United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is helping farmers in North-Eastern Nigeria to maximise crop residues with the Stover Crusher. The initiative is assisting smallholder, mixed-crop and livestock farmers in processing crop residues.
USAID through its Feed the Future Nigeria Integrated Agriculture Activity (IAA) being implemented by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and partner, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), is training these farmers to use the Crop Residue Utilization Machine or Stover Crusher.
Last November alone, 1,470 farmers and herders (including 544 females) in Adamawa and Borno states participated in the Crop Residue Utilisation and feed formulation training. The purpose of the training is to expose these farmers to the potentials and possibilities of the Stover Crusher.
Since commencing the training, beneficiaries continue to commend the efforts of the IAA for the intervention. They acknowledge the Stover Crusher’s ability to crush large amounts of crop residues within a short period.
Also, the farmers attest to how well they can utilize leftovers on their farms for income generation and maximum profit. For these agriculture producers, using the machine automatically translates to a “zero-wastage” situation wherein no residue is left to be burned, and the environment is better protected.
For trainees in these local communities, the self-powered, locally fabricated engine will greatly encourage goat-rearing within the localities.
The practice has always been to tie-down goats after roaming for food. Tying these animals down predisposes them to theft. With a machine like this, goats are left to roam freely and feed within the perimeter of the residence.
“The trainees in the four local government areas appreciated the Stover Crusher so much; some asked if they could rent the machine. Others plan on contributing money to buy the machine for their personal and communal use,” said Senior Research Supervisor Joseph Abikoye.
The Activity, issued under the US Government’s Global Food Security Act, was awarded by USAID Nigeria to the IITA and its partners in July 2019 towards economic recovery in North-East Nigeria. It supports vulnerable populations in 12 Local Government Areas of Adamawa and Borno states by engaging in basic farming activities to improve food security, increase agricultural incomes and enhance resilience among smallholder farmers through strengthening institutions and market networks, and youth and women in agribusiness activities.