Due to various reasons, food security has grown significantly as one of Nigeria’s biggest challenges. Per survey, 7 out of every 10 Nigerians do not have enough to eat. Last year, about 19.4 million Nigerians were projected by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization to experience food between June and August. President Muhammadu Buhari has however commissioned the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI) in Lafia, to improve food security across the country and enhance the creation of jobs.
AMEDI has been described as one of President Buhari’s administrative priorities posed to shape Nigeria as a hub, as well as a supplier of Agro-allied technology, equipment and machineries. This scheme was also designed to make Nigeria a self-sufficient food producing nation and more sustainable job opportunities for the youths. A multi-billion naira product of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), AMEDI is facilitated with modern laboratories and machines for mechanized farming processes and development of the agricultural sector in the country.
Lafia, first of the projects across the six zones to be completed.
The Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive of NASENI, Professor Mohammed Sani, upon taking the President through the institute’s premises for inspection of the facilities, indicated that the foundation laying, construction of the institute and the inauguration would be actualized within a span of six months. He disclosed that that would be the second inauguration process of the NASENI projects within the span of three months. Sani however noted that the management and staffs of NASENI were immensely grateful for this rare privilege.
Speaking further, Professor Mohammed Sani recalled the directive of the President to establish six new Agricultural-Technology based Institutes across the six geo-political zones in the country, as a part of the 12 institutes to be established in the country. He stated that NASENI, under his supervision had developed a culture of quick delivery on the directives of the president to fast track the transition of Nigeria into a knowledge based economy. Sani also disclosed that AMEDI, Lafia was the first among the six proposed projects to be completed. He added that the invention of this institute was designed to enhance science and technology infrastructures in supporting the efforts of the presidency at attaining food and nutritional security across the country.
NASENI to use AMEDI platforms to advance agricultural business.
He again pointed out that they were conversant with the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the expectations to curb hunger and create sustainable job opportunities for all citizens. He however indicated the resolve at NASENI to employ the platforms of AMEDI in modernizing the agriculture business and ensuring a sustainable scaling of agro-enterprises for wealth creation. According to Sani, the inbuilt capacities of the institute was shaped to ensure the use of additive and SMART manufacturing platforms which was already acquired by NASENI to design and develop agricultural implements for the wide variety of farm classes.
Continuing on he explained that the major workshop in the institute was to become a SMART factory model that would leverage cutting-edge technologies in manufacturing products made in the country, as well as market demand-driven services that would be properly suited for both farmers and arable lands. Sani however noted that the crop-livestock integration farming model that would be put into practice in the institute’s experimental farm was closely strategic to the farmers and agro-entrepreneurial training on sustainable farming paradigms, with the use of land resource optimization models.
Institute to produce improved equipment pieces to serve country’s demands.
It was further revealed that the institute was well equipped with a Central Research Laboratory that would enhance research activities in the institute. Also, it was disclosed that the institute had enabled modern equipment for processing dairy products such as fruit juice and milk, as well as tomato processing equipment. The installed equipment pieces were said to be for backward integration and as such, multiple and improved versions would be produced by the institute to serve the demands of the country’s population.