Agro-BIG News

Animal feed processing diversifies family income sources

 

Little dust lingers in the air when Gezatu Berie Negash (18) feeds maize residues into the mouth of a chopping machine. Since two months now, he has been providing animal feed processing service with his mother W/o Tasfaye Teshome and sister Netsannet (20).

 The trio forms a group who received an AgroBIG Value Chain grant of 47,600 birr with own contribution of 8,400 birr. They were identified by Mecha woreda Women’s Affairs Office to apply for the grant as the Ms Tasfaye is taken as a model female farmer in the area. For their livelihood, this female-headed farming family is growing cereal crops and vegetables. In addition, they rear animals, and grow some fruits and spice plants.Now they provide feed processing service for their neighbouring farmers.

Maize and Rhodes grass residues are chopped into smaller pieces which makes them become more attractive and palatable for the animals. Also maize grains are grinded into flour for animals to feed.

Farmers have expressed great demand for this easily consumed feed for their animas to ease their survival over the dry season. Interestingly, also some women have found this service very attractive. The machine pounds the maize into more roughly grinded grains, which are suitable for different purposes, such as local beer production. The machine is relatively small and easy to transport to other localities by animal cart: they can reach up to 8 kilometers.  

     
Maize residues chopped into smaller and more palatable pieces.

Maize flour can be used as an additional animal feed as well.

 Because of the high demand, very little has been done for marketing so far. The family participated on a promotional event for animal fatteners, where they demonstrated their service in order to reach interested customers. Determining the price for the service however, has proven to be challenging. Own weighing scale would be necessary as well. Long-term profit is in the focus of the trio: they want to enlarge their animal fattening business. Their expectation is to generate 1,000 birr net profit in a month, but taking into account the demand, there surely are chances for even better.