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20 local fabricators graduate on ASI thresher production

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By Olimatou Coker

A total of 20 local fabricators have on Friday completed seven weeks training which equipped them on producing ASI threshers at a graduation ceremony held at University of Science, Engineering and Technology (USET) campuse in Jeshwang.

The intensive training was provided by the ROOTS project, in line with  the project’s intensification efforts to increase production and yield of rice and minimize a major challenge in the postharvest management of rice threshing. The major outcomes of this training are that there will be a pool of ASI thresher fabricators in the country who will respond to the market demand for this most essential machine.

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During the training also, 10 ASI threshers were built from scratch by the trainees with the help of the trainer.

Alieu Secka, Director  of ITT at USET, said the knowledge and skill imparted equipped their talented participants with the capabilities not only to operate but also to locally produce and maintain these vital equipment.

“The initiative assigns perfectly with our mission at USET to foster innovation and at the same time practical skills that directly contribute to the economic development and technological advancement of our society,” he said.

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Musa Gibba, president of the National Rice Farmers Association, highlighted the significance of the initiative,  which he said came at a crucial time as farmers continue to face more challenges in rice production.

Musa Drammeh, deputy director at the Ministry of Agriculture, thanked the ROOTS project for the initiative.

He said the threshers have become an important component in rice production systems of The Gambia. “We are here today, and seeing  the machine  that has been fabricated by our own people through the support of AfricaRice and the ROOTS project, we are  very much happy. This will go a long way to reduce the post harvest losses.”

Mamour Alieu Jagne, project director of the ROOTS, said this is a combined national effort. “We have put our resources together with the university of applied science, engineering and technology to solve what is a national problem. I think it just goes to show that if we put our efforts together at the national level we can tackle a lot of our problems here,” he said.

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