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Local Group Makes Banana Waste into Feed Ingredient

by 5m Editor
25 November 2009, at 9:10am

UGANDA - A local initiative has been set up to collect banana peel and dry it to make a nutritious feed ingredient for poultry and pigs.

Over 1,500 tonnes of garbage are generated in Kampala daily that Kampala City Council is overwhelmed by the waste output due to its lack of capacity to collect and dump it at its landfill, according to Daily Monitor of Uganda. Three-quarters of garbage rots uncollected on pavements, streets, sewerage outlets and water channels.

This unfortunate situation is witnessed especially in markets, blurring the city's image and posing a serious health danger. However, thanks to an innovation of Kasubi Parish Local Community Development Initiative and Kawaala Recycling and Manufacturing Development Group who have started turning banana peels into veterinary feeds.

Moses Nadiope, the coordinator of Kasubi Parish Local Community Development Initiative said turning banana peels into banana bran project was developed from the general observation that chicken, pigs and cows ate the raw peel.

"We wondered why the peels could not be dried and milled into feeds," he explained.

He said over 70 per cent of the garbage in Kasubi, Kawaala, Nakulabye and neighbouring areas are banana peels making the sourcing of the raw material for making the banana peel bran easy.

"Our project reduces the burden of garbage in our neighbourhood because we buy dried banana peels from residents at 120 shillings per kilogramme," Mr Nadiope said.

He added that the burden now is to popularise the message to residents not to throw the banana peels at garbage hips but to sell them to the group. The three-year Sustainable Neighbours in Focus project started in 2007 and is supported by Environmental Alert, an NGO working to ensure environmental protection, Makerere University, CIAT, Urban Harvest, Kampala City Council and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.

Environmental Alert bought the mill they are now using to process the banana peel bran.

Mr Nadiope said every day, they produce one tonne of peel bran from six tonnes of dry banana peels.

Maria Kawesa, Environmental Alert's programme officer in charge of the project told Daily Monitor that the banana peel bran is a good substitute to maize bran, which is becoming very expensive for poultry farmers because it is highly nutritious.

She said microbiological tests were carried on banana peel bran were carried out at the Department of Animal Science in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Soil Science in the Faculty of Agriculture. They showed that the banana peel bran has enough phosphorus, proteins and calcium, and it is free from heavy metals like chromium, cadmium, lead and mercury.

The Makerere University scientists observed that the bran is safe but they have to be properly dried on polythene sheets and kept in dry places to avoid dampness that creates conditions for bacterial multiplication.

She said what the farmers need is to add cotton seed, silver fish (mukene), sunflower and other ingredients to make complete feeds for poultry, pigs and other animals.

She said in terms of price, this banana bran is very cheap because a kilogramme costs 250 shillings (UGS) compared to a kilogramme of maize bran that costs UGS350 to 500.

Mr Nadiope said the innovation has attracted many clients who buy the bran.

"Most clients are our members because they are aware of the nutritional value of the bran to their animals and birds but even nonmembers are slowly realising the magic," he said.

Ms Kawesa said the milling machine that the group uses was given to them on credit but they will be able to clear the debt from the profits they make, according to Daily Monitor.