Biocontrol Product Developed By IITA Reduces Mortality In Poultry By 43.9%
Poultry fed with maize that had been treated with aflasafeTM – a biocontrol product for controlling aflatoxins— experienced reduced mortality in addition to other benefits, according to a new study by scientists from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
To unravel the benefits of aflasafeTM in the poultry industry, researchers set up a feeding experiment involving 1,020 broilers that used the following feed formulations: aflasafeTM maize without binders, host farm’s feed with binders, contaminated feed with binders, and contaminated feed without binders. The broilers were fed for 8 weeks.
Results showed that the use of maize from aflasafeTM-treated feeds reduced mortality rate by 43.9%, feed intake dropped by 10.4%, and there was an increase of 3.3% in feed conversion ratio.
Unveiling details of the results to stakeholders at a conference in Lagos, Dr Ranajit Bandyopadhyay, IITA Pathologist, said the results demonstrated the impact of aflasafeTM—a biological control product developed by IITA for controlling aflatoxins.
Produced by toxigenic strains of Aspergillus flavus, aflatoxins have become a menace in developing countries, contaminating about 25% of grains produced in the region.
The aftermath effects of consuming aflatoxin-contaminated grains include stunting in children, liver cancer, and even death.
After more than a decade, scientists at IITA have developed a biological control product named aflasafeTM that is controlling grain contamination in Africa.
The impact of aflasafeTM on the poultry industry—one of the major consumers of maize—has been hailed by stakeholders. “We are excited with these results because the use of aflasafeTM is a cheaper and safer solution for the poultry sector,” says Dr Emmanuel Ewuola of the Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, who supervised the animal feeding experiment.
He added that with aflasafeTM grains poultry farmers would not need aflatoxin binders in feeds.
Dr Ayoola Odutan, Managing Director of Amo farms, who is also the Chairman of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, in his presentation, cited IITA for the work, stressing that the future is bright for the poultry industry because science-led outputs such as the discovery of aflasafeTM that improves the quality of maize have come to the rescue of the industry.
The Managing Director of Doreo Partners, Mr Kola Masha, in his presentation, cited the economic gains of using aflasafeTM. He said that the result of the feeding trial translates into an estimated increase in profitability of over 500,000 naira (about $3,200) for every 10,000 birds.