ENGINEERING PROPERTIES OF AGRO-MATERIALS AND THEIR LINKS TO AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT

Engineer, Professor Ayuba Audu Balami

 

Wednesday 30th June 2021

Engineering properties are the properties that are useful and necessary in the design and operation of equipment employed in the field of agricultural production and processing. They are also useful for the design and development of other farm machinery. In the handling of grains and other commodities the properties which play an important role are physical, mechanical, frictional, rheological, aero and hydrodynamic, electrical and optical properties of the agricultural materials. Basic information on these properties is of great importance and help the engineers, food scientists and processors towards efficient process and equipment development. An attempt has been made to describe some of the engineering properties usually encountered in the postproduction handling of agricultural crops. From the study conducted, it was deduced that:
1. The status of agricultural machinery development in Nigeria is deplorable despite Government's huge spending in implementing the various agricultural machinery development programmes. 

2. Most of these programmes have been abandoned or neglected apart from the private sector driven which are struggling to survive under the harsh Nigerian
developmental environment.
3. Most of the local agricultural machines manufacturers in Nigeria, rarely, put into
consideration the in-situ properties of agro-materials when designing these
machines.
4. Basic information on these properties are essential to design engineers, food scientists and processors towards efficient process and agricultural machinery development. Undoubtedly, the problem of agricultural machinery development is great and is actually affecting the mechanisation of agriculture. The following are hereby recommended for efficient process and agricultural machinery design and development in Nigeria.