By EBELE ORAKPO
Nigeria cereal farmers can now smile as the days of manually threshing cereals with sticks and clubs seem to be coming to an end, thanks to a new product, Multi-Crops Thresher (MCT), developed by the Technology Incubation Centre, TIC, Kano, one of the centres established by the National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI).
In an earlier interview with Vanguard, the Ag. Director-General/ Chief Executive Officer of NBTI, Dr Mohammed Jibrin, said that the whole idea of Technology Incubation Centres is “to identify researches that are target-driven and specifically needed for the development of Nigeria so they can be initiated to become new knowledge-driven sustainable businesses. The mandate of the programme is to commercialise researches from our universities and research institutions so that knowledge-driven businesses can evolve. This will discourage unnecessary importation of what our talents can produce.”
According to a release from NBTI, “the multi-crops thresher is a technology innovated at the Technology Incubation Centre, Kano to facilitate threshing of massive quantities of hygienically-produced and clean grains with ease, saving farmers a lot of energy and harvest-time losses of grains and useful crops residues. The unique innovation is, at present, the latest technology on cereals threshing.
“The high-capacity machine capable of threshing millet, sorghum and maize has as its components – crop-feeding chute or hopper, threshing cylinder having stud-type beaters/blades blowers, set of sieves, sieve casing, flywheel, pulleys, main shaft high-quality bearings, grain and straw outlet, among others.”
How it works:
“Specific quantity of the seed-laden peduncle/straw is fed through the hopper, after which the blades and beaters separate the grains from the straw/peduncle by impact. Beater studs further separate the grains and the blades of the threshing cylinder.
“Chaff and dust, along with other impurities, are winnowed away by the blower. The grains are collected through sieves, which are changeable, depending on the crop to be threshed. Extra fan cleans the grains.”
Although Nigeria’s local grains are believed to be more nutritious and tastier than the imported variety, the imported variety sells more because it has no sand/stones unlike the local variety. So, with the MCT which has been described as the latest technology on cereals threshing in Nigeria, the farmers can now produce cleaner grains.
“MCT apart from drastically reducing human labour in grains threshing, also enhances the production of neat and hygienic grains. Reduces losses of grains during threshing, leads to ready availability of crops residues for animal feed production through crushing, increases the processing and production of various grains at reduced cost.”
The thresher, according to a statement by NBTI, has the capacity to thresh 100 bags of maize per day; 45 bags of sorghum per day; and 15 bags of millet per day.
The Hammer mill:
To help curtail the incessant fights between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in different parts of the country due to the migratory nature of cattle rearing, Dr. Jibrin while at the Kano Centre, developed the Hammer mill, a crop residue crushing machine, said, “This will settle the issue of cattle destroying farmlands and farmers clashing with cattle rearers. Cattle should not be left to scavenge if they are required to produce good quantity of meat or milk.”
“Crop residues could serve as feed for animals but for the fact that they cannot be processed in that part of the country, they become waste as the animals cannot even consume 30 per cent of it, so for that reason, the machine was fabricated and developed and is now into operation. Farmers having realised the value are really buying it and it has made most cattle rearers to stay in one place since the feed can be made available to the cattle in one place,” Jibrin noted.
Last November, the Federal Government donated these crop residue crushing machines to 10 farmers’ cooperative societies in Kaduna State.