By Mohammed Yangida
President Muhammadu Buhari, Saturday, commissioned Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI) in Lafia Nasarawa state.
Speaking at the occasion, the president commended National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) management and staffers for meeting the January 2023 completion target.
The foundation laying for construction of the institute and its commissioning was within a period of less than six months.
The President had in 2021 directed for the establishment of six new agricultural-technology based institutes, one each per geo-political zone of Nigeria as part of the 12 new institutes approved to be established.
The Executive vice chairman/Chief Executive National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammad Sani Haruna, said NASENI under his leadership has developed a culture of speedy delivery on presidential directives not only to justify the new status of the agency but also to fast-track transition of Nigeria to a manufacturing knowledge-based economy.
He said AMEDI Lafia is the first to be completed among the six equals across the geo-political zones of the country.
Prof. Haruna said AMEDI Lafia and others when completed have a template to advance the injection of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in the agricultural space across the country.
The NASENI boss explained that the conceptualisation of the model institute was targeted at the use of science and engineering infrastructure to support the Presidential efforts in the
attainment of food and nutritional security in Nigeria and for Nigerians.
“We are resolved at NASENI to use the platforms of AMEDIs to modernise agri-business in Nigeria and ensure sustainable scaling of agro-enterprises for new jobs and wealth creation.
“This institute is equipped with Central Research Laboratory that will support the research activities of the institute along the various value chains of the target product lines of the institute.
“The institute has installed modern equipment for the processing of fruit juices, milk and other dairy products, tomato processing to mention but a few. Each equipment that is installed here is for backward integration and multiple and improved versions would be produced by the institute for the benefits of farmers and agro-equipment industries that would mass produce to meet the demand of the nation,” he said.