LOKOJA- Against the backdrop of the importance of cassava to the daily edible intake in the country, the African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with Synergos Nigeria and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has launched a prototype machine for conversion of High Quality Cassava Peels into feed ingredients for animal feeds.
The synergos hinted that the prototype machine was inaugurated at the High Quality Cassava Peels (HQCP) Centre in Ejule, Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi on Friday.
Mr Victor Adejoh, Country Director of Synergos Nigeria in his opening remarks at the inaugural ceremony said the innovation aimed at addressing issues of environmental pollution and income support for women.
Adejoh said 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)”.
The Country Director who was represented by Mrs Lydia Oyewole, Synergos Project Facilitator, hinted that TAAT’s developmental objective was to scale up agricultural technologies with Livestock component as one of the key compacts to achieve the objectives.
He said that the prototype waste-to-wealth innovation to be run by Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) would be enable production of high quality cassava peel (HQCP) feed ingredients thereby, circumventing cassava peel drying constraints.
The prototype machine which is the second in the state with the first, located at Ojapata, Ankpa Local Government according to him, is based on 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)
“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 its mycotoxins content when improperly dried”, he said.
Adejoh 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.
Mr David Apeh, the state Commissioner for Agriculture called on the women to utilise the prototype pricessing facilitie at their doorstep to increase their livelihood support and better their lives instead of idling away.
Apeh 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 overall development the state.
Earlier earlier in her address, Hajia Sefiya Yahaya SWOFON Coordinator in the state called on the Federal and and State Governments to accord women farmers their rights and make land available to them as a right rather than privilege saying, “Our land is our right.”
Representatives of the state Fadama office, ActionAid Nigeria, Rice Farmers Associatio byn of Nigeria (RIFAN) and various women groups witnessed the inauguration and gave goodwill messages.