The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and the Kaduna State University have entered into collaborative research to revive the moribund tomato production and processing factory abandoned in the state.
The executive vice chairman of NASENI, Prof. Maiwalima Haruna, disclosed this when he received a delegation from the varsity led by the vice chancellor, Prof. Mohammad Tanko at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
He pointed out that Kaduna State is rich in mineral resources especially in production of ginger and sugarcane, adding NASENI and the Kaduna University could do a collaborative research in areas peculiar to the state by exploring machines that could be obtained to process ginger and sugarcane which if properly harnessed, he said could solve the problem of unemployment and also alleviate poverty.
“A lot is happening in the state in the areas of agriculture and there are a lot of untapped resources therein. It is in Kaduna State that you will see a lot of sugarcane farming, ginger, tomatoes, pepper that are medicinal. Tomatoes generally need irrigation system to survive but in Kaduna State it grows naturally,” he said.
The NASENI boss said the state should develop interest in researching into these areas and make massive production of the crops.
“There was a factory engaged in production and processing of tomatoes for West Africa in the state which has been affected because of economic situation of the country. We can do a collaborative work in such a way that it will be beneficiary to NASENI and the state,” he added.
He stated that it is within the mandate of NASENI to reach out to institutions and universities for collaboration in areas that are relevant for the development of the country, pointing out that agency was willing to work together with the university in training and organizing workshop for its staff and donate some facilities especially for the faculty of engineering coming up in the university.
Earlier in his remarks, Tanko, who was represented by the deputy vice chancellor (academic), Prof. Ashafa Abdul, said the purpose of the visit was to seek areas of collaboration with NASENI following the recent happening in the agency.
He pointed out that the university was willing to enter into partnership with NASENI especially in training and workshop for the “development of various programmes which we have in the institution and any other areas of possible collaboration.”
A statement by NASENI’s assistant chief information officer, Chinyere Obiorah Ekwuazi, said the Kaduna University was set to establish a faculty of engineering and agriculture, adding the institution would like to collaborate with NASENI in a manner that would benefit the duo.