The Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi (JOSTUM) formerly known as Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (FUAM) in Benue State, has developed a smokeless affordable cooking fuel made from agricultural waste to help low-income households.
The outgoing Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Anande Richard Kimbir, made this known during his valedictory press conference held at the institution’s premises in Makurdi.
Kimbir said the innovation was one among numerous breakthroughs made by researchers in the university during his five years period of steering the school’s affairs.
“BettaCoal – smokeless and affordable cooking fuel made from agricultural waste to help low-income households and food businesses in Nigeria cut costs on cooking energy while replacing firewood and charcoal to save trees and the planet,” he said.
“The innovation has won several awards. It’s the only innovation from Africa to make the top eight in the race for Climate Action out of the 90 projects from all over the world qualifying to compete in San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA.
“BettaCoal emerged top four out of 89 entries/projects from 68 universities in 13 countries at the Action with Africa challenge sponsored by Germany Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and organised by Enactus HQ. It is the only team from Nigeria and sub-saharan Africa to reach this milestone,” he said.
Furthermore, the outgoing vice chancellor disclosed that the researchers also produced ZEMA, a mosquito repellent that doubles as an air freshener.
Kimbir added that “The team researched and made the product from plants to cut down malaria infections and mortality in Benue State.