“Sweet potato contributes about 20% of total crop residues provided by tuber crops. The sweet potato residues that are currently used as feed resources for pigs and dairy cattle include sweet potato vines, non-commercial sweet potato roots and sweet potato peels,” Vincent Lutwama from Bavubuka Twekembe says.
Bavubuka Twekembe is a youth group based in Wakiso district.
He further explains that sweet potato vines have high crude protein (19.2%). They can, therefore, provide high quality feed for livestock.
In order to make good use of sweet potato residues, the International Potato Centre developed a method to conserve sweet potato residues during times of abundance for use during scarcity by processing them into silage.
Silage is fermented, high-moisture fodder, which can be fed to cattle, pigs, sheep and other ruminants (cud-chewing animals).
The advantages of silage include:
Limits wastage of valuable feeds
Ensures stable composition of the diet for livestock through a longer period
Represents a convenient and inexpensive method of providing a range of nutrients required by the animal, which may be deficient in the diet, like protein, fibre and energy
Its high protein content and digestibility make it an excellent complement to grass feeds
Reduces methane gas, which is responsible for global warming Provides a business opportunity for investment for unemployed youth who loathe agriculture as a direct employment option.