Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC) has empowered some selected Secondary School Students in Ogun State with skills and knowledge in Poultry production, at its Capacity Building Training, organized by the Extension and Adaptive Research (EAR), Unit of the Centre.

In her address, the Director, Professor (Mrs.) Dorcas Adegbite 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.

According to her, this Workshop is one of the series of Agriculture in-Schools Projects, noting that in the past, they had organized 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 which includes meat/egg production, income generation, creation of job opportunities and scientific research. Informing further that poultry is free from any social taboo and religious bigotry, Stressing that it has high quality meat with low calorie, low fat, low in cholesterol but rich in vitamin A.

Professor Adegbite further noted that poultry production is capital intensive but has multiple turnovers within a short period, adding that harnessing poultry industry will be additional source of protein in Nigerian’s meals, as well as help to bring down the price of beef.

Delivering his Paper on Turkey Production, the Head of Department, Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), FUNAAB, Dr. Oladele Oso disclosed that turkey needs six major nutrients for energy and healthy growth which are Carbohydrate, Lipid, Protein, Vitamins, Minerals and Water. He added that starting a turkey farm will 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 white shell, brown shell or blue shell, noting that blue shelled egg is not common in Nigeria.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kolawole Salako 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, utilization, packaging storage and marketing to trainers and interested members of the public.

Professor Salako, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development) Professor Lateef Sanni stated that the training and FUNAAB Annual School Poultry Contest being launched today intend 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 will commence later in the year and will 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 will be able to put to practice what they learn in class as well as participate in the contest. He also appealed to the World’s 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, charged the participants to pay rapt attention and ensure that every salient point is well captured as this could help their future life career or business venture.

The event had in attendance, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Morenike Dipeolu, the Registrar, Dr. Bola Adekola, Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC) Professor Michael Idowu and the participating secondary schools which include; Federal University of Agriculture International School; Salau Abiola Comprehensive High School, Osiele, Abeokuta Girls Grammar School, Onikolobo, St John Anglican High School, Kuto, Abeokuta Grammar School, Idi-Aba, Asero High School, Asero, McJob Grammar School, Onikolobo, Nawarudeen Grammar School, Obantoko Baptist Boys High School, Saje and Lisabi Grammar School, Abeokuta.