From Chidi Asonye, Aba
Farmers have been urged to ensure that their animals are maintained on feed materials that improve their reproductive performance and efficiency as well as enhance the attachment of their genetic potentials.
The call was made by the 45th inaugural lecturer of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Rev. Sr. (Professor) Mary Anthony Oguike, while presenting her lecture titled: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth’, at the Senator Pius Anyim Auditorium of the university.
According to the professor of Animal Physiology, who insisted that animal reproduction is the bedrock for sustainable livestock production, animal nutrition, breeding and genetics are also important aspects of animal production even though, “all these aspects are required to work together in order to meet our national target of food security”.
The inaugural lecturer disclosed that like crop, livestock production plays vital roles in the livelihood of rural communities in the country and contributes approximately 70 per cent protein requirements of the country’s population but decried the poor management and harsh environmental conditions which have formed major stumbling blocks in the way of livestock productivity in Nigeria.
She, however, expressed hope on the recent establishment of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), just as she asked the institute to develop extension programmes between Livestock Researchers and Livestock Farmers to ensure that research findings do not end on the shelves in universities’ libraries.
Earlier while declaring the ceremony open, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Francis Ogbonnaya Otunta, called for more researchers into all spheres of the human existence so that the world will be a better place to be.