The Country Director, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Dr Tunde Amole, has advised the Federal Government to support and invest in cassava peel processing as an alternative to exorbitant fish feeds.
Amole gave the advise in an interview with the News men in Abuja
He said that investment into cassava peels processing would help save foreign exchange used for the importation of fish feeds.
The country director explained that the institute had tried the cassava peels mash on small ruminants like poultry birds, adding that it yielded positive result.
“One of the ways to solve the problems of fish feed is to look for cheap and alternative ingredient particularly to replace maize. Maize is the major challenge.
“We have been able to come up with a cassava peel mash.
“This is a product from a waste, cassava peel is a waste in Nigeria and by analysis, Nigeria generates over 14 metric tonnes of cassava peel every year and this is wasted.
“So we have been able to develop a process by which we can develop it fast to dry feed ingredient either for small ruminant, poultry and fish.
“Already, we are up-scaling it, supported by the USAID, AfDB and some other private sector.
“What I think the government can do is to support this initiative.
“If every cassava processing centers could have an extension where the peels will be processed into a feed ingredient, I think we will save a lot of dollars used in importing fish feed.
Amole said that the government and the private sector could also embrace other alternative and cheap sources of fish feed or fish feed ingredients to boost fish production across the country.
The country director said the institute had a pasture genetic component in Addis Ababa where foreign pasture species were being developed.
He explained that if the pasture genetic component which would guarantee availability of forages for large ruminants was introduced in Nigeria, it would help solve the crisis between farmers and herdsmen.
As an organisation we also have a pasture genetic component which is based in Addis in Ethiopia where we look at developing pasture species that could also serve in solving this problem of Fulani crisis all over the world.
“When you have good pasture establishment, there is no reason for anybody to take his animal to go and graze on a crop farm.
“We will soon be promoting that in Nigeria,’’ the country director said.
The ILRI works to improve food security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for better and more sustainable use of livestock.