Non-conventional Feed Resources(NCFR)

There are many types of food ingredients that do not have a scientific explanation for their use. This type of supplemental food or food ingredient is called NCFR or non-conventional feed resources. Such food items are separated from grains and agricultural by-products. NCFR or unconventional food is not commonly used commercially for cattle, poultry and fish. This type of food is found in large quantities in many countries, especially in Asia. Such food is available as a by-product of various types of grains and industrial plants. Therefore, it is more reasonable to call such food as new food.

Sources of NCFR

  • By-products of the agricultural industry;
  • Proteins derived from unicellular organisms;
  • By-products of palm oil;
  • Waste from cattle slaughterhouses
  • By-products of sugar mills;
  • Juice factory by-products;
  • By-products of the vegetable processing industry;
  • Parts of different types of crops especially rice wheat straw;
  • Parts of various herbaceous plants such as beans, watermelons, sweet potatoes, etc.

Characteristics of NCFR

There are the following numerous features of NCFR: 

  • Such materials are factory residues that are not reusable;
  • Such substances are mainly organic matter which is found in liquid or solid state;
  • The cost of such items is usually less than the cost of collection and transportation and they are usually left as waste;
  • Some cereals have food ingredients such as cassava and sweet potatoes which contain a lot of fermented carbohydrates;
  • Fruit wastes contain a lot of energy such as in the coating of bananas and pineapples;
  • Cereals have high levels of unrefined ash and low levels of nitrogen, making them very good for fish and cattle;
  • There are some food ingredients that are harmful to animals and not much is known about the harmful aspects of such ingredients and it is not possible to know the way to eliminate the harmful effects;
  • Such ingredients contain unmarked growth-promoting ingredients and have very good organoleptic properties;
  • It contains balanced amino acids and some essential fatty acids;
  • It contains high levels of crude protein but differs in amino acids.

Classification of NCFR

NCFR is mainly of the following three types, viz

1. Energy rich feeds - These foods are found in bananas, citrus fruits, and pineapple, sugarcane and root plants.

2. Protein supplements - These foods are obtained from plant oils and meals, animal by-products, food factory by-products and fish meals.

3. By-products - By-products of palm oil refinery (such as rice husk and POME).

Table- Various food sources, properties and user organisms as NCFR




Energy rich ingredients and protein rich food -rice husk, mustard oil cake, soybean meal, poultry manure, etc.

High energy and protein rich food

Pigs, ducks, cattle

Quality grain residues- sweet potatoes and herbaceous plants

High energy and protein rich food

Pigs, ducks, cattle and meat producers

Medium Quality Grain Residues - Parts of Sweet Potatoes and Herbs

Moderate rich protein food

Pigs, cattle, camels and monkeys

Low quality grain residues- various types straw of food grain.

Low content protein, more ash rich food

Cattle, camels and monkeys

Nutritional properties and percentage of major crop residues and agro-by-products

The following table shows the nutritional properties and percentage of various crop residues and agro-by-products used as NCFR in Asia:

Source of feed


Crude protein (%)

Crude Fiber(%)

Digestibility (%)

Crop residues: leaves and creepers of cassava plants





Paddy straw





Sweet potato vines and leaves





Mustard oil cake





Pineapple waste





Poultry droppings





Rice husk





Constraints to Utilization of NCFR

Currently, there are different types of barriers to the use of NCFR for a variety of reasons. The reasons for some of these obstacles are mentioned below:

  • Such elements are scattered in different places. They are also of low quality.
  • The cost of collecting these components is relatively high such as rubber seeds.
  • Processing is quite difficult and in many cases quite problematic.
  • Lack of skilled and trained manpower to use such food.
  • There are restrictions on the use of residues of manufactured goods.
  • Uncertainty of marketing of latest products.
  • Lack of proper strategy management, efficient management in procurement and lack of funds.
  • Difficulty in warehousing or storage of all these materials.
  • Separation and supply is quite difficult.
  • Lack of adequate knowledge about the ingredients.
  • As there has been no national or regional research on these elements, their use has not been well established.

In order to increase the food and nutrition needs of the poor people in Asia, more fish production is needed. In that case, it is important to increase the use of NCFR. Moreover, fish meal production is limited in developing countries and the use of aquafeed is increasing day by day. Therefore, it is very difficult to meet our demand only with fish meals and the price of fish meals is also quite high. As a result, we need to emphasize the use of NCFR and gaining knowledge about it.

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