The National Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE) on Wednesday stated that it has locally developed a new rice processing technology known as the Rice De-stoner.
Mr Kolawole Opadeji, NATE Chairman, Lagos branch, who disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos, stated that the new technology was the association’s contribution to the Federal Government’s economic diversification agenda and the needed self-sufficiency in rice production.
He said; “The Federal Government has declared its intention for self-sufficiency in rice by 2018, this project will also help them achieve the desired goals. The rice de-stoner is fabricated for local rice, it will help to separate stones from the grains and give a good end-product. Separating stones from local rice is one major reason why our rice is not popularly consumed in the country.
“This new innovation will enable local rice to compete favourably with imported rice and reduce rice importation. We intend to mass produce the machine so that low-scale industries can afford it in the first phase of its roll out.’’
The NATE Chairman said that the innovation had been unveiled to only a few people, adding that the response from the few had been encouraging. He called on government at all levels and other organisations that are into rice processing to patronise the innovation, saying that it would help convert cash outflow from the country to inflow for government. He noted that the project would also encourage youths and farmers to venture into rice cultivation, adding that the challenge faced while inventing the technological innovations was always finances and called on government at all levels to support and partner with the association. He said; “It is of utmost importance for government to support the association in this laudable course. In the past, these equipments were imported but with aid from government and the available local content, some of these equipments can be produced here. The money spent on importing these equipments can be channeled to other uses like conducting seminars and workshops for technicians to upgrade them. This will put them at par with their counterparts in other climes.’’