Buhari commissions agric machinery, equipment institute in Lafia
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday commissioned the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI), Lafia.
This, according to NASENI was part of the Buhari administration’s determination to make Nigeria a hub and supplier of agro-allied technology, equipment and machinery for the development of the agricultural sector and create jobs for the youth.
In his remark, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief executive, of NASENI, Engr. Prof. Sani Haruna, while commending the President, stated that it was the second commissioning of NASENI projects within a span of three months.
“The foundation-laying for construction of this institute and its commissioning today is within a period of less than six months. The directive for the establishment of six new agricultural technology-based institutes, one for each geo-political zone of the country was given in 2021 as part of the 12 new institutes approved to be established.
“NASENI under my leadership has developed a culture of speedy delivery on Presidential directives, not only to justify the new status of the agency but also to fast-track the transition of Nigeria to a manufacturing knowledge-based economy.
Haruna added that the Lafia institute was the first to be completed among the six equals across the geo-political zones of the country.
“The conceptualization of this model institute was targeted at the use of science and engineering infrastructure to support the Presidential efforts in the attainment of food and nutritional security in Nigeria for Nigerians.
“We are conversant with the Sustainable Development Goals and our national expectations to end hunger and create decent and inclusive jobs for our youths and women. We have resolved at NASENI to use the platforms of AMEDIs to modernize agribusiness in Nigeria and ensure sustainable scaling of agro-enterprises for new jobs and wealth creation.
“As a modular agricultural institute, AMEDI Lafia and others when completed, have a template to advance the injection of science, technology and innovation (STI) in the agricultural space across the country.”
The Vice Chairman noted that the in-built capabilities of the institutes will ensure the use of additive and SMART manufacturing platforms already acquired by NASENI to design, develop, assemble and produce agricultural and food processing implements for various classes of farmers.
He explained further that the main workshop in the institute shall become a model of a SMART factory that will leverage cutting-edge technologies to deliver made-in-Nigeria products and market demand-driven services that are suitable for both farmers and arable lands.
He stated however that the crop-livestock integration farming model to be practised in the experimental farm of the institute was strategic to the training of farmers and agro entrepreneurs on sustainable farming methods, using land resource optimization models.
“This institute is equipped with a Central Research Laboratory that will support the research activities of the institute along the various value chains of the target product lines of the institute.
“The institute has installed modern equipment for the processing of fruit juices, milk and other dairy products, including tomato processing to mention but a few. Each piece of equipment that is installed here is for backward integration. Multiple and improved versions would be produced by the institute for the benefit of farmers and agro-equipment industries that would mass produce to meet the demand of the nation.
“The mandate of the institute aligns perfectly with NASENI’s National Tractor and Heavy Duty/Machinery Recovery, Refurbishment and Redeployment project. The exhibition centre of the institute shall engage in showcasing agricultural innovations and serve as a point of attraction for youths’ engagements in agriculture for job and wealth creation.”