NATIONAL Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan, in Oyo State, says it has explored the nutritional component of water hyacinth by utilising its (water hyacinth) research for cultivation of mushroom.
The NIHORT Executive Director, Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Ibadan.
Olaniyan said an efficient substrate ration which gave high number of fruiting bodies and yield when compared with conventional substrate-saw dust, was obtained and applied in the cultivation of mushroom.
According to him, water hyacinth contains about 26 per cent crude protein, 26 per cent fibre, 17 per cent ash and eight per cent available carbohydrate on dry weight basis.
He added that its dried pressed cakes were comparable in fibre content to cotton seed hulls and sugarcane base.
Olaniyan emphasised that NIHORT had made several releases weevils such as Neochetina eichhornia, (a biological control agent of water hyacinth) in all infested waterways of Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Edo, Delta and Bayelsa.
Other states, he said were: Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Niger and Kebbi.
On its production techniques, Olaniyan said it made development of protocol for improved production of planting material for plantain/banana, pineapple and irvingia (ogbono) through biotechnology.
He said it produced improved planting materials of vegetable seeds of tomatoes, pepper, Okro, Amaranth, Celosia (Soko), Corchorus (Ewedu), among other crops for farmers, students and researchers.
“We have value added products developed from tomatoes such as tomato dried slices, puree, powder, whole peeled tomato, development of raised platform (sun dryer) for tomato fruits.
“We made reduction of post-harvest loses of horticultural crops through the development of different value added products such as bottled fruit juice from citrus, mango, pineapple and utilisation of plantain confectioneries.
“We have four different kinds of soaps: herbal, natural, batch gel and liquid soaps produced from horticultural waste and packaged, as well as production of biochar, biogas, compost and silage were made from horticultural waste.
“Organic fertilizer was produced from a mixture of horticultural wastes, horticultural waste shredding machine fabricated for animal feed, there is decorticator machine fabricated for bush mango, among other products developed,” he said.
Olaniyan said that the institute faced challenge of insufficient, late release of funds to meet agricultural production season, as well as insufficient research project vehicles.
He added that the challenges also included obsolete research equipment for quality research results, obsolete/insufficient irrigation facilities for production during off season, among others.
NAN reports that NIHORT has the mandate to conduct research into the genetic, improvement, production technologies, processing, storage, utilisation and marketing of fruits, vegetables, spices and ornamental plants of nutritional and economic importance.
NIHORT is the only horticultural research institute in Nigeria saddled with these responsibilities. (NAN)
– May 15, 2020 @ 12:35 GMT |