Production of plant-based premixes that will contribute to food security as envisioned in Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs)
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria is located in South West, Nigeria. Akure city is one of the major cities in South West, Nigeria. The Federal University University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria has a functional Teaching and Research Farms (Livestock Section) and my Department (Animal Production and Health) has three (3) functional Laboratories which include; Nutrition, Diagnostic and Microbiology. Also, there is Centre of Excellence on Food Security at The Federal University of Technology, Akure with a well-equiped laboratory (comprising four sections vis; Analytical, Bio-Research, Nutrition and Diagnostic in addition to green house, food processing units, machineries for large scale production running to several millions of Naira and uninterrupted power supply (3 standby generators) with support from from World Bank). I work at The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria as a Lecturer involving in Teaching, Research and Community Development.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
The south-west region of Nigeria offers a wide range of sights and experiences; from the beaches in Lagos to the natural springs in Osun state and from the historic city of Ibadan to the mountain caves of Ogun state. South West Nigeria has six states; Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo. The population of the South West region is estimated at 32.5 million people.351 The region's population is predominantly Christian,352 and members of the Yoruba ethnic group, who make up approximately 21% of the national population, are concentrated in this area. Akure total Land Area: 991Km2 with current population: 667,066. There some towns surrounding Akure; Ilara - Mokin, Ijare, Igbara-Oke, Itaogbolu, Iju, Oba-Ile, Idanre etc. Federal University of Technology, Akure feed mill site is located in Akure South local government area. The University and Federal College of Agriculture are the only institutions in the local government area with the potential to influence livestock development in the locality and beyond. As an Entrepreneurial University, The University is promoting Job creation through appropriate empowerment programmes that were entrenched into her curriculum to address unemployment issue. This initiative prompted the establishment of commercial farm in conjunction with the University Teaching and Research Farm. In South West Nigeria, the farmers cultivate and engage in the processing of tree crops like cocoa, plantain, kola nuts, walnuts and oil palm. Cereals like maize and rice, root and tuber crops like yam, cocoyam and cassava are commonly grown. The farmers also grow vegetables. They also rear cattle, small ruminants like goat and sheep on free range, while most farmers adopt intensive rearing method for pigs. The indigenous poultry like chicken, ducks are reared also on free range. However, we have quiet number of farmers that are involved in intensive poultry production.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
The type of equipment and machines that will be designed and used for this vision will be environmentally friend. They will not constitute any hazard (i.e noise, air pollution) to the environment. The diets/feeds that will be formulated will follow the nutritional requirement of the experimental animals so that the requirement and welfare of such animal will not be compromised. Also, products (meat and egg) from such animals will not constitute any hazard to the consumers, meaning that the quality of such product will not be compromised. In terms of economy and culture, many youths and women will be engaged along the production chain of the premixes and livestock farming i.e. mechanization, fabrication of dryers, poultry production and commercialization of the emerging premixes. Also, 2 PhD and 6 Master’s candidates will be engaged in the study i.e. capacity building. This will have a multiplying effect on the technological and entrepreneurial advancement of the graduating students and other relevant stakeholders in Nigeria. Through the design/fabrication of the drying machine which will be a kind of new technology innovation, the candidate leaves will be dried without losing their vitamin/volatile contents. Formulation of policies on how to support the growers of these leaves and livestock farmers and buy-back of products during glut to ensure sustainability and barn on the importation of some products like frozen poultry products and premixes will be formulated so that our economy can grow.
These are to:
i. mass produce leaves of Cassava (Manihot esculenta), Moringa (Moringa oleifera), Fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis), Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) and African basil (Ocimum gratissimum) using mechanization;
ii. design and fabricate low-temperature dryer that can dry leaves without losing their vitamin/volatile contents;
iii. chemically analyse the dried leaves in (i) above for vitamins, nutritionally valuable minerals, antioxidants, xanthine, chloroxanthine and amino acids;
iv. formulate different vitamin/mineral premixes by blending the leaf meals with appropriate software for broiler chickens (starter and finisher) and laying hens (layers);
v. validate vitamin/mineral produced in (iv) above in comparison with commercial brands using chickens as animal models;
vi. determine the best packaging/formulae (or the ‘star’ vitamin/mineral premixes) for broiler and laying hens after validation;
vii. assess the cost-benefit of commercial production of premixes using economic tools.
Hypothesis: can the composite leaf meal produced from the candidate leaves serves as alternative to the commercial premixes in chicken diets?
Thus, the major problems the project seeks to solve are:
i. low access to chicken products especially among the resource-poor in Nigeria that form about 70% of the population.
ii. increasing rate of unemployment among youths and women interested in agriculture
iii. dwindling foreign exchange earnings through import substitution
Expected Outcome and Contribution:
These are to:
i. sustain the large scale production of African basil (Ocimum gratissimum), Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina), Fluted pumpkin (Telfaria occidentalis), Moringa (Moringa oleifera) and Cassava leaf (Manihot esculenta).
ii. enhance the technical know-how on the design and fabrication of low-temperature dryers for these leaves.
iii. reduce the cost of finished feed, enhanced animal protein production and affordability by the low-income populace.
iv. produce detailed information about the study outcome in local languages and train potential end-users (farmers) through workshops.
v. increase meat, egg and vegetable availability/affordability and hence their consumption, with a resultant effect of reducing under nutrition (kwashiorkor/hidden hunger) and improved health status among the protein/micro-nutrient vulnerable groups.
vi. increase the engagement of youths, women and retirees in agriculture (Crops-vegetables, Equipment fabrication, Animal husbandry and Agribusiness) thus leading to employment generation.
vii. strengthen the current Federal Government policy on local content vis-à-vis the reduction of import dependence on these animal production inputs/products.
viii. stimulate exportation of the premixes, animal products and the candidate leaves as they are also consumed for their medicinal properties.
i. Sustainable Production of Candidate Leaves:
The methods of seed propagation shall include: stem cuttings (cassava, Bitter leaf, Moringa, Fluted pumpkin, Basil.), rapid multiplication via seed splitting in Fluted pumpkin, rooting of stem cuttings and transplanting of plantlets. The main objective of this activity is to ensure/promote year-round production and supply of high quality leaf biomass stock of candidate species for the production of local vitamin/mineral premixes. In particular, propagation technologies will be developed in order to sustain rapid production and availability of propagules/plantlets and planting materials required for large scale production of the candidate species.
ii. Design and Fabrication of low-temperature dryer for Leaves:
The activity involves literature search to determine the state of the art in agricultural material drying systems and on the various mechanisms/electromechanical devices for the process. Design options would be considered objectively with a view to determining the most appropriate for the process. The equipment for drying would be designed following standard design procedures. The equipment will be fabricated at Agricultural Engineering Department workshop and subjected to rigorous performance evaluation. The equipment developed will be installed as part of the pilot plant for production of vitamin/mineral premixes. The overall benefits include raw material sourcing and development, alternate /indigenous materials for livestock feeds, employment opportunities and income generation.
iii. Chemical analyses of the dried leaves:
The water and fat soluble vitamins, antioxidants, xanthine and chloroxanthine will be determined in the candidate leaves using standard procedures. Thus, the modified AOAC method 992.03, 992.04 and 992.26, 1995 will be used with High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), while the minerals will be analyzed. After ashing the leaf meal and the premixes, samples will be acidified with concentrated HNO3. Thereafter, they will be analyzed for the various macro- and micro minerals (Calcium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Iron, Cobalt, Manganese, Nickel, Iodine, Choline, Selenium and Copper) using standard methods.
iv. Formulation of different vitamin/mineral premixes from the candidate leaves:
Five different formulae each will be formulated from various combinations of the meals of the candidate leaves using appropriate computer software for broiler chickens and laying hens. Thereafter, the five formulae will be thoroughly mixed, analyzed for the vitamins, mineral and antioxidants, and stored in a cool place before use.
v. Validation of the generated premix formulae in animal models:
Trial with Broiler chickens
After analysis, the three formulated premixes arising from the combination of the candidate leaves will be selected and subjected to balance feeding trials to validate their potential in vivo. Thus, our locally produced premix will be compared with three known commercial premixes in a Completely Randomized Design. Thus, formulated premixes will be included in the diets at 2.5, 3.0 and 4.0kg/tonne and compared with three commercial premixes. There will be six treatments replicated five times with each replicate having 10 birds. The trial will last for six weeks (42 days). The response criteria will include growth performance, blood and serum indices and bone mineralization of femur and tibia. Also, the cost-benefit analysis of the formulated products will be determined using appropriate economic tools.
Trial with Laying hens
Two hundred and forty (240) Point of lay (POL) will be sourced from a reputable farm. The birds will assigned to 6 dietary treatments (formulated premixes will be included in the diets at 2.5, 3.0 and 4.0kg/tonne and compared with three commercial premixes) replicated four times with each replicate having 10 birds. The trial will last for 16 weeks (112 days). The response criteria will include hen-day production, egg quality and bone mineralization of femur and tibia. The cost-benefit analysis of the formulated products will be determined using appropriate economic tools.
vi. Economics of production of the alternative premixes: Low-cost commercial premixes will be made available to farmers in the South West Nigeria. Farmers will be sensitized on the novel premixes through workshops conferences, seminars, Handbills and leaflets in English and local languages. Reduced cost of finished feed (chicken), increased profit margin for producers. Increased interest in animal agriculture especially by MSMEs with a resultant increase in animal protein affordability and reduction in kwashiorkor, morbidity and micro-nutrient deficiency (hidden hunger) among protein vulnerable groups.