• Monday, July 22, 2024
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AfDB, Synergos inaugurate prototype machine for cassava peel conversion in Kogi

Premium Cassava expands operation to meet demand

As the cost of animal feed continues to grow up beyond the scope of small scale farmers, the African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with Synergos Nigeria and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has inaugurated a prototype machine for the conversion of high-quality cassava peels into feed ingredients for animal feeds.

The prototype was inaugurated at the High-Quality Cassava Peels (HQCP), centre in Ejule, Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi over the weekend.

In his opening remarks at the inaugural ceremony, Victor Adejoh, country director of Synergos Nigeria said the innovation was aimed at addressing issues of environmental pollution and income support for women.

He added that Synergos Nigeria was implementing the project in partnership with ILRI with funding from AfDB as part of the bank’s implementation of its ‘Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT)’.

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Represented by Lydia Oyewole, Synergos project facilitator, the country director disclosed that TAAT’s developmental objective was to scale up agricultural technologies with livestock components as one of the key compacts to achieve the objectives.

He said that the prototype waste-to-wealth innovation to be run by the Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) would enable the production of high-quality cassava peel (HQCP) feed ingredients thereby, circumventing cassava peel drying constraints.

According to him, the prototype machine which is the second in the state with the first, located at Ojapata, Ankpa Local Government is based on the principle of grating; dewatering, fermentation; pulverizing, sieving and drying.

“These steps essentially replicate the age-long processes involved in making cassava pulp safe for human consumption and storable and also conforms with the code of practice for the reduction of Hydrocyanic acid in cassava and cassava products (FAO, 2013a),” he said.

“Cassava peels waste has been recognized for ages as a potential animal feed, but with little utilization because of its cyanide content when consumed wet or it is mycotoxins content when improperly dried,” he added.

He equally noted that the machine would produce dried high-quality cassava peel mash (fine and coarse) feeds with four to six months shelf-life and suitable for poultry, fish, pigs, goats, sheep, and cattle.

David Apeh, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, called on the women to utilise the prototype processing facilities at their doorstep to increase their livelihood support and better their lives instead of idling away.

Apeh who was represented by Ichaka Okolo, director, Agric Services, also called on AfDB, Synergos, ActionAid, and other partners and agencies to increase their interventions in agribusiness initiative for the overall development of the state.

Sefiya Yahaya, SWOFON coordinator in the state, in her address called on both the federal and state governments to accord women farmers their rights and makes land available to them as a right rather than a privilege.