Nutreco Feed Tech Challenge 2018

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Full business case submitted

Water hyacinth weed for sustainable animal feed

At Biofit Agritec, we carry out a large-scale harvesting of the invasive hyacinth plant from the Lake. We process the harvested plant and add value to it to make nutritive raw material (hyacinth cake) which is used to formulate feed for dairy, poultry, pig and fish for farmers around the lake.  The hyacinth cake is rich in crude protein (19%), Ash content of 21%, ether extract 3.5%, crude fiber of 14% and dry matter 90%. Our target is to replace either to replace fully or significantly other protein raw material sources like sunflower and cotton seed cake and reduce the cost of feed production. This is because the cost of producing one Kg of the hyacinth cake 0.16 USD which is significantly lower. The palatability of complete feed formulated from hyacinth cake is great in livestock and poultry. Furthermore, pretrial in smallholder dairy and poultry farms over a period of 1 month revealed increased in weight gain in local chickens by 1-2% and an average increase in milk production by 1.5-1.7 liters

Describe the problem your company wishes to solve and how your product or service will solve it

 

Feeds accounts for 70% of the total expenses of livestock production. Furthermore, the cost of feeds is rising and this is attributed to the high cost of raw materials. The high cost of feeds is a major challenge facing smallholder farmers in Kenya and worldwide.  Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), is an invasive water plant common to the Lake Victoria basin and other water bodies worldwide. The free-floating plant was first reported in Egypt and South Africa has since spread to entire Africa. Since 1990, the weed has invaded Lake Victoria causing several challenges including; Hindrance of water transport, decline in fish population and fishing activities and blockage of water pipes and drainage system around the lake basin. Additionally, the weed act as breeding site for mosquitoes involved in transmitting malaria. In this regard the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have invested massively on water hyacinth removal but the efforts have been unsuccessful.

The communities around the lake basin region mainly depend on fishing as their main source of livelihood. This has however stopped after the landing sites and the fishing grounds were curtailed by the invasive weed. Biofit Agritec harvests the hyacinth weed manually thereby providing an employment opportunity for women and the youth around the lake basin

 

Describe other business assistance that you are seeking from Nutreco

We need to undertake further quality assessment of our products (hyacinth cake and complete feed, toxicity tests in animals, micro and macro molecule analysis of proteins and vitamins component of our feeds. We need to further undertake activities to reduce any anti-quality factors that may be detected in these tests

Are you available to participate in the final event in the Netherlands 28, 29, and 30 May? All expenses will be covered by Nutreco

Yes

Describe how the prize - a validation trial in our facilities - could boost the development of your business

The validation trial will enable us asses the nutritional quality and safety of our products and further identify the anti-quality factors. This will enable enhance our marketing. promote market uptake and upscaling especially with the feed millers locally and globally.

If you already have a website for your business, please share the URL

https://web.facebook.com/pg/biofitagritecLtd/about/

teresa debesa 2 months ago

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

Reply 1

Gavin Boerboom 2 months ago

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your submission. I was wondering if there is any control over the sources that you are using. In the above text you mention it is an invasive weed that you harves, but is this then in an uncontrolled setting? If so, how can you make sure that waterquality etc was suffiient, since I would expect this influences your final product.

Reply 1

Paul Okumu 2 months ago

Hi Gavin,
The water hyacinth is not under any control from the government or private sector. It is freely available in the lake and the main cost involved is that for harvesting it. It is true that water quality affect the quality of water hyacinth as a raw material for feed. To ensure water quality we do sample water at different collection point for the hyacinth. We send the water samples to the laboratory for assessment of anti-quality factors such as heavy metal and pesticide levels. This activity determines where we harvest the water hyacinth from. The water quality tests we have done so far do not suggest any reason for alarm as the parameters are within the accepted limit.

Reply 2

Ziv Dubinsky 2 months ago

Good luck doing all the great work with sustainable thinking.

Reply 1

Paul Okumu 2 months ago

Thanks

Reply 0

teresa debesa 2 months ago

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

Reply 1

Jack Oyugi 2 months ago

Thanks Debesa

Reply 0

teresa debesa 2 months ago

Status label added: Full business case submitted

Reply 2

Khalil Safaei 2 months ago

Good luck!

Reply 1

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