Harvesting of palm trees’ fresh fruit bunches (FFB) is one of the major constraints of the oil palm industry in Nigeria; 50% of FFB are wasted for want of climbers and the cost involved. As a result of the drudgery involved in harvesting, processing and milling equipment are underutilised because of the trough period; the mills are at 40% in-store capacity.
The Mechanical Adjustable Harvester is an innovative technology which increases harvesting efficiency and drastically reduces the risk of injury and death from traditional means of climbing trees to harvest. To improve palm fruit harvesting in the region, PIND introduced the Mechanical Adjustable Harvester and succeeded in engendering interest in the production of the machine for Nigeria. Agro-machinery manufacturer STIHL Germany was initially looking to introduce the machine to Nigeria in 5 years, but with PIND’s intervention they introduced it within a year, investing over 18 million Naira in promotion by first quarter of 2015 and now have two of their three dealers based in the eastern part of the country selling the machine to farmers and farming clusters in the Niger Delta region.
PIND facilitates demonstrations of the harvester throughout the Niger Delta to generate interest in the machine and to show stakeholders in the Niger Delta palm oil value chain how the machine works. Buyers of the machine are also encouraged to participate in these demonstrations to share the experience of using the machine with other stakeholders in the palm oil value chain. We held eight of these demonstrations throughout the Niger Delta region in 2014. By the end of first quarter of 2015, the team had organised five more.