AfricaRice has trained a total of 30 local manufacturers on the fabrication of the ASI thresher/cleaner at the National Center for Agricultural Mechanization(NCAM),Ilorin, Nigeria, from 2-16 December, 2013. Twenty- four of the local manufacturers were from Nigeria while six were from AfricaRice member states: Ethiopia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria. The capacity building of the local manufacturers fitted into Nigeria’s Rice Transformation Agenda.
During the opening ceremony, the Executive Director of NCAM gave the opening speech, followed by remarks by the Deputy Director General of the Africa Rice Center, Dr. Marco Wopereis. At the commissioning ceremony on 16 December 2013, the five completed ASI thresher/cleaners were commissioned by the representative of Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adeshina.
After such an in-depth and hands-on training, it is expected that the trainees and their enterprises will be able to make these threshers popular in the Rice Sector Development Hubs. Several trainees have already indicated that they will embark on rapid fabrication and sale of the threshers to farmers.
In addition, during this year, AfricaRice will supply sets of agricultural equipment to 27 African countries, including the 11 SARD-SC project countries, through the Emergency Rice Initiative project funded by Japan. SARD-SC project will contribute by providing small-scale equipment. Other equipment will be contributed by projects funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Each country has appointed a National Mechanization Task Force Coordinator who will be instrumental in ensuring sustainable and business-oriented use of the mechanization equipment. They will harness concurrent efforts in other Task Forces, especially the Agronomy Task Force, Post-Harvest and Value Addition Task Force, and the Gender Task Force, to ensure the success of the planned activities.