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Dried Potato Can Be Cheaper Energy Source In Animal Feed

The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF)

The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) scientists found that dried potato can successfully be used as a cheaper energy source in animal feed formulation and can be added up to 30 percent in ruminants concentrate without any negative effect.

They conducted an experiment to investigate the feeding potential of potato waste in 'Nili Ravi' buffalo bulls. The project was funded by Pakistan Science Foundation, Islamabad. While visiting the project at the university farms, UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan said there was a significant gap between supply and demand of feed resources for livestock in Pakistan.

It was necessary to increase the availability of feedstuffs to meet the maintenance and production requirements of the animals in order to get control for this shortage. He said that UAF was taking all possible measures to increase agricultural and livestock production to ensure food security.

Giving a briefing, Dr. Muhmamad Sharif said the use of non-conventional feed resources (NCFR) in the animal feeding system was one of the solutions. Feedstuffs such as citrus pulp, sugar beet pulp, poultry litter, kitchen waste, and cull potato can be used as NCFR.

Many of these NCFR were high in protein, energy, and minerals that's why they can be used to fulfill the supply and demand gap. The global production of potato exceeds 374 million tons and in Pakistan was 4.6 million tons, he said adding some potatoes were not suitable for marketing due to small size, damaged and not fit for marketing, known as culled potatoes.

The potato culls or processing waste was available in bulk which can be used in animal feed after drying. Washing, peeling, trimming, slicing, blanching, drying, frying, de-oiling, and packing were some of the Primary steps in potato processing. During processing, around half of the potato solids, particularly the peel, were discarded, accounting for 15 to 40 percent of total potato waste.

Prof Dr. Qamar Bilal said dried potato concentrate was an economical energy source compared to other grains and it can be added to substitute grains in a ruminant diet. Due to the high cost of yellow corn, dried potato concentrate had been identified as a low-cost alternative and it can easily replace maize.