One Nyeri County farmer has found a new way of mixing multi-nutrient exotic beans, sweet lupines, with maize flour to feed his semi-indigenous cattle.
The mixture has seen him increase milk output by three litres.
Juma Gichohi, learnt of the multiple nutrient in the beans, which originated from Egypt and the Mediterranean regions, and decided to crash and mix them with flour as nutrient supplements.
There are more than three types of the lupine beans, but he chose to stick to the sweet lupine.
“The beans are rich in nutrients that are found in commercial feeds. The nutrients span from vitamins to mineral elements and the body building proteins. I have seen an improvement in milk production after reducing the Napier grass and supplemented the feeds with the mixture,” Gichohi said.
Gichohi adds one kilo of the lupine flour to three kilos of maize flour.
The beans take four months to mature. They must be dried well before being crashed into flour.
One of his two semi exotic cow, has increased milk production from 12 litres to 15 litres per day after cutting down the amount of Napier grass.
Lupine beans have been a human delicacy for many years in most part of the world, although they can be poisonous if not treated well before cooking. For human consumption, they must be soaked in clean water for almost a week.
One hundred grammes of lupine flour contain 36.2 per cent of proteins; this translates to 36.2 grammes out of the 100 grammes.
Calcium and iron are in 5 per cent and 7 per cent respectively. Vitamins C, B1 and B9 are also present in the beans.
Other mineral elements like magnesium, as well as manganese are available in small deposits.
Besides the mineral benefits, consumers derive at least 113 calories from 100grammes of lupine.
“There is no constipation after feeding because of the about 40 per cent deposit of fibre, which helps in digestion,” he said.
The Mukurwe-ini farmer He sells the extra beans after harvesting to farmers too.
PHOTO: Juma Gichohi displays twigs of sweet lupine at Kabiru-ini Agricultural Society of Kenya Show Ground, Nyeri, on September 17, 2016. Mixing lupine beans with maize flour has increased his milk out by three litres per day. BY LABAN ROBERT.
Gichohi can be reached on +254721322606.