by Ejidiah Wangui
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Young
entrepreneurs from Homa Bay County in Western Kenya have
ventured into animal feeds manufacturing using water hyacinth
that has covered almost three quarters of Lake Victoria.
In addition to ending the water hyacinth menace that is
threatening the survival of Africa’s largest fresh water body,
the youth are also offering farmers cheap and nutritious animal
During a recent interview with Xinhua, Jack Omondi, the
founder of Biofit Technologies, a manufacturer of the animal
feeds, was optimistic that his venture would provide a solution
to the recalcitrant hyacinth that has choked Lake Victoria for
over a decade.
"Apart from providing employment to many youth who are
involved in the harvesting and processing of the hyacinth from
the lake, the initiative is offering a possible solution to
ending the weed which is threatening the lake’s survival,"
The Biofit feed, which has 55 per cent proteins, boosts the
yields of meat, milk, eggs and other animal products by at least
15 per cent, according to Omondi.
Despite the hyacinth being one of the main binding agents in
the feed, Omondi says it contributes at least 10 percent of the
They use other plants to supplement the feeds nutrition
Some 300 kilograms of weed is harvested daily but Omondi
hopes to scale up the harvesting to two tonnes per day.
Maize germ is the main raw material for making animal feeds
in Kenya but with the raging hunger, maize supply is way below
the demand making it even harder for farmers as the cost of
feeds has gone up by at least 2 U.S dollars for every 70-kg bag.
The Biofit feed has come to the rescue of farmers in the
region as a kilogram of the meal costs about 0.2 U.S dollars
compared to about 0.4 U.S dollars per kilogram of the common
Animals like cows cannot feed on the hyacinth for long
because of an irritating substance in the leaves but processing
makes it more palatable.
Biofit technologies is the first company in Kenya to harness
water hyacinth and convert it into animal feeds.
Water hyacinth has become a major invasive plant species in