Turning waste into food
Wilt clean (without polythene materials) banana peels under sunshine for about two hours to reduce moisture content.
Clean banana peels are available at USAFI Market in Katwe, Kampala city. A bag of about 60kg of banana peels costs sh4,000.
Chop sweet potato vines into small pieces of about 3cm long 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 sh50,000 per big pick-up (including 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 three hours to reduce moisture content.
Wilting produces stable silage and the higher the stability, the higher the quality.
Mix banana peels with sweet potato vines in a ratio of 1:2. One bag (about 60kg) of banana peels and two bags (about 120kg) of sweet potato vines.
Add 18kg of maize bran (about 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.
Ensile the material 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.
Farmers can reduce the cost of production by over 50% through adopting sweet potato vine silage.
- A mature pig consumes 3-6% of its body weight per day.
- The silage is best fed to pigs which are over three months and weigh more than 25kg. The silage (main feed) should be fed with a feed supplement. The silage should comprise 60% and the supplement 40%.
- Weigh the pig on weekly basis to know how much feed to provide.
- Farmers can record an increase of over 400gms/day body weight.
- Farmers should note that this does not completely replace commercial feeds, it only enhances the pigs’ growth rate, hence one sells their pigs faster as it is taken to be a snack.
- 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.
Feeding dairy cows
The silage has a crude protein content of about 18%. This is significantly higher than common Napier grass varieties
- Mix the silage with pasture grass hay in a ratio of 1kg of silage and 10kg 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 and maize stover haylage
- 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