CAVA II project partners review the project activities in Nigeria

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The CAVA II Project Directorate recently hosted partners on phase two of its Cassava: Adding Value for Africa project on a 3 day’s midyear project review meeting and update at Park Inn Hotel, Abeokuta Nigeria.

The meeting had in attendance the Project Director Prof. Kolawole Adebayo, Deputy Project Director Dr. Bosola Oladeinde-Opeodu, the Country managers from all the five countries; Nigeria, Uganda, Malawi, Ghana Tanzania, the Monitoring Learning and Evaluation Expert (ML&E) Dr. Ola Ogunyinka, CAVA II Agronomist from IITA Dr. Richardson Okechukwu and the Director of Natural Research Institute of the University of Greenwich, United Kingdom Prof. Andrew Wesby. The midyear review meeting  included a field visits to the FUNAAB Cassava Demonstration plot as well as a field day on cassava based diets for poultry production.

The Project Director, Professor Kolawole Adebayo in his remarks during the meeting commended all partners of CAVA II project on progress made so far. He also hinted on how far the project has come and said “The work we are doing all across Africa has been a very interesting journey. For many people, when we started they couldn’t believe that cassava could be what it is today because cassava was regarded as poor man’s crop’’.   He pointed out  that significant progresses have been made by the country teams whose activities have shifted from the traditional value chains to building and maintaining targeted value chain addition through promoting processing of cassava into High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) by the SME’s and other actors in this value chain.

As at August 2016, our team in Uganda has met almost 70 percent of its target for mobilization of cassava roots into targeted value chains. Uganda has fully installed two flash dryers in Lango sub region. The project has also generated high interest from local investorsOne can only hope that the dream we have will materialize quite soon, particularly with two new flash dryers being installed with the brewing industry buying so much cassava for beer, with people in the other sectors like biscuit and bakeries, looking at cassava as a way to reduce their import deals. And so with such tremendous progress, I think the work we have been doing together has been very beneficial to farmers, investors, and to people whose livelihoods revolve around cassava.” These newly embraced investors are being supported by the project in areas of processing cassava into HQCF and training them on among other things, quality standards of processing HQCF.
CAVA II Ghana has achieved 80 percent of its target for mobilization of cassava roots into targeted value chains while the other countries are moving steadily. Malawi is currently facing the challenges of Inconsistent raw material supply to processors as a result of very short rainfall season which has forced farmers to retain their cassava for household use and triggered theft – leading to high prices for FCR

CAVA II Tanzania also faced some challenges of Treasury Single Account (TSA) thereby slowing down the project activities  a bit. CAVA II Nigeria is moving slowly against target due to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) issues and the present economic situation of the country. Meanwhile the Director of Natural Research Institute, Prof. Andrew Wesby has commended the partners for their continued support towards CAVA II project; their support has largely contributed to its ability to achieve its specific project targets.

According to Dr Kazeem Bello the livestock expert for Cassava: Adding Value for Africa phase II who gives technical backup for effective and efficient viable economical utilization of cassava in livestock feed said livestock feed occupies 70% of cost of production and the energy source of the feed represent about 55% to 60%. In some cases, it can be as low as 45%. Even with that, when it comes to growers it has maintenance ratio, the energy feed stock is quiet important.

This journey started about 9weeks ago when we got 2 strains of broilers. One strain Aboeka and  Obamasha. On every strain, we place them on four dietary treatments. The first treatment being the control maize, the second treatment 15% cassava replacement for maize, the third treatment 30% cassava replacement for maize and the 4 (fourth) treatment which is the last 45% cassava replacement for maize.

We formulated 2 (two) diet (that is to say the birds were placed on 2 feeding regime) the starter phase and the finisher phase. At the starter phase, we balance for the protein requirement for the birds by using the protein source while at the finisher phase we did weight for weight replacement. After the diet were formulated, for the starter phase, we discovered that the birds cost of production ranges between N135 to N140 and it increases slightly in arithmetic value from N135 without cassava to N140 with the use of cassava because we had to balance for the crude protein.

Whereas at the finisher phase, the cost of producing 1kg of the diet reduces from N120 to N112 down the line as we continue to increase or to replace maize with cassava the cost of producing 1kg of finisher diet reduces. Now we  place the birds on the treatment from day old to the finisher phase (a study that lasted 56 days) at the end of the study, in terms of weight gain, birds feed 15% to 30% replacement were similar with the weight gain of birds feed on maize.

At the finisher phase II, we discovered that the feed conversion ratio was better with birds place on 30% cassava replacement for maize and the cost of production (marginal cost) was also better with 30% replacement of maize. From this demo, we were able to establish that poultry particularly broiler can be placed on 15% to 30% cassava replacement for maize without negative effect on the production, the technical efficiency and convenient profit margin.

Issues have been raised by poultry farmers particularly that borders on what is the powdery nature of cassava flour, its dustiness, it causes respiratory disorder and it low in amino acid etc. With these complains CAVA Nigeria worked in conjunction with Starchem manufacturing company trained with the support of Nobex to develop machine that produces cassava grit. This grit is in 2mm capacity. The cassava is processed into the grit form that can be included directly into the mixer and the process of dustiness and loss as a result of powdery nature is solved. We did quality proximate analysis of the product and we discovered that the crude protein was about 3.67% while the energy was about 2,850 kilo calorie per kg.