Prof. Francis Ahamefule has urged the Federal Government to make policies that are consistent and progressive to encourage production of West African Dwarf (WAD) goat.
Ahamefule, a Professor of Animal Production at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike made the call during the university’s 47th inaugural lecture on Wednesday.
The researcher in his inaugural lecture entitled “Rhymes from Rainforest Dwarf Caprine : Ancient and Modern” said that the production would serve as a panacea to the perennial short supply of animal protein in the country.
He said that WAD goat had not received the prominence it deserved from successive governments, stressing that it had made the production and developmental strides slow and epileptic.
Ahamefule said that he did a comparative evaluation of the milk constituents of 45 lactating ruminant animals 15 each of WAD goat and sheep and white Fulani cattle in a 12-week study.
According to him, policy somersault remains a bane to developmental initiatives in animal agriculture in the country.
The don insisted that WAD goat paraded outstanding attributes which were of foremost the interest and urged the government to encourage young school leavers and graduates to go into its production.
He said, “This indigenous small ruminant breed holds staggering potentials capable of meeting the animal protein needs of over 60 million Nigerians.
“It is however worrisome that a nation like hours blessed with such indigenous potent animal species has remained recalcitrant to its development even in the light of her obvious endorsements.”
Ahamefule also called for constant sensitisation of the rural populace on the huge gains of WAD goat production, through the media and extension agents.
He explained that such sensitisation would help them to be amenable to changes and innovations aimed at increasing and multiplying the breed.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Francis Otunta, who was represented by his deputy (Academics) Prof. Maduemesi Iwe thanked the lectuerer for his scintillating lecture and contribution to knowledge.