husk castor seeds and planned to fabricate machine to extract the oil.
“The association began work on the machine in October 2019, fabricated and launched a machine that helps to de-husk the castor seed.
“This year, as a body, we decided to push further by working on a machine that will process the castor seed and extract the oil,’’ the chairman said.
NAN reports that NATE in 2019 fabricated rice de-stoning machine (patented) and castor oil seed de-husking equipment, among others.
NATE is a professional body of practical technologists and engineers allied to the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) with the major aim of promoting professional excellence among technologists and engineers.