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Experts harp on enabling environment for fabricators

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Cassava

Nigerian fabricators have been charged to work on producing equipment that are of high standard, which can meet the needs of Africans.

Deputy Director, Natural Resources Institute (NRI), United Kingdom, Prof. Ben Bennet, who stated this at a two-day Training Workshop, organised for Fabricators by the Cassava Adding Value for Africa (CAVA) Phase II, Nigeria and NRI, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said the country’s fabricators have the potential of becoming a force to reckon with in making simple effective equipment that can meet the needs of Africans, if given the opportunity and adequate support.

He said flash dryers that are exported from the country are working perfectly well in other countries in Africa, saying it should be the pride of the country, which should be capitalised on.

Said he: “There are many examples of inter-regional technology exchange at this kind of level and I think you should be extremely proud of that because it’s a great achievement and the people in Nigeria don’t really realise that this sector is driving forward.

“I believe you really have an opportunity as a group of equipment makers to make simple effective equipment that is easily maintained, well designed and well-engineered, that fits the pocket and fits the condition that you find when you go out to other countries in this region.”

Bennet said people in Gabon, Congo and Chad who grow cassava, are in need of equipment to process them, calling on Fabricators to take advantage of the global opportunity.

“The opportunity is not just here in Nigeria. This is a global opportunity that you have, but to achieve this you have to have a certain amount of excellence, a certain amount of reliability and you have to build a reputation. If you are excellent, if you have got a good reputation and a good product I think the world will be at your doorstep.”

In his opening address, Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Prof. Kolawole Salako called for an enabling environment for researchers and Fabricators to flourish.

The Vice-Chancellor added: “the prototype idea for pounding yam emanated from a researcher in the University of Ife, but today you have the yam pounding machine coming from Japan and China. Nobody gives credit to that man again. If the enabling environment is there we can do it.”

In his remarks, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development) and Country Manager CAVA II, Prof. Lateef Sanni disclosed that the workshop is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the flash drying system in Nigeria for the cassava industry.


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