A professor at the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, University of Ilorin, Joshua Olaoye, has built a rice harvester to enhance rice production in Nigeria.
Mr Olaoye who disclosed this in his paper at the 187th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Ilorin on Thursday said this was done to ensure large-scale food production in Nigeria,
He listed his other designs to include locust bean processing, melon shelling, cowpea threshing and sugarcane juice extracting machines.
Mr Olaoye’s paper was titled: “Gathering the Fragments…that nothing is wasted: Advancing Agricultural Mechanisation, Energy and Food Sovereignty Catena”.
The don who teaches in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology of the University explained that agricultural mechanisation reduces drudgery and makes a nation to be food sufficient.
He observed that in many developing countries, agricultural practices continued to be based on animal and human energy.
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“Insufficient mechanical and electrical energy is available for agriculture hence the potential gains in agricultural productivity through the deployment of modern energy services are not being realised,” Mr Olaoye noted.
He explained that the locust bean processing machine would facilitate stages of crop processing, including decorticating, depulpiing, dehulling and crop drying.
Mr Olaoye said the machine and the chains of processing activities have potentials to spring up cottage industry that could provide additional employment in Nigeria.
He stated that the invention would also prevent produce from being attacked by insects and rodents.
Mr Olaoye called for teaching and training of agricultural engineering across polytechnics and universities to provide approaches that would provide solutions to meet the needs of farmers in the country.