Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WAYS TO REUSING AND RECYCLING AGRICULTURAL WASTE


Moving waste material to the compost production unit.

I look back this week to my days training at the Songhai Centre in Porto Novo, Republic of Benin. And as I do this, I cannot but look back at how what a lot of materials from agricultural production are reused or recycled.  I would also highlight some practical ways that I have come about in my studies as a Young Professional in Agricultural Research for Development.

1.       Animal Dung and poultry droppings: These two wastes both from animals such as pigs and cattle and droppings from layers or broilers are very useful in the production of biogas. In third world countries like Nigeria where I come from, the cost of power (electricity) is high and irregularity in supply. Thus Biogas is a very good means of generating power. Biogas can be used for cooking and even electricity generation.

2.       Bark of ginger – I found this very thrilling when I first came across it. I was working in the agro processing section. Each time we were to produce ginger juice; we had to peel the gingers. But we didn’t just throw away the bark, we grinded it into powder and used as seasoning in the meat and fish processing unit where it is used in grilling. This results in a very sweet taste and aroma when you eat. Individuals in food processing can take a clue from this.


3.       Water Hyacinths: even though this is seen as a harmful plant or sea weed, it has it usefulness when used. Water hyacinths can be used to detoxify water bodies in enclosed areas. More specifically I recall chopping large quantity of water hyacinth for biogas production. It is mixed with the droppings and dung in biogas production.

4.       Cocoa Shells:  once the beans have been shelled. The empty shell can be dried in the sun or drying machines and then ground in a mill to a powder. This can then in turn be fed to livestock. This shell contains theobromine, fat, vitamin D and has a better nutritional output. Research shows that the cocoa shell flour may be served as a substitute to maize to feed poultry, cattle and pigs up to 35% of their ration. The milled shell can also be used as crop fertilizer.

5.       Feed residues from Grass cutter rearing; when grass cutters eat they usually leave behind bits from their feed especially when given guinea grass. This residue is used in Maggot production for fish farming. This residue is mixed with waste from the abattoir and used to serve as an attractant for houseflies which in turn lay eggs to form maggots after 72hours.

By and large, it is clear how if we look critically into agriculture we discover that the so called waste can be reused to do so many practical things that would not only help reduce waste but also increase productivity and cut down cost.


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