The National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM) Ilorin, Kwara State, thrilled stakeholders at the ongoing 10th National Agricultural Show holding at Kilometre 28, Abuja-Keffi Expressway with an array of new machines.
The Executive Director of the centre, Engineer M.Y. Kasali, who led the organization’s team of experts to the show, said the centre has recorded huge achievements in the last two years, as it churned out many equipment that would drive the mechanisation prospect of the country.
Dr Kasali, who took National Enquirer round some of the technologies, said they are designed for the nation’s different agro ecologies.
Some of the new technologies showcased included a mini-combined harvester which can meet the demands of Nigerian farmers who do not have the financial power to import sophisticated harvesters.
Also, NCAM has produced a four-wheel mini-tractor with 40 horse power capacity that can be used by medium and small scale farmers in the country.
The mechanization centre this year also exhibited the ‘Tractor Draw Seed Planter’ which the executive director said will plant the farmers’ grains without hiccups.
In the area of cassava, the centre has added a number of technologies that will do all the work needed by the farmers.
The cassava machines include cassava planter which does the planting. It was hitherto inaccessible to farmers in the country.
Cassava harvester machine takes away the tedious labour of pulling out cassava from the ground. Another technology in this area includes cassava peeling machine called ‘Mechanical Cassava Peeler’ as well as cassava frying machine for making garri – a product that will be handy to the garri producing areas people.
Speaking on some of the constraints of the centre, the acting ED said like other research institutions, the research funds are tied to capital fund. He called on the government to separate research funds from capital project fund because research is a continuous process that needs not to be tied to any capital fund.