Researchers in the country have been urged to develop genetic improvement of indigenous cattle herds to help boost local production of cattle milk and meat for consumption as well as develop the subsector.
Stakeholders in the livestock subsector made the call at a ‘Strategic Interest Research Group Meeting on Livestock Genetic Improvement (SIRGM – III)’, organized by the Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics Department, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA)/FMST, and Center for Genomics Research and Innovation (CGRI).
At the meeting held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo state, Victor Olori, a geneticist and professor emphasised the need to increase sustainable meat production, even though the resources to do so are dwindling.
He pointed out that cross-breeding is a creative process of genetics intervention, a key innovation to secure the future of Nigerian livestock production in a globalising world.
“In Sub-Saharan Africa, we have millions of cows, yet our beef production from those millions upon millions of cows is very small,” he said.
“Even though we have 21 percent of the total grazing land in the world, only eight percent of the world output is the beef output that comes out of Sub-Saharan Africa,” he further said.
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