March 21, 2013
Hervé Guéa is a researcher from Cameroon who has invented a gourd seeds husking machine for the species Cucumeropsis Mannii Naudin or Cucumeropsis Edulis. These seeds have different names: gousi, egoussi, egusi-itoo, dark egusi, lipupu, white seed melon.
There is, for the moment, only one prototype of this machine; a prototype that the inventor has designed alone. And it seems to be the only prototype available to date. Indeed, existing husking machines are used for seeds such as rice, sorghum, corn, wheat, soybeans, fonio, peanuts... The principles used in these machines (shelling by abrasion, friction or projection) cannot apply to egusi-itoo seeds because they have specific physical characteristics.
Between 2005 and 2008, Hervé Guéa developed his prototype which helped him validate the principle of shelling by combination of movements submitted to the seed, and forces with variable intensities applied to its edges.
The quality of the peeled seeds is considered excellent, which allowed Hervé Guéa to file his project with OAPI (African Intellectual Property Organization) in 2009, and obtained patent No. 14477. The importance of this machine has gone beyond the borders of Cameroon and Africa. Indeed, between 2011 and 2012, an additional study (technical and economic feasibility) of the husking machine was conducted by the Ecole Centrale de Lyon with funding from the program "Entrepreneur en Afrique"
The egusi-itoo seeds are grown in Africa for their almonds generally used to make several dishes. These almonds also offer opportunities not yet exploited. Indeed, the oil can be extracted. This oil is suitable for cooking, soap making and, less commonly, lighting.
The African ingenuity tends to really address problems faced by Africans in their daily lives. Thus, when will the "elite" in power become truly aware and implement the industrialization of Africa by also taking into account the opportunities offered by endogenous researchers?
This inventor is currently looking for partners and investors so as to move to the mass production phase of his invention.