The National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) is awaiting test results from the US on the nutritional value of a cassava poultry feed before starting a trial of the experimental product at the end of April.
The idea to use cassava as a source of poultry feed stemmed from a workshop hosted earlier this year which “aimed at implementing a strategy to start a cassava enterprise and industry development”, the Government Information Agency (GINA) said in a press release issued yesterday.
NARI has sent its experimental cassava product to the US to determine its nutritional values. Trials of the product on poultry will begin after those results, expected in two weeks, are released. Director of NARI Dr. Oudho Homenauth, according to GINA, said product testing should last for two months after which further analysis is to be done.
Further, GINA reported that NARI has begun working with its private sector partner, Bounty Farms, on this venture. The unpeeled cassava, Homenauth explained, is sliced in thin pieces and sun dried so that it will break easily. Once the cassava has dried to about twelve percent moisture, he said, it is ground into flour.
Homenauth, GINA said, noted that cassava feed, once feasible can replace the more expensive feeds made of corn and rice. Bounty Farm will be doing the necessary formulations which will be compared to what is used conventionally to determine whether the cassava feed can serve as a substitute.
The product, Homenauth said, has shown progress. Homenauth indicated that the institute is “looking to start small” but if demand exists the product will be further enhanced. This venture, according to the NARI Director, will provide advantages to hinterland communities since the feed can be easily produced on farms there and transported to the market.