In a bid to address the issues of environmental pollution and income support for women, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a prototype machine for conversion of high quality Cassava peels into ingredients for animal feed for poultry, fish, pigs, and cattle in Kogi state. The AfDB developed this prototype in conjunction with Synergos Nigeria and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) as part of its agenda for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT). A key objective of TAAT is to scale up agricultural technology with livestock components.
Nigeria is said to be the world’s largest producer of cassava, with an output of about 59 million tonnes per year. According to statistics, for every ton of cassava processed, 10%-15% (125kg/tons) are lost in the form of wet peels. These peels are poorly utilized, dumped as waste, or burned. In addition, hundreds of thousands of women spend many hours peeling cassava but earn less than $2.5 a day. In 2018, ILRI worked with Amo-Byng, Amo farm Sieberer Hatchery Ltd, to conduct independent evaluation of the quality of cassava peels on livestock as a means of curbing wastage and reducing poverty rates.
The prototype will be run by Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) and would enable production of high quality cassava peel feed ingredients and it will be based on the principles of grating, dewatering, fermentation, pulverizing, sieving and drying. This process is important as cassava peels are under-utilized because of the cyanide content when wet or the mycotoxins present when improperly dried.
In another development, the Kogi State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. David Apeh, has called on women to utilize this prototype to increase their livelihood, while also urging the AfDB, Synergos, ActionAid and other agencies to invest in agribusiness initiatives for the overall development of the state.