Land Of No Waste

In our last edition, we promised to bring to our dear readers, the wonders of Songhai farm that utilities even the excreta of their workers, turning it into a valuable product.
Today, we bring to you the step by step narration of the tour guide, Godfrey Godfrey, the Production Manager, as he led the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) team through the vast area.
First, it was the Media and communications Director. Kingsley Uranta that set the ball rolling.
He said, “We see ourselves as partners. RSSA is an intervention agency set up in 2007 by government to identify critical areas for intervention. We do it in education, agriculture and job creation.
“We have sent 1200 students eight countries to study Engineering, ICT, medicine, natural science and geo-science. We also have greater horizon project that makes us go to the hinterland to pick brilliant primary to secondary school students and expose them to the best schools. Songhai in our integrated farm. It allows us to address some critical issues in agriculture like job creation. Over 4000 have been givern given jobs”.
The tour began after this brief talk on the activities of RSSDA and the Production Manager took over.
“The word Songhai is derived from the ancient Mali empire in the 19th century. The founder Nzamujoo was inspired by what made the empire strong.
“It was the commitment to excel that made him to imbibe the Songhai philosophy. One of our mottos is to commit ourselves to excel.
“Number 5 of the International goals says we have to think about food for the population.
“Agriculture is a weapon to transform men into active producers other than a passive consumer.
“In Songhai philosophy we are into what is called ZERI production, meaning Zero Emission Research Initiative. That is to say everything that exist here is very useful. We transform things that are waste into an input. So with that we are reducing the cost of production in the primary sector and also increasing the value of our production.
“We have three stages in the chain of our production. We have the primary production, the secondary production and the tertiary production.
“Primary production are the simple things we cultivate in crops. In our forefathers time, there is surplus during harvest time leading to low price. So Songhai now moves to secondary production, transforming the primary products, increasing their shelf-life, branding them and making them more attractive and it becomes more valuable.
“In tertiary production we talk about services like having the natural environment, natural setting with bungalows for people from the city to relax.
“There is communication centre where you can be given short time training on internet, things not necessarily produced in Songhai, We also have a restaurant.
“Turkeys are used as incubators. They are good sitters. You can take eggs from other birds and use the turkeys to incubate.
“There is the bio-gas plant. People talk about the chemical gas, here we talk about the biological gas.
“Bio-gas is a gas produced from plant and animal materials. We use the water hyacinth- used in two forms as toilet purifications. We have an open sewage system.
“The waste material from the toilet goes into an open sewage. We introduce water hyacinth and it absorbs the nitrogenous materials. No smell. The energy taken by the water hyacinth is harnessed back.
“The water hyacinth is harvested. We collect animal materials, for example, from the pigs, poultry, cattle and combine them and add some water.
“The bio-gas plant has three chambers (1) the charging chamber, (2) the digester (3) the effluent chamber. The digester is like a receptor for what is charged from the charging chamber. It is airtight. The materials decompose under anaerobic condition.
“At the end, gas is produced, the pressure pushes out the water which is in turn used as an incubator fro mosquito larva. Mosquitoes go to the water and lay eggs which are not allowed to grow into adult. The larvae are harvested three times a day and we used it to feed the baby fishes.” ###
(To be contd.)

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