Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), has empowered some selected secondary school students in Ogun State with skills and knowledge in poultry production at its Capacity Building Training organised by the Extension and Adaptive Research (EAR), unit of the centre.
Professor Dorcas Adegbites, Director of AMREC, in her address, said that the training was in line with the extension mandate of the university aimed at improving agricultural enterprise and food production capacity of the public including students.
She said that the training is one of the series of Agriculture in-Schools Projects, noting that in the past, they had organised workshops in pig production, rabbit production and fish production, adding that some of the schools trained had established their own farms.
The director also added that capacity training on poultry was chosen due to its high economic importance that includes meat/egg production, income generation, the creation of job opportunities and scientific research.
She added that poultry is free from any social taboo and religious bigotry, stressing that it has high-quality meat with low calorie, low fat, and low in cholesterol but rich in vitamin A.
Furthermore, Professor Adegbite noted that poultry production is capital intensive but has multiple turnovers within a short period, adding that harnessing poultry industry would be an additional source of protein in Nigerians’ meals as well as help to bring down the price of beef.
Delivering his paper on Turkey Production, Dr. Oladele Oso, the Head of Department, Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), FUNAAB, disclosed that turkey needs six major nutrients for energy and healthy growth; they are the carbohydrate, lipid, protein, vitamins, minerals and water.
He added that starting a turkey farm would require capital, housing, feeders, water trough, turkey (poultry or 4-6 weeks old), feed, drugs and medication.
Making their presentation during the training, Dr. Kazeem Bello and Titilayo Irekhore informed that layers are reared for the purpose of eggs, saying that eggs could be a white shell, brown shell or blue shell, noting that blue-shelled egg is not common in Nigeria.
Professor Kolawole Salako, Vice-Chancellor of the university, while declaring the workshop open said that the extension mandate of the university covers the Southwestern part of Nigeria – Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states and it is charged with the responsibility of transferring proven technology in agricultural production, processing, utilisation, packaging storage and marketing to trainers and interested members of the public.
Professor Salako, who was represented by Professor Lateef Sanni, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development) stated that the training and FUNAAB Annual School Poultry Contest that were launched were intended to encourage poultry production as a means of supplying the much-needed animal protein as well as stimulating the spirit of entrepreneurship in students at the secondary school level.
He added that FUNAAB Annual School Poultry Contest would commence later in the year and would be executed through sponsorship and in two parts, Annual Poultry Quiz Competition involving students’ representatives and Annual Poultry Rearing and Show to involve rearing of poultry (broiler chickens) by schools, documentation of performance and an exhibition of the birds at the end of the rearing period.
The vice-chancellor implored the state government to equip secondary schools for practical agricultural production so that students would be able to put to practice what they learn in class as well as participate in the contest.
He also appealed to the World Poultry Association, Nigeria branch, Poultry Association of Nigeria, Ogun State chapter, hatcheries, feed and other poultry input producers and suppliers as well as successful poultry farmers in the state to support the university.
Professor Salako then charged the participants to pay rapt attention to ensure that every salient point is well captured as this could help their future life career or business venture.
Source: Independent NG