Published: 12 Apr 2017 Source: University Relations Office (URO)
Farmers can now plant and harvest their crops in a stress-free manner thanks to innovative farming prototype tools designed by farmers and artisans with training from the Technology Consultancy Centre (TCC). The TCC, a research centre under the College of Engineering (CoE) of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the International Development Innovation Network (IDIN) programme made this possible through a Creative Capacity Building for Commercialization (CCBC) workshop. Under the training, farmers manufactured innovative prototypes such as groundnut planters, cocoa pod breaker, cassava harvesters and rice threshers.
This year’s CCBC training programme which runs from the 3rd to the 7th of April, 2017 is targeted at twenty five (25) farmers, artisans and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Adansi North District under the theme “Commercialisation of Innovative Prototypes”. The training workshop will focus on four outcomes of previous CCB’s which designed and produced prototypes on agro-based solutions for different crop processes.
At the opening of the workshop, Professor Kwame Osei Boateng, representing the Provost of the CoE, said the TCC was executing the mandate of the University in teaching, research and community outreach by partnering stakeholders to utilize research and to make it relevant and beneficial to them.
Prof. Osei Boateng noted that through the training, TCC and its network of research partners have and will continue to expose the trainees to new technologies which he hoped they would learn, adopt and utilize on their farms to improve agricultural output for the benefit of the country.
Dr. Michael K. Adjaloo, Director of the TCC, stated that the training was the second under the project, and that the Centre had together with the farmers manufactured about 17 tools in less than two years. The prototypes range from palm fruit harvesters, cassava uprooters or harvesters, groundnut planters, rice threshers, cocoa pod breakers and maize shellers.
He said the current training would focus on the palm fruit harvester, the jab planter, the maize sheller and two-row planters. The training will also try to improve existing prototypes and enhance them into commercially valued products.
According to Dr. Adjaloo, the training fits into the government’s ”one district one factory” agenda as a needs assessment of the districts in a survey conducted by researchers from KNUST in all the 216 districts on behalf of government shows that Ghana has enough resources to feed the district factories. As such, training of the requisite manpower with the requisite technology is needed to increase production, encourage manufacturing, wealth creation and development of the country.
Mr. Opoku Asante, national IDIN coordinator, indicated that partner institutions gave farmers and communities the opportunity to develop tools by identifying the challenges, meeting local farmers, artisans and entrepreneurs. He was confident that the training will help them improve and commercialize the tools.
Participants of the training were drawn from New Longoro, Suame Magazine, Fomena, Konongo as with earlier training and Dompoase. The training is funded by IDIN with facilitators from the TCC and its Intermediate Technology Transfer Unit (ITTU).
The farmers demonstrated the use of prototype tools to the public and indicated that the tools have made farming activities especially regarding planting and harvesting less stressful.
They also attested to the fact that it had reduced the incidence of injuries and other hazards they were exposed to in using the old farming tools. They therefore thanked TCC and its partners for the training and support.