Promote growth of cowpea and sunflower for stock feed: Manungo

02 Jul 2019 09:40am
RUNDU, 02 JUL (NAMPA) – Farmers and stakeholders in agriculture have been encouraged to promote the growing of cowpea and sunflower as they are drought tolerant crops and can be utilised as stock feed.
Lead Field Advisor of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Oliver Manungo said this in an interview with Nampa here on Monday on how farmers could mitigate the current drought.
“The initiative to promote the growing of these two crops should be viewed in the light of nutritionally benefiting both human beings and animals,” he said.
He added that it is unclear why such highly valuable and climate resilient crops have not received any reasonable attention and recognition, which is why GIZ proposes to launch an effective initiative to boost the growing of protein-rich crops.
The field advisor noted that cowpea are directly consumed by humans after cooking them and can be milled together with leaves and husks to produce stock feed, while cooking oil is extracted from sunflower and the cake utilised as stock feed.
In the event that this initiative gives rise to widespread growing and bumper production of cowpea and sunflowers, Manungo said chicken growers stand to benefit significantly as well.
He pointed out that the current chicken feed prices are prohibitively high, thereby making chicken production uncompetitive when benchmarking against import competitors such as Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Europe, and others.
“There should at least be concerted practical and sustainable efforts to continuously improve the efficiency and increase the production of cowpea and sunflowers,” the GIZ lead field advisor said.
Meanwhile, Manungo said, along the same line as cowpea and sunflowers, Lucerne is also highly nutritious and contributes to high levels of protein and fiber.
He further stated that during such difficult times of the recurrent and intense drought, diversification for farmers is one of the key strategies for survival and competitiveness.
In this case, successful farmers will be able to realise such benefits from selling cowpea, sunflower seeds, cooking oil, sunflower cake, and lucerne fodder bales, while chicken growers will have access to affordable locally available feed additives, he said.