DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION AND PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF AN AXIAL-FLOW MILLET THRESHER
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Food is a very important component of human existence. Agriculture plays a vital role in the sustenance and continuous existence of man and his domestic animals. With the world population of seven billion and growing at the rate of 1.1 % per annum, there is the constant need to increase food production. The continuous increase in the world population would invariably increase the competition on food, land and other resources for agriculture. For example, lands that were once used for farming are now used for either residential building or some other non-agricultural based industries. This has led to the need to increase the use of technology in order to feed the ever increasing population and to make maximum use of available resources to feed the population.
Cereals and legumes are some of the essential and most consumed food by man. Cereals are widely consumed and utilized by man. They serve as raw materials for food and drug industries. This can be observed by the large metric tonnes of each of them reserved in silos and grains reserves world over (Mckee, 2011). Cereals are also used as animal feed and their stalks are as well useful to man in building temporary fence and as thatch for roofing of mud houses in villages (Mula et al., 2015). Thus the importance of cereals to man cannot be over emphasized. Millet is a kind of cereals that is widely grown in Africa and India. Millets are extremely important in the semi arid tropics of Africa and produced in 18.50 hectares by 28 countries covering 30 % of the continent (Obilana, 2017). According to DAFF (2011).