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Nigeria to Boost Economy Using Agricultural Waste Products

Written by  Apr 12, 2023

A Nanotechnology expert, Professor Agbaje Lateef, has stated the need for Nigeria to boost its economy by leveraging agricultural products.

Agbaje Lateef, Head of the Nanotechnology Research Group (NANO+) domiciled in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Oyo State, during an interview with newsmen in Abuja said that Nigeria generates lot of wastes from agricultural products that can be converted to valuable materials to boost the economy.

While evaluating wastes from groundnut in Nigeria, he recalled statistics that stated the country was the highest groundnut producer in Africa and the 10th largest globally.

He detailed that most times, groundnut was being produced and used for oil or for consumption which the shells and pods must have to be removed.

“Most often we eat the groundnut or sell to industries that use it to produce groundnut oil, in either of the two you have to remove the shell which covers the nut.

“These form a huge waste and you hardly find any valuable thing it is used for.

“In the concept of bio-economy, we want to see how we can use biological materials to contribute to the economy and we use the wastes generated in one way or the other.

“People have used the groundnut shell to produce bio-fuel, bio-diesel which is a renewable form of energy,” he said.

He further stated that in places where the country had a short supply of energy, large groundnut wastes and other agro wastes could serve as bio-fuel or diesel for the supply of energy, hence taking some communities off national grid.

The expert added that groundnut wastes could also be used to produce enzymes which were the biological catalyst that drives a lot of biochemical reactions.

According to Lateef, industrial materials can be produced from the wastes and ensure the reduction in pollution, emissions emanating from production processes.

“Eight different kinds of enzymes have been produced using groundnut shell, it has been used to produce different kind of nanomaterials, antibiotics, single cell protein, animal feed.

“It has been used to produce organic acids, it can be converted to fertilizer and we also have it as adsorbent.

“When we look at this, it can serve as a viable industry itself using groundnut shell to drive so many materials,” he said.

He enlightened that countries like Malaysia built their economy around oil palm and they were doing well.

He further mentioned that Citric Acid was another material the country could produce in large quantities and reduce its capital flight.

Lateef added that disposal of some of the agro wastes constitute pollution to the environment, whereas they could serve as substitutes, while some contain nutrients that could be utilised by some micro-organisms.

Last modified on Thursday, 13 April 2023 13:03
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