Use of yam and sweet potato leaves as a supplemental food for tilapia in Uganda (Video)

Video credit: Saverino Nuwasiima (Uganda)

Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

This video was filmed in a fish farm in Uganda.

Yams are herbaceous plants cultivated mainly for the consumption of their starchy tubers consumed by the people in many countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America whereas around 95% of the world’s yams are grown in West Africa whereas Nigeria produces about 70% of world’s yam. Yam is actually the common name that refers to a number of species belonging to the genus Dioscorea.

The strong similarities between yams and sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas), may create some confusion leading to placing the two in one category. However, both species are not botanically related. China produces about 80% of total world production of sweet potato. In Africa, Uganda is the largest sweet potato producer.

The nutritional merit of yam and/or sweet potato leaves recommended its use in animal feeding. Yam leaves are rich in vitamins A and C as well as riboflavin, fiber and iron. Similarly the sweet potato leaves contain as much as 27% protein on dry matter basis and is also rich in minerals and vitamins. A relatively recent survey in Uganda showed that a significant proportion of fish farmers use the leaves of yam and/or sweet potato as a supplementary fish feed. Typically as shown in the video, tilapias receive their daily rations of pelleted feed and after few hours, the yam or sweet potato leaves are provided and as shown in the video it is obvious that such leaves are highly palatable to tilapia.




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