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Production and Packaging of Plant-based Commercial Vitamin/Mineral Premixes for Chicken Industries in South West, Nigeria

Production of plant-based premixes that will contribute to food security as envisioned in Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs)

Photo of Muyiwa Adegbenro
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Researcher Institution

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

South West, Nigeria

What country is your selected Place located in?


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.            

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Currently, cost of feed in intensive poultry and swine production is about 70 to 80% due to high cost of energy, protein ingredients and vitamin/mineral premixes. Specifically, poultry and swine farmers in Nigeria depend on imported vitamin/mineral premixes most of which usually lose their biological activity as result of long transportation. This, in part explains why the farmers are not getting the expected results vis-à-vis expected profit. Presently, the cost of broiler-chicken premix is one thousand and sixty naira (₦1,060.00) per kilogram. By extension, a ton of this premix will cost one million and sixty thousand naira (₦1,060,000.00) and this is expected to increase because of the heavy import dependence of this commodity. Thus this will by no means affect the production cost thereby leading to high cost of products from these animals which means that the resource-poor populace may not be able to afford these products leading low protein intake. If we fail to address the issue of high cost of feed by using alternative resources that can lead to reduction in the cost of feed in livestock, by 2025 most resource-poor populace will not be able to afford balanced diets which will automatically will lead for hunger. 

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

The vision is to produce relatively inexpensive vitamin/mineral premixes from locally grown edible vegetables with a view to enhancing the production of animal proteins through reduced cost of finished feeds. This will lead to increased access to animal protein and micro-nutrients consumption especially among the resource poor (who constitute more than 70% of the populace), thus enhancing healthier living among the citizens.    

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

There will be development in the livestock sector of the area leading to good economy and empowerment of youths and women in agriculture. Also, access to animal protein and micro-nutrients consumption especially among the resource poor (who constitute more than 70% of the populace), thus enhancing healthier living among the citizens.    

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.

Vision Objectives:

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.

Scientific Hypothesis:

Hypothesis: can the composite leaf meal produced from the candidate leaves serves as alternative to the commercial premixes in chicken diets?

Expected Outputs: 

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.

Research Plan:

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.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Conference/event

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Photo of Kehinde Fashua

Welcome Muyiwa Adegbenro  to the Prize community and thank you for your submission.
Here are some tips that can help you build a stronger Vision for your chosen place;
* It will be great to see pictures, photos, videos or any other visual materials about your chosen place
* The Prize tool kit on pages 9, 13 &14 provides additional information on how your Vision will be evaluated;
* And do not forget to be futuristic as you present your Vision
You can update your Vision anytime before 31 January 2020, 11PM (NIG time). I look forward to seeing your Vision evolve through the coming days