Growth performance and blood parameters of West African dwarf rams fed dried Ficus thonningii foliage as supplement to high quality cassava peel
The study aimed to determine the response of West African dwarf (WAD) rams to dried Ficus thonningii (DFT) foliage as supplement to high quality cassava peel (HQCP). A feeding trial was conducted with 20 WAD rams assigned to four dietary treatments. Treatments consisted of HQCP as a sole diet offered ad libitum (T1) or supplemented with DFT foliage at 20(T2), 40(T3), and 60 per cent(T4). Feed intake and apparent digestibility coefficients of dry matter, crude protein, ether extracts, neutral detergent fibre, and acid detergent fibre were highest (P < 0.05) in rams fed 60 per cent DFT foliage and least for those fed the control diet. Rams fed the diet with DFT foliage gained weight while those in the control group lost weight. The highest gain was recorded in rams with 60 per cent of DFT foliage in the diet (42.38 g/day). The values for blood parameters were high in rams fed 60 per cent DFT foliage: 5.00 per cent, 6.15 g/dl, and 2.80 g/dl for monocyte, total protein, and globulin, respectively. These values for blood parameters except lymphocyte were within the normal range for healthy sheep production. The study concluded that DFT foliage fed up to the 60 per cent level with HQCP improved the total dry matter intake, nutrient digestibility, body weight, and blood parameters of the WAD rams. However the low lymphocyte count can be improved by giving the WAD rams the right treatment.
Technical innovations for small-scale producers and households to process wet cassava peels into high quality animal feed ingredients and aflasafe™ substrate
Nigeria, the world’s largest producer of cassava, harvests 54 million metric tonnes (Mt) of cassava tubers annually. More than 95 per cent 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 per cent to 20 per cent 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 and has so far dramatically reduced cassava peels moisture content to 12–15 per cent 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 per cent 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 catalysing 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 per cent of them women.