A livestock expert, Dr. Kazeem Bello, has said that the inclusion of cassava as a feed for poultry and fish will ensure a rich energy-based diet and the expansion of the cassava market for African farmers.
Bello added that the utilisation of cassava as an alternative feed for poultry would reduce the cost of operation for poultry owners and improve the livelihood of cassava farmers seeking new markets for their products.
Bello, who is a senior lecturer at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, said this on Friday at a field day programme to demonstrate the utilisation of cassava in poultry feeds. Themed, Cassava: Adding value for Africa, the programme was a five-year project sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the FUNAAB, among others.
He said, “Cassava is rich in energy and it is a great alternative, considering the high import bill and exchange rate. The usual complaint is that it is powdery and low in protein, compared to maize. But it can match maize in energy content. There is between 2800-3100 kilocalorie per kilogramme of cassava. The crude protein content is between 2.7 and 3.3 per kilogramme of cassava. But, when you want an energy-based diet for poultry, fish and other ruminant animals, cassava is the best. It has no side effect and it is a cheaper alternative to maize.’’
Speaking at the programme, the Director, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom, said the project, which was in its second phase, would increase the earnings of 200,000 farmers, if successful.