An investigation into the feasibility and potential benefits of integrating microalgae culture with livestock farming in Nigeria

Bature, Aminu (2021) An investigation into the feasibility and potential benefits of integrating microalgae culture with livestock farming in Nigeria. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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Abstract

Nigeria continues to struggle to meet the demand for animal sourced protein despite its sizeable livestock population. In fact, the average daily intake of 0.75 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for developing countries, is met by only 31% of the nation’s population. The high-priced and poor quality of the feeds currently available in Nigeria causes high animal mortalities, stimulates low productivity and as a result, produces a low rate of return on investment. An efficient animal cum feed production system is therefore vital to the sustainability of viable livestock and aquaculture production enterprises in Nigeria. The purpose of this interdisciplinary research was to determine the status of animal feeds in Nigeria, and to investigate the country’s livestock farmers ability to adopt animal cum microalgae farming as a potential solution to the low-quality feed materials challenges. Survey of the existing livestock and aquaculture market in Nigeria was undertaken to capture farmer’s expectations, preferences, and aversions with regards to feeds and feed materials. It was found that animal farmers in Nigeria fed livestock and fingerlings (in aquaculture) with imported commercial feed brands at the beginning of the farming cycle and then switch to local brands or on-farm formulation to save on cost. Farmers' are also in desperate need for affordable protein and lipids rich feed materials to supplement and/or balance the readily available low nutrient feed materials. It was also found that sufficient credit and/or loan facilities are not made available to livestock farmers in Nigeria and thus, there is the need for better access to credit facilities through non-private government sources. Finally, the results of the market survey indicate that despite their willingness to undertake trainings and other learning programmes, animal farmers are lacking in basic education and thus limited in their ability to adopt innovative farming practices and technologies such as microalgae culture.

The aforementioned findings offer the voice of the customer and defines the farmer’s needs with regards to feeds and feed materials in Nigeria. These were key inputs for setting up the appropriate process and design specifications for the case study analysis of an open pond microalgae farm. A conceptual framework based on the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control) model was developed as a roadmap for the process improvement case study analysis. The case study analysis focuses on both the potential causes of failure and process capability (in terms of repeatability, reproducibility and/or transferability) with regards to human capability/manpower. It was found that the sun drying process of the microalgae biomass is the only “off-centred” process that exhibits special causes of variation due its reliance on the weather. The study also found that microalgae culture contamination rate is higher during the scaling-up process of the inoculate from the mother culture to higher concentration in the ponds. In addition, it was found that the cultivation medium composition can be diluted up to five times (depending on the type of water supply used) the prescribed Zarrouk’s medium requirement, which could reduce the cost of nutrients.

The study concludes that adequately funded training programmes and a shift of the animal industry focus from imported overpriced commercial feed products to an animal cum microalgae (plant) culture systems integration could off-set the current cost of feedstuff in Nigeria. This is particularly true for protein source feed materials like fishmeal. This study provides a comprehensive examination of the existing feed market in Nigeria and the opportunities and challenges for the implementation of microalgae cultivation systems.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Date: 12 January 2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microalgae, Spirulina, Livestock Feeds, Animal Nutrition, Lean 6 Sigma, DMAIC, Market Analysis
Subjects: D400 Agriculture
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
REF UoA Output Collections > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Kip Darling
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2021 20:34
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2021 20:34
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11841

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