As the global need for zero waste across agricultural value chain continue to gain momentum, Lagos APPEALS project introduced bio-fuel generation from rice husk to its beneficiaries.

The State Project Coordinator, Mrs. Oluranti Sageo-Oviebo, during a keynote address at the demonstration of the technology in Ikoga, Badagry said that the initiative had become imperative as rice farmers’ productivity are being enhanced by the project and the state ministry for increased yield.

The demonstration themed: Demonstration of Commercial Production of Bio-Fuel (Briquette) to Lagos State Farmers, held at the Rice Cottage Processing Center, Ikoga, Badagry and Ise, Ibeju-Lekki in Lagos on Sept. 29 and Oct. 9 respectively was geared towards reducing waste generation from rice husk.

Sageo-Oviebo, explained that as a result of the various interventions by the project and the State Government on rice farming, there was bound to be an increase in waste generation, thus, the need to turn the waste into wealth for farmers in the value chain.

“As a result of the intervention of the project as well as the Ministry of Agriculture on rice farming, we know that in the next few months, there is going to be huge rice wastes generated because of the 32 metric tons rice mill that the state government will commission very soon, hence the need for us to empower our farmers, train them and build their capacity on the utilization of wastes while converting it into wealth.

“That is why we are demonstrating this technology on the production of bio-fuel which is basically the rice briquette to be generated from the wastes in rice production.

“Hopefully, the beneficiaries will adopt these technologies which will lead to job creation especially for the youths & women and some will ultimately be able to export this briquette out of Nigeria.

“The technologies are easy to adopt and inexpensive. The project will support the investment growth of beneficiaries with viable investment plan that are willing to adopt the technology” she said.

She noted that the feedback from across all the value chain, has been satisfactory: “every day we have farmers coming on board and adopting improved technologies. We have been able to support 10 Commodity Interest Groups (CIGs) in Gberefun and 5 CIGs in Gayingbo. These 2 clusters translate to over 150 farmers. With all these supports, we are going to have a lot of rice and its processing will generate waste especially in form of husk.
One of the mandates of the project is to introduce climate smart and nutrition sensitive technologies to farmers. Findings has shown that use of briquette for drying foods will make them wholesome for consumption and it is also environmentally friendly.

Utilisation of rice husk for briquette production is considered as waste to wealth generation with the aim of improving the livelihoods of farmers.
Mr Wale Karunwi, Managing Director, Kalos Afro Homes Integrated Farms, said that the briquette does not produce smoke or dangerous gasses.
Karunwi said: “Today we are talking about briquette from rice husk. These briquettes do not produce smoke. At the point of processing the rice husk into briquette, those injurious gasses have been eliminated, making it safer than ordinary charcoal.

“This technology is known globally but we are just getting to know it in Nigeria and it has become imperative because of the hazards inherent in using charcoal and firewood. It is an emerging market and since I have been using it in my farm, we have been overwhelmed from people coming to us with their rice husk. Rice husk is gold, they can also be converted to organic fertilizer as well,” he said.

The National Deputy President Rice Farmer’s Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Mr. Segun Atho said: “It is a welcome development if we can put it into use, we will achieve a lot because this is a professional development for rice value chain. The machines are available and affordable”.