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Ethio-Feed Regional Exchange for Improved Animal Productivity

PENHA with the support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and in partnership Ethiopians Agro-Pastoralist Development Association (EAPDA) created an opportunity for the Sudanese, Somalis, Ethiopians and others to visit the animal feed manufacturer - Ethio-Feed which is located in Adama (Nazareth), Oromia Region of Ethiopia.

On Sunday 30th November 2014 twelve participants from four countries (Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and the UK) visited Ethio-Feed as part of the IFAD funded regional project on the alternative uses of Prosopis in order to understand the innovative approaches being taken by the company and share its best practices. Ethio-Feed's mission is to use a combination of appropriate inputs, the latest technology and trained human resources, to produce quality feed products that meet the expectations of livestock producers.  

Ethio-Feed Background: Upon the arrival of the group, Mr Beruk Yemane, Ethio-Feed General Manager who also used to work for Oxfam Great Briton (GB) as Senior Pastoral Programme Manager gave a brief overview on how the business idea of producing animal feed developed and was finally realized. According to him, at the first stage two people initiated the idea and founded Ethio-Feed. The company has grown over the last five years and now has 31 people working in it. 

Animal Feed Ingredients: Mr. Kibreab who is the production manager then introduced the group to the types of ingredients the company use in producing the nutritional animal feed. The most commonly used ingredients include concentrate feeds and agro-industrial by-products such as wheat and rice bran, noug cake, cottonseed cake, haricot bean, maize grin, common salt, Bole mineral soil, starter ingredient, bone and meat meal, calcium carbonate, ground pros piece, soya meal, cement, molasses and activated total mixed ration. During the description of the animal feed inputs, participants asked a number of questions on how much of to use (ration), for what kinds of livestock, body-mass of the animal, weather conditions, etc. Both Mr. Yemane and Mr. Kibreab addressed the questions.

Animal Feed Production Demonstration: After acquiring good understanding the sources for good animal feed, a demonstration on how to mix the various ingredients to ensure the right ration as well as making the animal feed briquettes followed. After mixing the ingredients manually (for the sake of demonstration, though the actual mass production is made by a mixing machine), the next stage of molding the mixed ration followed. The briquettes were produced by pressurizing and shown to the participants before they were taken for drying in the shade.

Animal Feed Production Process

Mixing - Molding the mix - Under-shade Drying of Briquettes

Concluding Remarks: By the end of the trip, participants appreciated the initiative taken by Ethio-Feed in alternatively looking for animal feed that improves the welfare and productivity of the livestock. Both the participants from Sudan and Somaliland have suggested also on how the already matured stages of animal feed production be shared into their respective countries. 

This article is produced by Bereket T. Tsegay, PENHA.