The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) in Zaria, Kaduna State, has invented an agriculture solar drying machine to assist farmers in preserving their produce.
Dr Paul Ndahi, an Industrial Designer in the institute, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, said the machine had the capacity to dry tomatoes, onions, vegetables, fish and other perishable goods for preservation.
He stated that the essence of developing the device was to reduce post-harvest losses and ensure hygienic preservation of perishable produce.
Ndahi explained that “this device is a solar dryer and it can dry tomatoes, onions, vegetables, fish, meat, among other goods”, adding that “the essence of this is to make sure that the drying quality is pure and not be adulterated with either dust or flies or other forms of impurity.
He said “it is clean and hygienic and also the drying time is faster.”
According to Ndahi, the machine is cheap and affordable, saying; “We designed it for farmers, so it is very affordable, depending on the size and capacities, the price goes from N 15,000 and above.”
Ndahi said that the technology was indigenous and could be expanded to meet the demands of interested farmers.
He added that farmers and other interested individuals were already approaching the institute to buy the device for commercial and household use.
Ndahi further revealed that other indigenous machines designed by the institute included maize, groundnut and cowpea shellers with less than 5% grain damage, adding that the shellers could shell 100 bags of maize, groundnut or cowpea a day depending on the size.