The economic implication of substituting cocoa pod husk for maize in livestock feeds in Nigeria.
A study was conducted to estimate the amount of maize that could be conserved by substituting cocoa pod husk (CPH) for maize in livestock feeds. For this purpose a conversion coefficient between dry cocoa beans and dry CPH was estimated by using data collected from a survey of 50 cocoa farms. Some livestock feed millers in Nigeria were also surveyed to obtain the composition of feeds for different livestock species.
Using the conversion coefficient between dry cocoa beans and dry CPH together with dry cocoa bean outputs between 1970 and 1996 it was estimated that Nigeria produced an average of 274,800 metric tonnes of CPH per year.
Using the amount of livestock feed consumption in Nigeria from 1977 - 1996 and the percentage of maize component of the rations, the amount of maize utilized in livestock feeds for the period was estimated. Further, using the safe levels of CPH substitution in the various livestock feeds as suggested by research conducted in the past, the amount of maize which could be conserved by incorporating CPH in the various feed types was estimated as an annual average of 39,473 metric tonnes of maize. This saving was found to bridge the deficit between demand and supply as given by supplementation done by importing maize.
The study concluded that by utilizing CPH in compounding various livestock feed rations, the high price of maize arising from excessive demand can be reduced. The limiting role of maize in making available livestock feeds will be alleviated. Futher-more, increased revenue to cocoa producers would accrue as a result of additional revenue generated from sale of CPH and good environmental sanitation reducing the incidence of black pod disease and consequently reducing investment in chemicals and labour for the control or the disease. Finally, more maize would be available for human consumption and the supplementation that was done in form of maize importation may not be necessary.
Keywords: Cocoa pud husk, maize, substitution, feeds.