Peeling cassava in Oyo State, Nigeria (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).
Scientists are developing a way of transforming the mountains of cassava peels created every day in Nigeria, where cassava is a staple food, into a nourishing feed for smallholder farm animals. The several CGIAR centres involved include the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Potato Center (CIP). Also involved in this project are several CGIAR research programs—Livestock and Fish; Integrated Systems for the Humidtropics; and Roots, Tubers and Bananas—as well as the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21).
Several avenues being considered for utilizing the huge quantities of cassava waste include as animal and fish feed, using it for energetic substrate to produce aflasafe™, or growing mushrooms and other products for human and animal consumption. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) analysis in ILRI-India of cassava peel pellets produced in ILRI-Nigeria under the project showed that it had nutritionally similar energy value as some grains being used in the feed industry.
From the abstract
Nigeria, the world’s largest producer of cassava, harvests 54 million metric tonnes (Mt) of cassava tubers annually. More than 95% of its uses require peeling, which generates up to 14 Mt of waste annually; mostly due to challenges related to drying. Sun drying is practically impossible during the wet season and it takes 2–3 days in the dry season to reduce the moisture content of fresh peels from about 60 to 20% or less—a marketable state.
This is a report on a multi-centre and multi-disciplinary research work (in its early stages) to better utilize the waste. Ongoing work is showing great potential. Our intervention has so far dramatically reduced cassava peels moisture content to 12–15% within six sunshine hours using only equipment in current use by small-scale processors and households. The considerably shorter processing ensures high-quality products, low in aflatoxins contamination. Also, in a small sample experiment, when compared to sorghum grains currently being used for the production of aflasafe™ as control, the pellets supported the sporulation of Aspergillus flavus up to 87.5% of the control with better cost effectiveness.
The research challenges remain in terms of circumventing drying technologies, creating and maintaining product quality standards and facilitating and catalyzing collective action among adopters. Nevertheless, the research carries huge potential to address feed scarcity, contribute to food security and food safety, clean up the environment and improve the incomes and livelihoods of people currently engaged in processing cassava tuber into food—85% of them women.
From the introduction
‘Livestock production already accounts for more than 70% of all agricultural land and production is expected to more than double in the next 40 years to meet the rapidly expanding demand for livestock products, especially in developing countries where incomes are rising. With a fixed land base, it is imperative that the feed industry significantly boosts its production capacity from alternative and sustainable feed sources.
‘Can cassava waste contribute to feed the feed industry with alternative ingredients as well as contribute to food-feed safety? The production of cassava has increased steadily in Africa and in Nigeria for the last 30 years, growing at an average rate of 3% per year. Because of its resilience to global climatic change, and because of its affordability and easy storage underground, predictions are indicating that this trend will continue until 2050 and may in fact increase faster.
‘Total cassava production for the year 2013 in Africa is about 158 Mt/yr which accounts for 57% of the global production and in Nigeria alone it is about 53 Mt/yr (FAOSTAT 2015). By 2050 African and Nigerian production could reach and 150 Mt/yr, respectively, based on the observed 3% growth rate in the last three decades.
‘From the annual production, it has been calculated that in Nigeria alone cassava waste amounted to approximately 14 Mt/yr (calculated at a 25% average in dry matter content); that is, about 30% of the annual production. Currently, this huge amount of waste is hardly being used. . . .’
Read the whole paper published in the journal Food Chain:Technical innovations for small-scale producers and households to process wet cassava peels into high quality animal feed ingredients and aflasafe™ substrate. The authors are: Iheanacho Okike, senior agricultural economist, and Anandan Samireddypalle, livestock nutritionist, both at ILRI and based in ILRI’s offices at the International Institute for Tropic Agriculture (IITA), in Ibadan, Nigeria office; Alan Duncan, principal livestock scientist, and Michael Blümmel, team leader, both at ILRI and based at ILRI’s campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Lawrence Kaptoge, Joseph Atehnkeng, Ranajit Bandyopadhyay, Peter Kulakow and Tunrayo Alabi, all from IITA; and Claude Fauquet, director of the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21), at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), in Cali, Colombia.
Watch a film about this new technology: Adding value through existing technologies, 2015.