By Oluwafunke Ishola
The Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), has signed a pact with two German companies – GIZ and BOSCH – to boost cassava production and processing.
The Head of Corporate Communications of FIIRO, Mr Chris Olumuyiwa, said on Friday in Lagos in a statement.
GIZ is a green innovation centre for agriculture and the food sector, while BOSCH is a specialist in the fabrication of machinery, power tools and household equipment.
Olumuyiwa said the partnership would enable FIIRO to upscale development of innovative cassava processing technologies.
According to him, this will improve income for Nigerian micro, small and medium-sized cassava processors and create employment.
“FIIRO will provide machinery —hammer-mill and hydraulic press; adapt it to specifications needed, run the lab and field tests needed.
“It will also support after sales work, develop innovative machinery package adapted to individual situation of the middle-sized processor together with BOSCH.
“GIZ is to provide technical and managerial capacity development for cassava smallholder cooperatives with processing facilities and for SME processing companies, selected for the project.
“It will also supply water pumps and tanks, improved energy efficient frying ovens for women cooperatives, introduce waste management strategies on good agricultural practice and farmer business school for smallholder suppliers.
“GIZ is to develop and implement training packages on National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control requirements and standards for middle-sized processor,” he said.
According to him, Prof. Gloria Elemo, Director-General of FIIRO, has said that the organisation has developed over 25 products that can be commercialised from cassava.
He quoted Elemo as saying that the institute had also worked on all agro commodities available in Nigeria and developed processing technologies to convert them to shelf-stable products, to reduce post harvest losses.
Earlier, Mr Harwig Michaelsen, Project Manager of GIZ, said the project would develop simple mobile and stationary cassava processing units for small and medium-sized cassava processors.
According to him, the small-sized units will comprise a tricycle with a wagon carrying the basic cassava equipment, mainly the hammer mill, hydraulic press and source of power.
BOSCH Sales Director for West Africa BOSCH, Mr Francis Omoniyi, emphasised the need for effective packaging of processed products.
He said that BOSCH would develop packaging solutions that would advance the collaboration. (NAN)