FBA Issue 23: November / December 2008
Palm View Trade introduces banana powder and meal feed
In the light of skyrocketing grain prices, feed mills are seeking alternative raw materials that have similar nutrient value but at a lesser cost.
Among the most common alternatives to traditional feeds are bananas. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, some 12 to 15 million tonnes of bananas and seven to nine million tonnes of plantains could be available each year for use as livestock feed.
Leveraging this abundant feed raw material, Palm View Trade is an innovative Philippine company that process bananas into banana meal and banana powder. Aqua feed suppliers are already incorporating Palm View Trade's banana-based products in their feed rations, taking advantage of their natural feed pellet binding properties and using them as an alternative energy source.
According to managing director Vincent Y. Garcia, aqua feed and animal feed companies in the Philippines are now using six to 12 percent banana meal and banana powder in their products. Banana meal, he says, has a crude protein content of five to six percent, crude fibre content of two to four percent and starch content of 60 to 70 percent. In the same vein, banana powder's unique gelatinizing properties make it an excellent pellet binder. The company uses only fresh, green sun dried Cavendish bananas as its raw material.
Feed accounts for 60 to 80 percent of livestock production costs, the energy component of feed makes up 60 to 70 percent of this amount with protein accounting for another 14 to 20 percent. Since animals eat primarily to satisfy their energy needs, their feed energy source must be available, adequate and inexpensive This makes Palm View Trade's banana meal and banana powder an ideal alternative feed that is consistently available all year round.