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Deforestation: Group trains Nasarawa rice farmers on alternative fuel technology

Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), a non-profit international organisation, says it has trained three rice farmer groups in Nasarawa State on the production of briquette from rice husk, an alternative fuel source to the use of firewood.

Abdullahi Sule
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State

The rice husk briquette is being produced using the Tromso grind mill machine, a Japanese technology.

Dr Moshood Suleiman, Programme Officer, Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture of SAA, told newsmen on Friday, April 5, 2024, in Assakio near Lafia, that the training was part of its project for the revitalisation of rice cooperatives and decarbonisation of rice production and processing in the state.

He said that the project was funded by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs with support from Nasarawa Agricultural Development Programme (NADP).

According to him, part of the project is the construction of two rice aggregation centres – Assakio and Agwatashi communities in the state with installed rice processing facilities including rice mills and briquette making machines.

Suleiman said that the idea of the production of the briquette from rice husk was to provide an alternative to the use of firewood as a source of energy, thereby discouraging the indiscriminate felling of trees leading to deforestation.

He noted that the briquette production would help to reduce the environmental nuisance posed by heaps of rice husk to rice producing communities.

He explained that the briquette was purely made from rice husk without any binding component.

The programme officer said: “We brought these experts from Tokyo, Japan to train the rice farmer groups on how to operate and maintain the briquette machines.

“The briquette production is a value addition activity. The briquettes are very efficient and durable energy source because the burning rate is very slow and eco-friendly.

“The rice producers will use the husk from the milled rice to produce briquette, which will still be used to power the rice parboiling process.

“They can also sell to members of the community in order to make money and discourage the use of firewood as domestic fuel.”

Suleiman explained that eight operators were trained from Agwatashi community in Obi Local Government Area as well as Shabu and Assakio in Lafia Local Government Area of the state.

Mr Oboshi Osko, one of the trainees, appreciated SAA for the opportunity, saying the project had greatly impacted on their rice production capacity.

By Sunday John

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