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Cassava value chain/Nigeria - Processing African cassava peels, potentially a billion dollar business

10 January 2016

According to the research proposal published by three CGIAR centers, transforming cassava peels into high quality feed holds huge potential for African economies struggling to meet rapidly rising demand for animal-source products. With livestock production expected to more than double in the next 40 years, Africa’s estimated 50 million tonnes of cassava peel waste per year could generate at least 15 million tonnes of High Quality Cassava Peel (HQCP), substantially addressing shortfalls in the supply of animal feed and eventually creating a USD 2 billion a year industry. Moreover, with HQCP livestock feeders can boost product quality due to availability of starch, glucose and dextrose from the cassava peels. The research has been proposed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and International Potato Center (CIP), with the support of CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) on Root Tubers and Bananas (RTB), Humid tropics, and Livestock and Fish. Working closely with private sector partners, ILRI leads the effort to develop and improve innovative technologies for processing cassava peels into high quality livestock feeds. Within five years, the proposal sets out to facilitate production of high quality feed from cassava peels, creating approximately 100,000 jobs and eliminating more than 20% of dangerous cassava peels from the environment. According to the projections, knock on effects could benefit the wider African economy by as much as USD900 million over the project life, enabling the private sector to become independent, and increase uptake of related technologies and product uses. Approximately 98% of Nigeria’s cassava peels annually are wasted due to constraints associated with drying and concerns about safety of use, particularly hydrocyanide and mycotoxins, related food poisoning. Drying peels outside has proved practically impossible during the rainy season. Consequently, peels are left to rot in heaps or set on fire thus polluting the air, soil and groundwater and wasting a potential feed resource. In 2015, CGIAR scientists developed low-tech ways of transforming wet cassava peels into high quality, safe and hygienic feed ingredients within eight hours, producing one tonne of HQCP mash from three tonnes of wet peels. Livestock producers would have access to better and cheaper feed, reducing operating costs and potentially boosting the quality and quantity of animal-source foods produced. In addition to the additional supply of grain available for human consumption, consumers would benefit from the availability of cheaper and better animal-source foods, improving health outcomes, particularly the cognitive health of children.



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