Nutritional Value of Bananas (Musaceae) Wastes for Ruminants: A Review
The low availability and quality of forage during the dry season are the main problems faced by livestock keepers in the tropics. One way to alleviate the problems is through the utilization of agricultural by-products like banana byproducts as ruminant feed. Banana farming generates much amount of byproduct that is regarded as wastes and generally disposed in the field, causing environmental pollution. Banana plant wastes, i.e. pseudo-stem, leaf and fruit peel can be used as feed for ruminants because they contain proteins, carbohydrates and mineral. Nutritional value of banana wastes varied with plant parts. Banana leaf has high fiber and protein but its digestibility is low while banana pseudo-stem has high fiber, moisture and digestibility but has low protein and dry matter intake potential. Fruit peel, although has low fiber and high digestibility, but it contains low protein. Calcium and phosphorus contents of banana wastes did not meet the nutrient requirements of productive animals. Because of their low nutritional value, banana wastes could only be used as basal diet. To optimize animal production from ruminants fed banana wastes as base diets, all banana wastes have to be supplemented with protein, energy and mineral sources. Besides, banana leaves should be treated with tannin reducing agents or supplemented with low tannin feeds, and banana pseudo-stem should be supplemented with low moisture feeds. It can be concluded that banana wastes can support good animal production when accompanied with strategic treatment and supplementation.
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