By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari received a briefing on the Modular Irrigation System, an innovation that allows farmers to irrigate their farms independently without relying on river basins.
The Executive Vice President / Director General of the National Agency for Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (NASENI), Professor Mohammed Haruna, who briefed the President, presented a sample of the innovation to Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Friday, Abuja.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the presentation, Haruna said that a solar-powered pump has been developed to draw water from the borehole for small and large-scale irrigation projects.
According to him, the system is transportable and will allow individual farmers to irrigate their farms themselves.
He said: “The modular irrigation system is an innovation and an invention for the agricultural sector.
“It’s a process in which we have developed a program so that individual farmers can irrigate their farms without waiting for river basins.
“In this case, we have developed a solar-powered pumping system; the water can come from a borehole, if there is no river or stream nearby.
“As a result, these are mobile devices; the pumping machine and solar power supply are also mobile, a farmer can fold it up in his house and bring it to the farm whenever he needs it.
“The good thing about the program is that we have demonstrated, in collaboration with NIRSA (Nigeria Incentive Risk-based Sharing System for Agriculture), a parastatal body of the Central Bank of Nigeria), that it is possible to have three agricultural seasons in a year.
“So this means that a farmer can be engaged in his own activities without necessarily looking for alternative employment.
“Three harvest seasons per year, that’s what the modular irrigation system is. It is a collaborative effort between NASENI and NIRSAL.
Haruna assured that the modular irrigation system would be widely available in the country for farmers.
“We want it to be nationwide, but the program started from Adamawa State.
“The sample that you saw, illustrated and the video, is where we started as a pilot. We have now presented this issue to the President and his directive is that wherever possible all farmers should benefit, ”he said.
According to him, the aim is to make the mechanism affordable for interested farmers across the country because the capacities are enormous.
He said that depending on the size of the farm, the farmer could take the least, the medium or the large, or could acquire more than one, saying the costs will vary.
“When there is a stream or river nearby, you don’t need to drill a borehole, that means it can be pumped from there. Where there is none on the farm, a borehole is needed.
“A large farm may require more than one borehole due to the yield. So, it’s affordable.
“But as I say from the pilot project, because we invested so much to have the prototype and deploy it on the farm and see it, it cost us more, but with the intervention and some subsidies from the Bank. central, it is possible that we have a range from N25,000 to the highest at N125,000. This is our goal. “
Haruna revealed that he also briefed the president on the progress of the agency’s helicopter assembly initiative, saying all necessary components had been received from Belgium.
According to him, engineers and technicians are now trained in the assembly process, maintenance and commissioning.
He said: “Up to now, the helicopter’s status now, we have received completely disassembled components from Belgium and we have trained our engineers and technicians on all aspects of its assembly, maintenance and repair process. commissioning.
“We have also trained pilots, in collaboration with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.
“This helicopter has been fully assembled, helipad and other facilities in place, very close to here. It’s on our site in Karshi, Abuja.
“The Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Aviation, the Civil Aviation Authority and other agencies that have mandatory regulatory activities to do are in the process of performing.
“So far, it’s a successful project.
He said he discussed “pre-fabricated technology” with the president, which he said is a method of having building facilities, house building materials designed, a factory designed, a classroom or laboratories designed. , in which the materials are composite materials.
He added, “The normal architectural design of the house is done, everything is done in the field, and then these components are put together. In three weeks, you can have a complete house ready.
“It’s not new technology. It has been around for a long time in Europe, because of the extreme weather conditions.
“It is now that we see that it is necessary to acquire this technology, to domesticate it and to use it to meet the challenges we face, to rebuild the northeast, even the northwest and n anywhere.
“Originally we acquired it only for the laboratories, for a quick installation of the laboratories, both the building and the equipment of NASENI, but now with the existing challenges it becomes necessary that we acquire this technology in large part, so that the reconstruction of our villages and hamlets can be faster.
“Even the other centers that we are building are today’s technology.
“The important thing is that 100% of the raw materials to develop these flame retardant and weather resistant composite materials are available in Nigeria. “
Regarding NASENI’s partnership with state governments and the private sector, the head of the agency said “it is working.”
He said “there are some private sectors that have marketed patented or proven NASENI products and then mass produced them.
“INNOSON Motors, GEOMTECH which produces NASENI prepaid meters, Keke NASENI and now we have two companies that have emerged. NASENI is helping them to have a solar manufacturing plant as well, just like we have in Karshi.
“So many state governors have shown interest by visiting our youth skills development facility, helping them tap into what’s available in states, across the country.”
Regarding the national project for the rehabilitation, refurbishment and redeployment of tractors, he revealed that six States had so far committed to it.
According to him, so far about six states are actively involved in the implementation of the laudable project, adding that the tractors repaired, rehabilitated, redeployed to farms are actively working. (NAA)
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