Agri students from the Kwadaso Agricultural College in the Ashanti Region have set up a company to recycle waste cassava peels into animal feed. Could this be an alternative to maize as raw animal feed material?
The company, Kwadaco Company Limited, was formed by Mr Albert Adombile Ayingura, Mr Eric Agyei Gyansah and Mr Marcellinus Babai, all students of the college. The three have subsequently become the Managing Director (MD), Marketing Manager and Head of Operations respectively.
The establishment of the company falls under the agri-business course offered in Agricultural Training Colleges nationwide. The course is to help identify and nurture entrepreneurship among students by inculcating in them the need to establish their own businesses after school instead of waiting to be employed.
The MD, Mr Ayingura, said the company had done the feed trials, proximate analysis and other necessary checks on the feed and was, therefore, ready to go commercial with the feed once the founders were out of school. All the three are in their final year and will be completing in June this year, Mr Ayingura said. The company’s feed is called Ultimate Cassava Meal and is suitable for poultry, pigs, fish and rabbits, among others.
As to the rationale behind turning cassava peels into animal feed, Mr Aringura explained that he and his colleagues realised the high competition between man and animals for maize, a major source of raw material in animal feed. That, he said, was pushing prices of maize as source of animal feed up.
“But cassava peels are readily available and cheap; it’s even a waste to some people and so we realised that producing animal feed from it will help solve the environmental challenges posed by the peels as well as reduce the strain on maize and make it more available to man for food," he explained.
In the course of production, Mr Adombila said some ingredients were often added to the milled cassava peels to help meet the nutritional requirement of the animals. “It's true we want to cut down on cost but we also have at the back of our minds the need to meet the nutritional requirements of the animals for their optimum growth,” he added. The company and its products were adjudged the best in the 2013 National Agri-business Competition held in Damongo in the Northern Region recently.
The competition was between similar companies operated in the six agricultural training colleges in the country and was organised by the Agricultural Extension (AgEx) Services unit of Engineers Without Borders (EWB,) Canada, in collaboration with the various colleges and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).
The company's Marketing Manager, Mr Gyansah, said the award was a morale booster and pledged their commitment to make the idea work in order to benefit many animal farmers. The Head of Operations, Mr Barbai, mentioned transportation of the cassava peels and funds as some challenges facing the company in its commercial production.