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Innovations To Improve Quality Of Urban Market And Agro-Industrial Waste For Dairy Cattle, Pig Production

by Harvest Money Editor
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In order to improve the quality of market and agro-industrial wastes in urban areas of Uganda, Kyakuwa Farm has developed two new innovations/products based on sweet potato vines, banana peels, maize stover and molasses/or brewer’s spent yeast solution.

Banana Peels Ensiled With Sweet Potato Vines For Improved Dairy Cow And Pig Performance

  • Wilt clean (without polythene materials) banana peels under sunshine for about 2 hours to reduce moisture content. Clean banana peels are available at USAFI market in Katwe, Kampala city. A bag of about 60 kgs of banana peels costs Shs 4,000.
  • Chop sweet potato vines into small pieces of about 3 cm length using a forage chopper. The finer the chopping, the better the compaction and therefore the more successful the storage, due to the effective exclusion of air. Sweet potato vines are available in Owino market. A market vendor delivers them at Kyakuwa Farm at Shs 50,000 per big pick-up (includes transport, labour and the vines). A pickup (Townace) of sweet potato vines can produce about 500kg of sweet potato silage
  • Wilt chopped sweet potato vines under sunshine for about 3 hours to reduce moisture content. Wilting produces stable silage and the higher the stability, the higher the quality.
  • Mix banana peels (1) with sweet potato vines (3) in a ratio of 1 bag (about 60kg) of banana peels and 2 bags (about 120kg) of sweet potato vines.
  • Add 18kg of maize bran (10kg of maize bran for every 100kg of a mixture of banana peels and sweet potato vines) and mix thoroughly. Maize bran increases the production of lactic acid which serves as a preservative. 

(6) Ensile the material (5) in airtight polythene tube silos or plastic tanks and store for 30 days in a well-ventilated store. The silage is ready for use after 21 to 30 days.

Recommendations on feeding silage (mixture of sweet potato vines, maize bran and banana peels) to lactating dairy cows: Key messages

  • The silage has a crude protein content of about 18 percent. This is significantly higher than common Napier grass varieties.
  • Mix the silage with pasture grass hay in a ratio of 1 kg of silage and 10 kgs of grass hay, napier grass or maize stover.
  • To prevent tainting the milk (off-flavour), do not feed silage to lactating dairy cows within 30 minutes of milking. 
  • Provide adequate basal feed e.g. grass hay, fresh grass, maize stover haylage etc.
  • Provide clean water and mineral supplements all the time.
  • Supplement the animals with a source of energy such as dairy meal.
  • Control diseases.
  • Maintain a clean environment for the animals.

Recommendations on feeding silage to pigs: Key messages (Mutetikka et. al., 2017)

Farmers rearing pigs can reduce the cost of production by over 50% through adopting sweet potato vine silage technology.

  • A mature pig consumes 3-6 percent of its body weight per day.
  • The silage is best fed to pigs which are over 3 months and weigh more than 25kg. The silage (main feed) should be fed with a feed supplement. The silage should comprise of 60% and the supplement 40% (Table 1).
  • Weigh the pig on weekly basis to know how much feed to provide.
  • Farmers can record an increase of over 400grams/day body weight.
  • Farmers should note that this does not completely replace commercial feeds, it only enhances the pigs’ growth rate hence one sells his pigs faster as it is taken to be a snack.

Table 1: Composition of a pig feed supplement

Ingredient (kgs)Quantity (kgs)
Maize bran76
Soya bean cake20.5
Vitamin mineral premix0.5
  • Water should always be available for the animals otherwise they will not be able to feed properly hence growth rate will be affected.
  • Control diseases and pests.

Ensiling banana peels, maize stover and sweet potato vines for improved dairy cattle performance

  1. Wilt clean (without polythene material) banana peels.
  2. Chop maize stover into pieces of about 3 cm length. Maize stover (dry leaves and stems) can be bought from Owino and USAFI markets or from farmers’ fields.
  3. Chop sweet potato vines into pieces of about 3 cm length and wilt them under sunshine for about 3 hours.
  4. Mix banana peels (1) with maize stover (2) and sweet potato vines (3) in a ratio of 1 bag (about 50 kgs)  of banana peels, 3 bags  (about 180 kgs) of maize stover and 2 bags (about 120 kgs) of sweet potato vines (3).
  5. Mix molasses with brewery spent yeast solution using a ratio of 1 jerrican molasses with 3 jerricans of brewery spent yeast (you can mix molasses with water using a ratio of 1 molasses to 2 water). Some of the molasses sold to farmers is a bit diluted. This means that you will use more molasses to produce quality silage.
  6. Spread the solution (5) over a mixture of maize stover, banana peels and sweet potato vines and mix thoroughly until the material is completely wet. Molasses provide the animals with sugar (energy) while brewer’s spent yeast provides protein, minerals and vitamins. Molasses improves palatability of the feed and aid fermentation during silage making.
  7. Store the mixture (6) in airtight plastic drums or polythene tube silos (for urban farmers) for 30 days.

Making silage from sweet potato vines, maize stover, banana peels and molasses mixed with brewery yeast solution

  • Supplement milking cows with a source of energy and minerals and provide plenty of clean water. The feed enhances milk and beef production.

Tip shared by Dr Jolly Kabirizi, an animal scientist, farmer and livestock consultant

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