Assessment of the use of cassava as alternative energy feedstuff in livestock feeds in Nigeria
Cassava is an important crop in the tropics. It contains about 92.2 percent carbohydrates and 3.2 percent protein in its dry matter. However, there is a dearth of information on the current trend of cassava and cassava products as alternative energy feedstuff for the livestock industry. This study was conducted in three states of southwest Nigeria on the use of cassava as alternative energy feedstuff in livestock feeds. Simple random technique was used to select a total of 35 feedmillers in Ogun, Oyo and Osun States. Primary data were obtained with the aid of structured questionnaire and analyzed using descriptive statistics. The result revealed that over one-third (38.35%) of the feedmillers had been in business for over 20years and 90% majorly produce feed for poultry birds. Out of the four common energy feedstuffs utilized in livestock feeds, maize was considered by the majority (93.55%) as the most preferred while 16.13% of the respondents used cassava as enegry feedstuff in the formulated rations. Feed millers (35.48%) rarely make use of cassava in their feed production while 38.71% never included cassava in the feeds. About 20% of the respondents use less than 5tons of cassava in their feed formulation per day. High cost, high water content and spoilage were main factors reported to be militating against cassava utilization by the feedmill industry. The study concluded that yield and processing method should be improved upon, if cassava is to compete favourably with maize and be a preferred future feedstuff for livestock.