The Farmking of Nigeria: 4-in-1 Farming device

Sulaiman Famro is a cheerful, 65 year old engineer, and a master of branding. He built the prototype “Farmking” three years ago and claims he can save the country $1 billion a year, just in savings on starch importation.

The Farmking is a one-stop processing plant for cluster and farm-site processing of root crops and grains. It has a diesel powered engine that allows for remote processing, with power out connections for lighting so that it can work all night, if needed.

On one end you have 3 devices, for chipping, grating and milling. In the middle is the power plant, and in the rear is a large steel drum that can hold 50kgs of milled cassava, that uses a spin filter to process up to 2.5 tons of milled cassava into starch.

It’s used for processing of cassava, soya beans, maize, sweet potatoes, yam and many other roots and grains. One of the more interesting uses for it is the capture of starch. Apparently there is a huge amount of waste when the processing of cassava happens in the country right now, instead of being captured it is left to seep into the ground. An incredibly wasteful, manual process currently, Sulaiman is lobbying governors of different Nigerian states to get the Farmking into their areas.

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Sulaiman went to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for his undergrad, then on to the Polytechnic Institute of NYU for his masters, finishing in 1976. The Farmking is a project of his that he built on his nights and weekends, claiming that he likes best to work by himself when no one else is around to bother him. It cost approximately 2.5m Naira ($16,000) to buy one, and the prototype (seen here) was built using his own money.

With the first prototype being built 3 years ago, the Farmking has yet to sell one to any other customers. Herein lies the problem for not just Sulaiman, but for many engineering-based founders of organizations. They can be incredibly good at building systems and tools, but aren’t interested, nor do they have the know-how to sell and market their product. It’d be good to see Sulaiman partner with a business person, or company, to streamline the sales and marketing side of the business so that he can make this invention work.

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Note: I’ve been blogging most of this on the Maker Faire Africa blog, so go there to find more posts on the stories from Lagos, Nigeria and the innovative and fun products made there.

23 comments » Write a comment

    • The gasifier was brought up by someone else at the event. I don’t think he had thought of it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he put it into the next one.

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  2. I think this is great for the people in Nigeria. As the article stated, it cuts down on waste that is being put into their soil. By cutting this waste it will only have a chain reaction on the community. That waste that goes into the soil eventually gets drunk by the people of that community, if they can eliminate that waste than they can possible clean their drinking water up. I find it incredible that this man could make this device and think of this device all by himself, I can not believe someone has not bought this yet for their farm. Not only does it clean their farming up, but it also cuts down on their work load. This machine has 4 farming devices in 1. Incredible.

    • the so-called “waste” is just vegetable matter (starch) and its not polluting their water or soil. anything of this type would just be broken down by soil microorganisms and would serve as a compost, enriching the soil. i think what the inventor is saying is that the waste starch is valuable in that it is an edible food product and could be captured and used as such instead of being lost in processing.

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