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Unlocking value in Cassava Waste Peels as a cheaper HQCP energy option in Poultry Production. No need to grow crop, emit gasses or buy land

SymBio6 Concept & Partners’ vision first and foremost is being driven by the potential to unlock value in what is regarded as a waste stream

Photo of Wole Adewusi
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

SymBio6 Integrated Concept Ltd

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

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?

Iseyin, a city located in Nigerian, Oyo State which is approximately 92 kilometers north of Ibadan (capital of Oyo State)

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Iseyin, a city located in Nigerian, Oyo State which is approximately 92 kilometers north of Ibadan (capital of Oyo State) with estimated population of 302, 990 in 2011 United Nations estimate. There are expanses of land in and around the town which are being used for industrial, agricultural and institutional purposes. We are setting up the processing unit (High Quality Cassava Peel – HQCP mash) close to the source of raw materials. We have identified a medium size cassava starch processor, as a major source of buying cassava waste peels – dry and wet. Apart from the identified cassava starch processor; there are a numbers of cooperatives – production centers of cassava grit (garri) in Iseyin and other nearby towns and villages with distances of 5 to 40 kilometers. This will enable SymBio6 Concept & Partners to provide employment to the indigents and sell to feed industries HQCP mash (fine, coarse and whole) that conform to the safety norms, free from toxins and superior nutrient profile.

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.

Iseyin is a city located in the Nigerian state of Oyo. The primary industry of the area is cotton-based textile - the house of Yoruba traditional clothes (Aso Oke).. Iseyin is the fourth largest city in Oyo State, after Ibadan, Ogbomos and Oyo. apart fro other traditional crops like maize, cassava, and soya; tobacco is another crop that is popular. British American Tobacco has a ''leave office'' in the city. Frieslan Campina also has a milk bulking center in the city. Ikere Gorge dam (the second largest dam in Nigeria) is located in the city. Iseyin is centrally located and accessible via road networks from Ibadan, Oyo, Abeokuta and Ogbomoso.

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.

Feeding the Nigeria's growing population is exerting stress on staple crops like maize thereby creating competition between grain for human food and animal feed. The challenge, especially for Nigeria livestock and poultry farmers, is often the cost of feeding these animals. When the feeds cost is added to the cost of drugs and immunization, many livestock including poultry farmers hardly make profit. This feeds – to poultry farmers – our focus, especially maize (the energy source) can be quite expensive and scarce. Since 2015, the price of maize has risen astronomically from just N45,000 ($125) per ton to an all high price of N183,000 ($508.33) in 2017. It has stabilized at around N90,000 ($250) at the moment (December 2019). The outlook revealed that the price increase followed the rise in the country’s currency (Naira) to the dollar exchange rates rising from N225 (December 2015) to the current rate at N360; the after effect resulted into the closures of many poultry farmers. If we are able to bring down the cost of production, many Nigerians will be encouraged to afford poultry products. Nigeria is the world largest (54MMT) producer of cassava (Manihot esculenta), cultivated in two thirds of her states mainly in the southern part of the country. At the same time vast quantities of cassava peels (14MMT) produced during cassava processing in South West Nigeria represent a serious environmental problem. The failure or inability to salvage and reuse materials economically results in the unnecessary waste and depletion of natural resources. Several researchers have confirmed the suitability of cassava and its by-product for feeding livestock. Some of the factor that limit the use of cassava by-product in livestock feeds include, its low crude protein content, poor amino acid profile, high fibre and high level of hydrocyanic acid (HCN). However there exist systematic roadblocks that have constrained the industry from growing to its full potential, like highly fragmented geographic distribution, limited knowledge of feed nutrition, and communication. With over 50% of the country's 201 million people living in rural areas, the economy is highly dependent on agriculture as a means of livelihood. The sector contributed approximately 21% of the country's GDP in FY2017. Despite this, agricultural productivity remains low and further dampened by post-harvest losses. Since 2013, the sector's contribution to GDP has remained almost flat on account of low yields, which is further exacerbated by internal conflicts such as terrorism and the herdsmen crisis, as well as the impact of climate change. Nigeria remains a food import-dependent country though, the food import bill declined from N481 billion ($1.4 billion) in Q2 2017 to N350 billion ($972 million) in Q2 2018.

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

Boosting economic growth in agriculture is a function of three factors: farmland expansion, yield growth and reduction in post-harvest losses. Adoption of innovative systems, technologies and products within the sector can improve agricultural productivity; increase the supply of food output; aid local farmers to produce cheaper and more accessible products; as well as reduce post-harvest losses and enhance storage capabilities for small-holder farmers. Advances in innovations and technologies are key to the future of agriculture, as farmers strive to feed the world with limited natural resources. In Africa, over $19 million has been invested in agriculture technology since 2016 till date. There are 82 agri-tech startups operating across Africa as at January 2018, 52% of which were established between 2016 and 2018. E-commerce agri-focused platforms accounted for 32.9% of startups. Kenya and Nigeria both lead the agri-tech markets, followed by Ghana. The three markets collectively account for over 60% of active startups in the sector. In response to maize (energy) substitution challenge in poultry and other livestock; over the last five years, scientists from International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Root Tubers and Bananas (RTB) have developed a processing method that transforms wet cassava peels into high quality, safe, and hygienic animal feed ingredients, known as High Quality Cassava Peel mash (HQCP). This new component of the cassava value chain has the potential to become a USD2 billion a year industry on the continent and employ 100,000 more people, 80% of whom it is estimated will be women. Normal cassava production and processing produces waste; 50 MMT per year of peels, stumps, undersized, or damaged cassava are either burned or left to rot in piles, both of which pollute the air, soil, and groundwater. Cassava peel heaps have been shown to yield significant quantities of bio-ethanol. Scaling the transformation and use of cassava peel into animal feed ingredients instead of letting them rot in heaps will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of scaling efforts, which also include training and access to credit, three ICT solutions have been developed and deployed by the project to help overcome these challenges and grow the industry. IITA scientists developed the Cassava Seed Tracker® an app that facilitates the identification and tracking of cassava planting materials by varieties. The project has deployed another app called Feed Calculator®, designed to help feed millers and farmers formulate least cost, nutritionally-balanced rations for animal feed that incorporate the HQCP which is relieving the stranglehold of maize on the feed industry by producing a cheaper source of excellent quality energy.

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.

Cassava peels have been used for decades to feed livestock, in particular, ruminants and pigs. The low protein content and poor amino acid profile issues can be addressed by appropriate supplementation with protein rich sources and amino acids. High levels of HCN in cassava peel based products are reduced substantially through the CGIAR scientist innovative processing where grating, dewatering, fermenting and six hours of sun drying results in reduction of HCN levels below the permissible levels of 100 ppm. The considerably shorter processing ensures high quality products, low in aflatoxins contamination; thus allaying earlier fears amongst potential users. There is now ample evidence through collaborative work and cooperation with feed millers and livestock producers, of willingness to purchase large quantities of cassava peel products which have about 2/3 of the energy profile of maize. The scientific trials have progressed from 20% up to 54% substitution in place of maize thereby lowering cost of producing poultry feed considerably. Poultry industry consumes 2MMT of maize without substitution. With 54% substitution; almost 1MMT valued at $250 million or N90 billion for direct human consumption. Processing of 14 MMT of cassava peels waste annually into about 4 MMT of HQCP and at potential market value of $150 per MT, could generate around $600 million (N22 billion) per annum. This could also offer significant new income and employment to actors in cassava value chain of whom 80% are women. We want to ambitiously expand the market for value-added HQCP in poultry industry (and other livestock), where more people can access protein products from poultry. Higher farmer incomes will also improve household nutrition, as farmers buy more nutritious poultry food products for their families. By expanding market solutions to development challenges, we are addressing both a market gap and a development gap while growing a sustainable business.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

SymBio6 Concept & Partners’ vision first and foremost is being driven by the potential to unlock value in what is regarded as a waste stream. As a result, we can deliver HQCP ingredient at a highly competitive price point. The product also will offer a number of unique selling points, over the alternative energy source (maize); the prime being that our model is about “upcycling’’ where you don’t need to grow more crops, emit gasses, or occupy or buy more lands or employ other cropping inputs. This gap filling is a cheap and alternative energy source. Playing in such a competitive space like alternative energy source will be both rewarding and demanding. The lean and agile qualities inherent in our collaboration with partners in HQCP value chain (CGIAR, feed millers, poultry and other livestock farmers’) collaboration have been crucial to the success of HQCP mash acceptance in the market and have allowed the need to quickly test, learn from failure, and test again. With an aim to create healthier products, use sustainable resources, and provide food for a growing population, we think that we need to work together, so we prefer to cooperate and collaborate rather than compete; already, we have seen interests from the major feed millers across Nigeria. In order to provide proof of concept, the research partner had developed – beyond proof of concept – a technology that drastically reduces cassava peels moisture content to 12-15% within six sunshine hours using only equipment currently in use by small scale processors and households – the major technical challenge limiting the use of cassava peels as animal feed. The considerably shorter processing ensures high quality products, low in aflatoxins contamination; thus allaying earlier fears amongst potential users. Processing extend the shelf life of the crop for safe storage; makes handling and marketing easy; helps to improve the acceptability and palatability of cassava-based diets and maximizes the nutritive component. There is now evidence, through collaborative work with feed millers and livestock producers, of willingness to purchase large quantities of cassava peel products which have built about 2/3 of the energy profile of maize, for example. The HQCP based on laboratory analysis have nutrient contents (average 2,200 Kcal/Kg DM or 2/3 the energy value in its weight equivalent of maize) and more so on satisfactory animal performance when incorporated in diets, feed industries are requesting for large volumes and constant supply to make a shift from maize to HQCP mash. With the price per kilogram of maize and HQCP mash at N90 and N50 respectively (a differential of N40), there is that potential of HQCP mash to meet 1 MMT (50%) – valued at $140 million or N50 billion – as replacement for maize hitherto put at 2 MMT maize requirement – valued at $500 million or N180 billion. There is obvious need to raise the number of processors to produce sufficient volumes of HQCP mash. To turn 14 MMT of cassava peels to 4 MMT HQCP mash; Nigeria need at least 133 medium size processing plants ($180,000 or N65 million cost valuation per plant) – with the aggregate value of $24 million (N8.6 billion) that’ll churn out 30,000MMT of HQCP mash yearly per plant. At the moment, the processors are less than 5 and are producing individually below 20,000 MMT per annum. The poultry sub-sector is the most commercialized of all Nigeria’s agricultural sub-sectors with a current net worth of $4.4 billion or N1.6 trillion. The sub-sector contributes about 25% of agricultural GDP to the Nigerian economy. The population of chickens is about 165 million, which produce approximately 650,000 MT and 300,000 MT of eggs and meat altogether. The demand situation is estimated at over 200 million birds, while the demand for eggs and meat are about 790,000 MT and 1,500,000 MT (valued at $1.7 billion or N600 billion), leaving a huge demand gap of 1.2 million MT of poultry meat which, unfortunately, is met through smuggling into Nigeria from Benin Republic. Nigeria poultry sector however faces high production costs, safety concerns (due to lack of sanitary controls) and technical constraints in processing and marketing. Production costs are generally high due to lack of an integrated and automated industrial poultry sector. Poultry producers lack reliable access to inputs including chicks and feed as well as high costs of veterinary services. More importantly, is the problem of lack of access to low cost, long-tenured finance, which though is not peculiar to the industry but even others. In spite of these constraints, there remains a huge potential for the industry in Nigeria. The demand for poultry products is expanding as a result of population growth. The Nigeria population is projected at 400 million by 2050 and 280 million are projected to live in the cities, significantly increasing the demand for poultry products. Also, per capita consumption of chicken is still very low at 2.5kg in Nigeria, when compared to Brazil and South Africa at 30kg and 40kg. The per capita consumption of eggs in Nigeria is 60 eggs per annum compared to 250 to 300 eggs per annum in most advanced countries. Government of Nigeria (GoN) is tinkering with addressing the gap and unlocks the potential of Nigerian poultry producers. The apex bank - Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has initiated a programme to boost poultry production in Nigeria and various institutions have been selected as part of the pilot team to run a University-based Poultry Revival Programme. The initiative will produce chicken meat and egg to reduce importation and close the existing demand and supply gap as well as to raise a new crop of agropreneurs in modern poultry production. This project will also provide the infrastructure and enabling conditions that will support the sustainable production of poultry; reduce pressure for foreign exchange demand through import substitution by local poultry production. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) School Feeding Programme remains a huge potential yet to be fully tapped; where poultry represent an important source of high-quality animal protein. In addition to feeding a growing population, concerns about the health, climate change, CSR and sustainability issues are driving the choices (and thus prices) consumers make when purchasing foods. SymBio6 Concept & Partners are supporting Nigeria in her diversification strategy from reliance on oil revenues to economic growth and job creation based on a sustainable agri-food sector. The underlying vision is a sustainable transition for Nigeria’s food system from one based on food imports and the depletion of natural resources to an integrated sustainable food system capable of providing sufficient healthy food to a growing (urban) population and creating jobs, and therefore, opportunities.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Facebook


Join the conversation:

Photo of Cortney Ahern

Hi Wole Adewusi  - welcome to the Food System Vision Prize Community!

Thank you for submitting your vision for unlocking cassava waste in Nigeria. It's clear you have deep knowledge of the issues facing this place and potential solutions to create a more sustainable future.

You do a great job describing how the specific solution of processing cassava waste into animal feed, and providing a lot of supporting data. More broadly, how does that solution scale up into a vision for Uganda's food system in 2050? What would life look like in 2050 if you achieved your solution? Tell us that story!

I also wanted to make sure that you have seen our Food Vision Prize Toolkit with a lot of information, activities, and guidelines. The Toolkit can help you refine your Vision and make it more systemic, human-centered and well informed for the future. Here is the link to the Prize Toolkit:

Look forward to seeing your Vision evolve through the coming weeks.

Photo of Wole Adewusi

My profuse apology Cortney. I've been on 4 Deadlines these few days ago hence my inability to reply you.
The last time I checked; Uganda was 45 million by population size; Nigeria currently is 201 million.
What do we need to do is to extrapolate the solution here & replicate in Uganda. We are solving economic, environmental and social problems through waste to wealth conversion of wet cassava peels - the enterprise that 80% of African women engaged in.

The maize (energy) replacement or substitution in livestock feeds would make maize available for human food based applications. The livestock farmers would be much relieved from spikes in maize prices off season, while protein from livestock would be available to the population.

In 2050, I see much cleaner environment in cassava based processing domains. I see more of the women having their livelihoods improved selling their cassava waste peels; hitherto the peels were wasted. I see changes in diet to different choices of protein - fish, poultry, pork and beef.

I see the knowledge gained in HQCP being applied to other agricultural wastes. I see more of circular enterprises emerging.

The future is good with the presence of Internet of Things to make seamless scaling & replication possible. Thank you.