Abuja, Dec. 13, 2018 (NAN) The Oyo State Government in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) on Thursday sensitised farmers to wealth creation through cassava peels utilisation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Office of the Oyo State Governor’s Special Adviser on Intervention Funds and Development Partners organised the sensitisation workshop in collaboration with ILRI and RMRDC in Ibadan, South west Nigeria.
The programme had the theme: « Waste to Wealth: Cassava Peels Utilisation ».
Dr Adebukola Adebusuyi, Special Adviser to Oyo State Governor on Intervention Funds, said that the workshop was to promote transformation of cassava peels into valuable feed for livestock.
Adebusuyi said that the transformation would create employment opportunities and additional sources of income for processors, as well as increase cultivation of cassava through availability of off-takers to buy back the produce.
She added that it would curb rural-urban drift, improve self-worth, harmonise initiatives and bring sanity to the environment by reducing heaped cassava peel dumps.
The governor’s aide urged that more people should engage in agriculture and agri-businesses.
« We need to make agriculture very attractive for the youth as Africa is estimated to be the second largest continent to enjoy high growth rate of 4.3 per cent by 2020.
« But our population growth is more than our socio-economic growth which speaks of entrenched poverty.
« By 2034, Africa is expected to have the world’s largest working age population of 1.1 billion and it is imperative to prepare to have adequate resources to meet their teeming needs, » Adebusuyi said.
The ILRI Country Representative, Dr Tunde Amole, noted that during processing, enormous quantity of cassava peels was generated as waste.
Amole said that only an insignificant proportion of the peels was fed to livestock such as goats.
He said that the peels and other wastes such as chaff were considered as inconveniencing rather than potential resources in West Africa.
The ILRI official said that lack of capacity to salvage and reuse such materials economically resulted in unnecessary waste and depletion of natural resources.
He said that the waste could be used in production of biogas, mushrooms and improved animal feed.
Amole called for scaling of High Quality Cassava Peel (HQCP) mash technology, and creation of an enabling environment for its off-take in Oyo State.
« The workshop will focus on making meaningful and attainable suggestions in promoting HQCP, making policies that will promote production and inclusion of HQCP in livestock and aquaculture feed in Oyo State.
« It focuses on adoption of HQCP as a safe livestock and aquaculture feed ingredient.
« This workshop will also facilitate availability of funds in terms of grants and single digit loans for acquisition of facilities for production of HQCP, among others, » Amole added.
Earlier, the RMRDC Director-General, Dr Hussan Ibrahim, said that the workshop came at a period when the Federal Government made efforts to economically empower Nigerians through investment in agriculture.
Ibrahim, represented by the Coordinator of RMRDC in Oyo State, Mrs Olufolake Ishola, said that the programme sought to promote exploitation of cassava peels to the fullest as an innovation in production of high quality animal feed.
« It will enable thousands of trained household processors to add value to the waste peels and turn the peels to a sustainable agri-business.
« This sensitisation will go down as another garland in the annals of the Oyo State Government’s empowerment programme if the recommendations are diligently implemented, » Ibrahim said.