President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the Agriculture Machinery and Development Institute (AMEDI), in Nasarawa State.
The president unveiled the facility, which is a midwife by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), on Saturday in Lafia, the state capital.
AMEDI Lafia is among the six approved by President Buhari in 2021 not only to guarantee food security but to apply modern tools and equipment for mechanised Agriculture and Technology for food processing, food preservation and application of food availability and artificial intelligence for efficient and multi-crop seasons.
Other locations for the institutes include Adamawa State for North East; Kebbi for North West; Cross River for South-South; Imo State for South East; and Osun State for South West.
Speaking at the occasion, the president commended NASENI management and staffers for meeting the January 2023 completion target.
He said the establishment of the institute and others across the six geopolitical zones was part of the ongoing effort by his administration to further revolutionise the agriculture sector.
He said the institutes would transform the country into an agro-allied technology hub, while also boosting food production.
In his welcome address, the Executive Vice-Chairman of NASENI, Professor Mohammed Sani-Haruna said the commissioning of the AMEDI Lafia was the second such gesture by President Buhari within three months.
He said the NASENI under his leadership has developed a culture of speedy delivery of 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.
He noted that AMEDI Lafia is the first to be completed among the six equals across the geo-political zones of the country, adding that the conceptualization of the 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 and for Nigerians.
“ The peculiarity of our soil with inherent edaphic factors and peculiar topography requires the production of made-in-Nigeria agricultural implements, machinery and equipment that can support responsible and productive agricultural practices in the face of climate change.
“We are conversant with the Sustainable Development Goals and our national expectations to end hunger and create decent cum inclusive jobs for our youth and women. We are 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 in-built capabilities of the institutes will ensure the use of additive and SMART manufacturing platforms already acquired by NASENI system-wide to design, develop, assemble and produce agricultural and food processing implements for various classes of farmers.
He said 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 also noted that the crop-livestock integration farming model to be practised in the experimental farm of the institute is strategic to training 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, and tomato processing to mention but a few. Each piece of equipment that is installed here is for backward integration and 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 the NASENI’s National Tractor and Heavy Duty/Machinery Recovery, Refurbishment and Redeployment project. The exhibition centre of the institute shall engage in show-casing of agricultural innovations and serve as a point of attraction for youth engagements in agriculture for job and wealth creation.
He commended President Buhari for supporting NASENI by granting and approving all that the Agency has so far asked for.
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