Exploring opportunities for developing the use of cassava-based diets to mitigate feed scarcity in West and Southern Africa
[Slp_ grant_ilri07cassava] <p> full title: "Exploring opportunities for developing the use of cassava-based diets to mitigate feed scarcity in West and Southern Africa" <p> Cassava is an important staple crop in sub-Saharan Africa. Since cassava peel or residue represents 10 to 15% by weight of the whole root, there is potential for the by-products of processing to be used to feed a wide variety of livestock, including poultry, fish, pigs and ruminants. Current development activities are helping to promote profitable commercial cassava enterprises by building local capacity and encouraging production of conventional cassava products (e.g. garri, cassava chips, starch and ethanol), but they lack clear plans for use or management of the residues. Commercial production of livestock feed from cassava residues could be an option in areas where the industry is growing and it is possible to collect the residues. At the same time, on-farm use of the peel to feed livestock could meet a need in areas with more dispersed production and processing. Using cassava residues to feed livestock can represent a win–win situation for cassava farmers, processors and livestock keepers. <p> The seed grant helped to fund a workshop, attended by stakeholders interested in evaluating and promoting cassava residues as livestock feed, with an initial focus on Mozambique and Nigeria. Feedback suggested that needs and approaches vary greatly with geographical location, and that a full evaluation of the value of cassava residue is best made in the context of competing feed resources. The workshop was valuable in bringing together stakeholders so that partnerships for future projects could be identified. Following this exercise, the focus of the donor search was shifted to one that would incorporate the issues surrounding the use of cassava and its byproducts within the greater context of feed resource use in general.