The Bauchi State government has awarded a N126 million contract for the supply and installation of 20 groundnut oil extracting machines in its effort to boost groundnut oil production.
The Commissioner for Rural Development, Alhaji Sale Hussaini, said in Bauchi yesterday that the machines would be distributed to women groups in the 20 local government areas, adding: “The beneficiaries will enjoy the machines on loan at highly subsidised rates.”
The commissioner said the money for the project covered the cost of installation and training of the beneficiaries on the use of the machines.
According to him, “an assessment tour facilitated by Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) has been carried out in the participating communities. The ministry identified about 45 women groups to participate under the first phase of the programme in 15 local government areas.
“One women cooperative society drawn from each of the 20 local government areas will be given a unit of the machine at 25 per cent subsidy. The machines can also be used for cow-pea oil production as well as other agro-processing activities.
“The machine has the capacity of producing over 10,000 litres of groundnut oil per day. We are also encouraging people to produce more groundnuts in order to justify the huge government investment in the project,” Hussani said.
The commissioner said government had also directed each of the 20 local governments to buy 20 units of the machines for distribution to women in their areas, adding that the measure was part of the strategies adopted to accelerate the growth of small and medium scale enterprises, reduce poverty, create employment and enhance wealth creation among rural women. The Groundnut Development Scheme is an initiative of the First Lady, Hajiya Turai Yar”Adua.