The African Development Bank (AfDB), in conjunction with Synergos Nigeria and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), has launched a prototype machine for the processing of cassava peels into high-quality animal feed ingredients.
Speaking on behalf of Victor Adejoh, country director for Synergos Nigeria, at the inaugural ceremony, Lydia Oyewole, project facilitator, said that Synergos was implementing the project in partnership with the ILRI using funding from the AfDB, which the bank contributed as part of its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program.
Oyewole noted that one of the developmental objectives of the TAAT program is to improve agricultural technologies, with livestock being among the key value chains listed in its objectives.
Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava, leading to a large quantity of cassava peels being left over from processing. These perishable peels are mostly disposed of through incineration or decomposition in heaps, both of which cause pollution.
Cassava peels, stumps and undersized or damaged tubers have been recognized for ages as a potential animal feed but have been underutilized due to cassava’s cyanide content when consumed wet and its mycotoxins when improperly dried.
Oyewole further explained that the prototype waste-to-wealth innovation, which is to be run by the Small Scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON), would enable the production of high-quality cassava peel feed ingredients that have a four- to six-month shelf life and are suitable for poultry, fish, pigs, goats, sheep and cattle.
Representing Commissioner of Agriculture David Apeh of Kogi State, Ichaka Okolo, director of agric services, called on the AfDB, Synergos and other partners to intensify their support in agribusiness for the overall development of the state, while advising women to utilize the machine to improve their livelihoods.