Evaluation of the Performance of a Motorised Groundnut Decorticating Machine
Groundnut (Arachishypogaea) or peanut, is an important oil seed and food crop cultivated in semi-arid and subtropical regions of the world. According to Oteng-Frimpong et al., (2017), groundnut is grown on 26.4 million hectare across the world, with a production level of 37.1 million metric tons. Developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America account for over 97% of the global area and 95% of the global production of this crop. China, India, Nigeria, USA and Myanmarare the leading producing countries in the world, while Nigeria ranks highest in West Africa accounting for 51% of production in the region(Ajeigbe et al., 2015).
It is common knowledge that between 1956 and 1967, groundnut was one of Nigeria’s most valuable single export crop, evident by the historic Kano groundnut pyramids. The Federal government of Nigeria, through the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) is currently working towards restoring these pyramids.
Groundnut is an economic crop in high demand for its wide range of domestic and industrial products. However the kernel has to be separated from its hull before it can be processed; hence decortication is an essential post-harvest operation. Effective decortication is meant to separate the kernel from the hull with no damage to the kernel, which when done manually is time consuming and involves much drudgery.
The most common method of groundnut decorticating in Nigeria is manually by beating the pods in sacks. However several efforts have been made towards motorizing the process, but there is still the challenge of affordability, seed damage and effective seed cleaning. As part of efforts towards producing an effectively suitable motorized groundnut decorticating machine for Nigerian farmers, a model was developed in NCAM. The objective of this work is to test the performance of a model groundnut decorticator developed in NCAM for easy adaptation and possible improvement.
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