Cameroon produces about 2.3 million tons (Table 1) of plantains and bananas annually (World Bank 1984, Ministry of Agriculture, 1982–83, 1984). Approximately half of this is consumed domestically while less than two fifths is exported. The remaining quantities are either discarded as waste products or are allowed to rot in the fields during harvest. While the plantain and banana fruit is a valuable foodstuff for human consumption, the waste part of it can be fed to livestock. Studies have shown that waste plantain and banana (fruits, stems and leaves) can be used as energy sources for livestock, and in particular during the dry season when there are feed shortages. Unfortunately, however, little is known about the economic benefits that can be obtained from feeding these materials to livestock. This paper examines the economic aspects of using plantains/bananas and their by-products to provide feed for livestock in Cameroon.
The main cost of livestock production is related to the provision of a sustainable energy source. Feed cost account for 60 to 80% of livestock production costs (Ademosun, 1976) and the energy component of feed accounts for 60 to 70% and protein component 14 to 20% of feed costs. Since animals eat primarily to satisfy their energy needs, the energy source must be available, adequate and cheap.
Feed prices can only be low if the prices of the feedstuffs which make up the feed are low. Feedstuffs should therefore be obtained when prices are low and stored for use when needed. Figures 1 and 2 (MIDENO, 1984; FAO-PFLRP, 1990) show that prices are low shortly after harvest in Cameroon. Other means of reducing the cost of feed include the use of unconventional crops produced in excess of human demand, possibly during seasonal gluts, as substitutes for more expensive or unavailable feed items. The development of such technologies could then be adopted in the field.
|Extreme North||North||Adamawa||East||Central||South||Littoral||South West||North||West||Total|
Maize is the staple feed in Cameroon and the competition for maize between humans and livestock is unacceptable. Bananas and plantains are available in Cameroon all year round and can be used to replace maize in animal feeds in Cameroon. The major costs of the use of these materials are transportation, processing and storage since feed grade bananas and plantains can be obtained at almost no cost. Using this technology more meat could be produced from this source of energy in a free market situation. However, in practise meat price fixing usually kills any effort to increase meat production and lack of meat standards and grading does not encourage efficient animal feeding and the maintenance of feed quality.
WAYS OF REDUCING FEED COSTS BY ENSURING A CONSISTENT SUPPLY OF FEEDSTUFFS
Feed ingredient shortages cause feed shortages, losses in animal weight and mortalities, particularly in the dry season. This is costly in terms of loss of protein for family consumption and income from the sale of animals. Table 2 shows that with a little effort 276,000 tons of pseudostems worth 5.5 billion FCFA, 69,000 tons of leaf meal worth 22 billion FCFA, 60,650 tons of peels worth 2.4 billion FCFA and about 35.545 tons of waste fruit worth 755 million FCFA could be used each year as animal feed thus ensuring animal feed security in Cameroon.
Increasing the quantity of feedstuff available will ensure better livestock feeding and generate cash revenue from sales of excess feedstuffs. The greatest constraints to putting these feedstuffs on the market are the costs and availability of transportation, processing and storage. Referring to the first constraint, trucks and trains carry cotton and other goods from the Northern part of Cameroon to the south for export and rather than go back empty, could easily transport feedstuffs from the south to the north where the largest number of livestock are raised. The estimated cost of transportation is 20 FCFA/ton. With regard to processing, this cost could be kept low since Cameroon has plenty of free and cheap sunshine to dry livestock feed grade bananas and plantains and by-products during the dry season.
|Yield (000 tons)||Dry matter feedstuff quantities|
|Number of persons employed||315||88||645||378|
In the wet season wood is available and the technology of cocoa drying could readily be applied to banana/plantain processing. The process would provide employment for many unemployed Cameroonians. Table 2 shows that a total of 1,421 persons earning the minimum wage of 23,000 FCFA each per month could be employed yearly on processing, thus introducing about 392 million FCFA into the rural economy.
WAYS TO REDUCE FEED COSTS BY UTILIZATION OF BANANAS AND PLANTAINS IN LIVESTOCK FEED
In this experiment forty-eight pigs were used in an experimental trial in which sun-dried waste banana meal replaced maize at 10, 20 and 30% levels in test diets (Table 3) (adapted from Fombad, 1984).
Chemical composition of vitamin/mineral premix: “A vitamin/mineral premix manufactured by BEMIS CO. Inc. Mass. USA to contain: Calcium 27%, phosphorus 10%, Iron 0.60%, Zinc 0.35%, Manganese 0.24%, Copper 0.06%, Iodine 0.002%, Cobalt 0.0026%, Selenium 0.004%, and, per kilogramme: Vitamin A (USP units) 220,000, Vitamin D (USP units) 66,000, Vitamin E (IV units) 440, Vitamin K (mg) 88, Vitamin B12 (mg) U.79, Niacin (mg) 1122, Pantothanic acid (mg) 550, and Riboflavin (mg) 132”.
Results in Table 4 show a dry matter feed intake of 2.27, 2.32, 2.34 and 2.33 kg corresponding to daily weight gains of 0.54, 0.55, 0.54 and 0.53 kg/pig/day. Although feed conversion increased as the level of bananas increased, no significant differences were seen between the diets. Analysis of costs and returns using prevailing market prices showed that daily feed costs declined with increasing levels of banana meal in test diets. This indicates that apart from adequately replacing maize the banana meal also reduced the feed cost of the grower pig feed at all the levels tested.
In terms of net returns over feed costs, incorporating banana in pig diets at the 10% level gave a slightly higher return of 38,258 FCFA compared to 37,601 and 37,235 FCFA for the 20% and 30% levels of banana inclusion.
|Feed ingredient||Diet 1||Diet 2||Diet 3||Diet 4|
|Brewers dried grains||9.25||8.25||7.25||6.25|
|Palm kernel cake||6.00||6.00||6.00||6.00|
|Cotton seed cake||17.00||18.00||19.00||20.00|
|Energy (kcal/kg DE)||3263.22||3304.36||3345.50||3386.72|
|Crude protein (%)||19.5||19.22||19.02||19.00|
From the results shown in Table 3, it is clear that 30% banana meal can be safely consumed by pigs. At the current time it is estimated that 10,000 tons of waste banana dry matter could be produced in the country. If this were used at the 30% level in pig grower diets it would enable the production of an additional 2,000 tons of pork sold at the prevailing market price of 1,000 FCFA/kg pork to total 2 billion FCFA. However, if increased waste banana were available and with a national pig population of 439,000 in the country, eating about 2 Kg feed per day, in which 30% banana meal could replace part of the 60% maize component, for 150 days this would save 79,000 tons of maize worth 7.9 billion FCFA. This could be used by humans, used for other livestock production e.g. poultry or be exported to generate revenue.
|Characteristics||Diet 1||Diet 2||Diet 3||Diet 4|
|Daily feed intake (kg/animal)||2.27||2.32||2.34||2.33|
|Daily weight gains (kg/animal)||0.54||0.55||0.54||0.53|
|Feed conversion ratio||4.20||4.21||4.33||4.39|
|Feed costs (FCFA/animal)||15.905||15.640||15.319||14.705|
|Returns from sales (FCFA)||52.920||53.900||52.920||51.940|
|Returns over feed costs (FCFA)||37.015||38.258||37.601||37.235|
WAYS TO REDUCE FEED COSTS BY UTILIZATION OF BANANA/PLANTAIN BY-PRODUCTS
Use by Ruminants
Banana/plantain pseudostems, leaves and peels though low in energy and deficient in most nutrients can be converted into meat by ruminants with appropriate supplementation. In a trial, sun-dried banana forage (pseudostems and leaves) was fed ad libitum to four lots of bulls. The first lot of 3 bulls received no protein supplementation with while the other three lots ate banana forage supplemented with 750 g/day/bull cotton seed cake; 1500 g/day/bull of dried leucaena leaves and 500 g each of cotton seed cake and Leucaena leaves/day/bull respectively.
|Characteristics||Type of protein supplementation|
|None||Cotton seed cake||Leaucaena Leaves||Leucaena and cotton seed cake|
|Daily gain (g)||8.9c||142.8bc||417.4a||357.1ab|
|Daily feed intake (g/bull/day)||3.08||3.30||3.39||3.55|
|Daily protein intake (g/bull)||240||573.8||615.9||590.53|
|Feed costs (FCFA/bull)||6,921||10,503||10,990||10,812|
|Returns over feed costs (FCFA)||-0.9||18.1||57.2||48.5|
a,b,c Significant at P<0.05
Source: Beramgoto (1989)
The results of the trial are given in Table 5 and show that significantly more weight was gained by bulls fed the leucaena supplemented diet, followed by bulls fed the combination of leucaena leaves and cotton seed cake; the lowest gain was by bulls fed only the mineral supplemented forage diet. The costs of the non-protein supplemented diet were lower (6,921 FCFA) than the other diets which were similar in price (10,503, 10,998 and 10,812 FCFA respectively). Returns over feed costs were greatest for animals fed the diet supplemented with leucaena (57.2 FCFA/day) followed by those fed the leucaena/cotton seed cake supplement (48.5 FCFA) and least for bulls fed the cotton seed supplemented diet. (18.1 FCFA). Animals fed the non-protein supplemented forage registered a net negative return.
As mentioned earlier if this forage could be sent to the northern part of Cameroon, great savings in terms of animal losses, spread of disease and waste of human labour could be avoided and particularly at periods of transhumance. It is also estimated that an additional 1,300 tons of beef worth 13 billion FCFA could be produced if this were to take place.
Another very important benefit would be releasing the pressure on the already over-grazed pasture in the northern part of the country. Degraded pastures result in eroded soils, advancement of the desert and invasion of pastures by unwanted weeds; a very expensive price that Cameroon cannot and will never be able to afford to pay.
Use by Rabbits
The provision of adequate supplies of fibrous feeds for feeding rabbit is difficult to achieve all year round. In a trial (Fomunyam, 1985) 42 rabbits were fed test diets (Table 6) which contained either 30% sun dried banana leaves, 30% fresh banana leaves or a 30% combination of the fresh and dry leaves.
Results (Table 7) showed that there was no significant difference in weight gains of rabbits fed the three diets. However, daily feed intake was significantly higher (67.4 g/rabbit) for animals fed fresh leaves compared to 53.8 g/rabbit for those fed the combination of leaves and 44.6 g/rabbit for those fed the diet with dry leaves. The results also show that although there was no difference in feed costs, the net returns over feed costs were highest (35.072 FCFA) for rabbits fed dry leaves, followed by 28,879 FCFA for rabbits fed fresh leaves and 20,730 FCFA for rabbits fed the mixture. One rabbit died in the group fed the combination of leaves thus accounting for lower net returns for this group.
In backyard production systems banana leaves can be harvested from plants around the home which involves no extra costs of transportation, processing or labour.
Greater animal feed security and increased and lower cost meat production are possible in Cameroon if waste bananasplantains and their by-products are used. The processing of these feedstuff would also provide employment and cash revenue to the rural economy. The environmental benefits from stall feeding this feedstuff also look very promising.
|Feed ingredients||Form of leaf|
|Dry||Fresh||Fresh & Dry||Banana/Plantain leaves|
|Dry banana/plantain leaves||30.0||=||15|
|Fresh banana/plantain leaves||=||30.0||15.0|
|Brewers dried grains||9.0||9.0||9.0|
|Palm kernel cake||3.0||3.0||3.0|
|Cotton seed cake||13.0||13.0||13.0|
|Dry matter (%)||98.0||04.9||95.3||20.0|
|Crude protein (%)||15.7||15.7||15.7||3.6|
|Cost/kg feed (FCFA)||88.0||88.0||88.0||20.0|
|Characteristics||Form of leaf|
|Dry||Dry & Fresh||Fresh||SEM|
|Total feed cost (FCFA)||25,968||38,350||31,261|
|Cost/kg weight gain (FCFA)||1,971x||3,012y||2,470z||0.08**|
|Total number of live rabbits||15||14||15||0.01|
|Final live weight of rabbits||2.01||2.13||2.00||0.03|
|Total revenue (FCFA)||61,040||59,080||60,140||0.02|
|Net returns over feed||35,072z||20,730x||28,879y||0,01**|
+ 1 Kg of rabbit live weight sells for 2,00 FCFA within rows
xyz means bearing the same superscript are not significant at P<0.001
** Significant at P<0.01
Ademosun, A.A. 1976. Livestock Production in Nigeria: Our Commission and Omission. University of Ife Press. Ile-Ife Nigeria.
Beramgoto, T. 1989. The feeding value of some agro-industrial by-products for beef cattle at Bambui Centre. In Overcoming constraints to the efficient utilization of agricultural by-products as animal feed. Proceedings of fourth workshop of the African Research Network for Agricultural by-products (ARNAB). Said and Dxowela, ed. ILCA, Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
FAO-PFLRP. 1990. Local market prices of the North West Province. Bamenda, Cameroon.
Fombad, R.B. 1984. Annual Report of Institute of Animal Research. Mankon, Cameroon.
Fomunyam, R.T. 1985. Cabbage and banana/plantain leaf in rabbit diets. Science and Technology Review 1 (2): 13–19.
MIDENO. 1984. North-West Development Authority Report. Ministry of Agriculture, Bamenda, Cameroon.
Ministry of Agriculture. 1982–83. Annuaire des statistiques des organismes des production agricoles. Ministry of Agriculture, Yaounde, Cameroon.
Ministry of Agriculture. 1984. Cameroon Agricultural Census. Ministry of Agriculture Yaounde, Cameroon.
World Bank. 1984. World Develop ment Report. Oxford University Press, London.
FAO TECHNICAL PAPERS
FAO ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND HEALTH PAPERS:
|1.||Animal breeding: selected articles from World Animal Review, 1977 (C* E*F* S*)|
|2.||Eradication of hog cholera and African swine fever, 1976 (E*F* S*)|
|3.||Insecticides and application equipment for tsetse control, 1977 (E*F*)|
|4.||New feed resources, 1977 (E/F/S*)|
|5.||Bibliography of the criollo cattle of the Americas, 1977 (E/S*)|
|6.||Mediterranean cattle and sheep in crossbreeding, 1977 (E/S*)|
|7.||Environmental impact of tsetse chemical control, 1977 (E*F*)|
|7 Rev.||Environmental impact of tsetse chemical control, 1980 (E*F*)|
|8.||Declining breeds of Mediterranean sheep, 1978 (E* F*)|
|9.||Slaughterhouse and slaughterslab design and construction, 1978 (E* F* S*)|
|10.||Treating straw for animal feeding, 1978 (C*, E*, F*, S*)|
|11.||Packaging, storage and distribution of processed milk, 1978 (E*)|
|12.||Ruminant nutrition: selected articles from World Animal Review, 1978 (C* E* F* S*)|
|13.||Buffalo reproduction and artificial insemination, 1979 (E**)|
|14.||The African trypanosomiases, 1979 (E* F*)|
|15.||Establishment of dairy training centres, 1979 (E*)|
|16.||Open yard housing for young cattle, 1981 (E* F* S*)|
|17.||Prolific tropical sheep, 1980 (E* F* S*)|
|18.||Feed from animal wastes: state pf knowledge, 1980 (E*)|
|19.||East Coast fever and related tick-borne diseases, 1980 (E* S*)|
|20/1.||Trypanotolerant livestock in West and Central Africa, 1980 Vol. 1 - General study (E* F*)|
|20/2.||Trypanotolerant livestock in West and Central Africa, 1980 Vol. 2 - Country studies (E* F*)|
|20/3.||Le bétail trypanotolérant en Afrique occidentale et centrale Vol. 3 - Bilan d'une décennie, 1988 (F*)|
|21.||Guidelines for dairy accounting, 1980 (E*)|
|22.||Recursos genéticos animales en América Latina, 1981 (S*)|
|23.||Disease control in semen and embryos, 1982 (E* F* S*)|
|24.||Animal genetic resources - conservation and management, 1981 (E*)|
|25.||Reproductive efficiency in cattle, 1982 (E* F* S*)|
|26.||Camels and camel milk, 1982 (E*)|
|27.||Deer farming, 1982 (E*)|
|28.||Feed from animal wastes: feeding manual, 1982 (E*)|
|29.||Echinococcosis/hydatidosis surveillance, prevention and control: FAO/UNEP/WHO guidelines, 1982 (E*)|
|30.||Sheep and goat breeds of India, 1982 (E*)|
|31.||Hormones in animal production, 1982 (E*)|
|32.||Crop residues and agro-industrial by-products in animal feeding, 1982 (E/F*)|
|33.||Haemorrhagic septicaemia, 1982 (E* F*)|
|34.||Breeding plans for ruminant livestock in the tropics, 1982 (E* F* S*)|
|35.||Off-tastes in raw and reconstituted milk, 1983 (E* F* S*)|
|36.||Ticks and tick-borne diseases: selected articles from World Animal Review, 1983 (E* F* S*)|
|37.||African animal trypanosomiasis: selected articles from World Animal Review, 1983 (E* F*)|
|38.||Diagnosis and vaccination for the control of brucellosis in the Near East, 1983 (E* ***)|
|39.||Solar energy in small-scale milk collection and processing, 1983 (E* F*)|
|40.||Intensive sheep production in Near East, 1983 (E* ***)|
|41.||Integrating crops and livestock in West Africa, 1983 (E* F*)|
|42.||Animal energy in agriculture in Africa and Asia, 1984 (E/F*)|
|43.||Olive by-products for animal feed, 1985 (*** E* F* S*)|
|44/1.||Animal genetic resources conservation by management, data banks and training, 1984 (E*)|
|44/2.||Animal genetic resources: cryogenic storage of germplasm and molecular engineering, 1984 (E*)|
|45.||Maintenance systems for the dairy plant, 1984 (E*)|
|46.||Livestock breeds of China, 1985 (E*)|
|47.||Réfrigération du lait à la ferme et organisation des transports, 1985 (F*)|
|48.||La fromagerie et les variétés de fromages du bassin méditerranéen, 1985 (F*)|
|49.||Manual for the slaughter of small ruminants in developing countries, 1985 (E*)|
|50.||Better utilization of crop residues and by-products in animal feeding: research guidelines - 1. State of knowledge, 1985 (E*) - 1. State of knowledge, 1985 (E*)|
|50/2.||Better utilization of crop residues and by-products in animal feeding: research guidelines - 2. A pracital manual for research workers, 1986 (E*)|
|51.||Dried salted meats: charque and carne-de-sol, 1985 (E*)|
|52.||Small-scale sausage production, 1985 (E*)|
|53.||Slaughterhouse cleaning and sanitation, (E*)|
|54.||Small ruminants in the Near East: Vol.I Selected papers presented at Tunis Expert Consultation, 1986 (E*)|
|55.||Small ruminants in the Near East: Vol II Selected papers from World Animal Review, 1986 (E* ***)|
|56.||Sheep and goats in Pakistan, 1985 (E*)|
|57.||Awassi sheep, 1985 (E*)|
|58.||Small ruminant production in the developing countries, 1986 (E*)|
|59/1.||Animal genetic resources data banks, 1986 (E*) 1 - Computer systems study for regional data banks|
|59/2.||Animal genetic resources data banks, 1986 (E* S*) 2 - Descriptor lists for cattle, buffalo, pigs, sheep and goats|
|59/3.||Animal genetic resources data banks, 1986 (E*) 3 - Descriptor lists for poultry|
|60.||Sheep and goats in Turkey, 1986 (E*)|
|61.||The Przewalski horse and restoration to its natural habitat in Mongolia, 1986 (E*)|
|62.||Milk and dairy products: production and processing costs, 1988 (E* F* S*)|
|63.||Proceedings of the FAO expert consultation on the substitution of imported concentrate feed in animal production systems in developing countries, 1987 (E*)|
|64.||Poultry management and diseases in the Near East, 1987 (***)|
|65.||Animal genetic resources -of the USSR, 1989 (E*)|
|66.||Animal genetic resources - strategies for improved use and conservation, 1987 (E*)|
|67/1.||Trypanotolerant cattle and livestock development in West and Central Africa - Vol. I. 1987 (E*)|
|67/2.||Trypanotolerant cattle and livestock development in West and Central Africa - Vol. II. 1987 (E*)|
|68.||Crossbreeding Bos indicus and Bos taurus for milk production in the tropics, 1987 (E*)|
|69.||Village milk processing, 1988 (E F*)|
|70.||Sheep and goat meat production in the humid tropics of West Africa, 1988 (E*/F*)|
|71.||The development of village-based sheep production in West Africa, 1988 (E* F* S*)|
|72.||Sugarcane as feed, 1988, (E/S*)|
|73.||Standard design for small-scale modular slaughterhouses, 1988 (E*)|
|74.||Small ruminants in the Near East, Volume, III: North Africa, 1988 (E*)|
|75.||The eradication of ticks, 1989 (E/S*)|
|76.||Ex Situ cryoconservation of genomes and genes of endangered cattle breeds by means modern biotechnological methods, 1989 (E*)|
|77.||A training manual for embryo transfer in cattle, 1991 (E*)|
|78.||Milking, milk production hygiene and udder health, 1989 (E*)|
|79.||Manual of simple methods of meat preservation, 1989 (E*)|
|80.||Animal genetic resources - A global programme for sustainable development, 1990 (E*)|
|81.||Veterinary diagnostic bacteriology - a manual of laboratory procedures of selected diseases of livestock, 1990 (E*)|
|82.||Reproduction in camels - a review, 1990 (E*)|
|83.||Training manual on artificial insemination in sheep and goats, 1991 (E*)|
|84.||Training manual for embryo transfer in water buffaloes, 1991 (E*)|
|85.||The technology of traditional milk products in developing countries, 1990 (E*)|
|86.||Feeding dairy cows in the tropics, 1990 (E*)|
|87.||Manual for the production of anthrax and blackleg vaccines, 1991 (E*)|
|88.||Small ruminant production and the small ruminant genetic resource in tropical Africa, 1991 (E*)|
|89.||Manual for the production of Marek's disease, Gumboro disease and inactivated Newcastle disease vaccines, 1991 (E*)|
|90.||Application of biotechnology to nutrition of animals in developing countries, 1991 (E*)|
|91.||Guidelines for slaughtering, meat cutting and further processing, 1991(E*)|
|92.||Manual on meat cold store operation and management, 1991 (E*)|
|93.||Utilization of renewable energy sources and energy-saving technologies by small-scale milk plants and collection centres, 1991 (E*)|
|94.||Proceedings of the FAO expert consultation on the genetic aspects of trypanotolerance, 1992 (E*)|
|95.||Roots, tubers, plantains and bananas in animal feeding, 1992 (E*)|
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