Beyond PhD level and beyond Africa’s borders – creative ideas for change

Chickpeas are a legendary part of the region in Northern Nigeria, Somaliland and Somalia that share borders with Ethiopia.

The dung of this important pastime, particularly for children, fetches great money in the local market.

Nigeria’s Mohammed Gedo, scientist and Director of the Biocultural Centre (Afromedia, Institute of Biomedical Research and Biotechnology and Bioeconomy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos) created a first-of-its-kind kit in his facility with the aim of presenting African scientists with a viable poultry market.

Such simple inventions give a boost to the economies of developing countries.

Mohammed discovered that to sell Dung of chicken to poultry farmers the demand had to be set and the quality of the market segment also needed to be properly analysed.

He also discovered that the market of Nigerian household customers was very small and that there is a great gap between what is produced in the region and what is consumed.

Mohammed realised that in Somaliland Dung of chicken costs 3% of the total income earned by household consumers, whereas in Nigeria household consumers spend 50% of their income on Dung of chicken, because we import Dung of chicken in multiples to meet our local domestic demand and to put value in it.

This problem is replicated elsewhere in Africa, which is why after visiting other African countries and seeing the challenges that surround Dung of chicken, he set to create a complete solution to address these problems.

He designed and designed the Ivory Flasks designed to collect the chickpeas in their natural habitat and for women to sell to poultry farmers with all the materials to process them.

This innovative kit gets around our vulnerability to pests such as Giant Filaria, which has been with us for over 400 years; is good for the environment; and is used by many regions, especially for soil fertility and as a natural form of fertilizer.

He commissioned a Cogsu trial to try the Ivory Flasks in the Nigerian context before manufacturing them in large volumes, which he was able to do with the fund available from the All Africa Science Olympiad, an African Science Olympiad that Mohammed organised.

Mohammed has developed a number of quality parameters which each Ivory Flasks must meet to earn a certificate of compliance from the laboratories in Nigeria.

A packaged Ivory Flasks has a price tag of 2,000Naira ($1.50, £1.25).

Thus far the Ivory Flasks have sold out several times.

All the Ivory Flasks are ready to use and this will save time for the consumers and should reduce effort as well.

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