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My Dad’s Elucidation Spurred my Interest for Animal Production, Now #IAmAg

It was time to take a preliminary degree course in a Nigerian university, just like every other Nigerians of my age. My interest was much heightened to study one of the “influential” or rather popular university courses and for me it was Electrical Electronics Engineering.  I had my pre-degree form painstakingly completed and neatly packaged for submission with all documents expressly attached. The excitement of a potential engineer heralded me, till an official at the point of submission sought to have a word with me.He narrated to me the competitiveness of getting into the faculty of engineering to study Electrical Electronics Engineering in a prestigious university as am applying for and strongly suggested that I consider applying to study ANY other course offered in the faculty of agriculture to brighten my chance of admission.On getting home, I sat with my dad with the course brochure – a document that contains all Nigerian academic institutions and the respective courses they offer – in my hand.My task was to mention a course for my dad will expatiate on its application to real-life daily living. Immediately, he finished discussing “Animal Production and Health”, I discovered my hidden passion for animal production. Nippily I opted for the course and my passion grew daily as I studied the course. I often visit the University Teaching and Research Farm alone, staring at the cattle, sheep and goat with the heart to tender the animals. Soon I became a student member of the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS), an experience that opened me to international livestock practice via materials and conferences. As an intern, I raised pigs, broiler chickens, pullet chickens and rabbits. The experience was quite amazing and educative. It was obvious that I have a life in agriculture and most especially livestock development. It wasn’t long before the challenging state of livestock development in Nigeria and West Africa became a burden to my heart. My worrying heart sought urgent answers to several burning questions: 
  • Why are we not producing enough meat and milk to meet the increasing Africa’s Livestock Population Demand?
  • Why has several livestock development project failed in Africa and most especially Nigeria?
  • Why do majority of farmers still employ crude methods, equipment and techniques during livestock reproduction?
  • Can’t livestock farmers mate their animals once and be certain there will be conceptions?
  • How can livestock farmers reduce the waste of time, resources and anxiety during breeding?
  • Why is there scarce funding support for livestock farmers in Nigeria?
  • How can our indigenous breeds be improved, rapidly multiplied and commercialized on a large scale? 
Over the last 6 years, my team has been making modern animal reproductive technological solutions and techniques available to livestock farmers/producers, veterinarians and other livestock professionals in Nigeria and West Africa. We have engaged livestock practitioners and professionals with solutions to the limiting factors associated with improved/modern and rapid livestock reproduction techniques. We build local capacities and make the technology available to the grass-roots. Our solution conveniently see to Pre-Insemination (Oestrous profiling, Accurate Oestrous Detection, Semen Collection, Semen evaluation), Insemination (Artificial Insemination and Natural mating in any animal) and Post Insemination (certainty of successful mating/insemination, early pregnancy detection, sex determination of foetus, determination of number of foetus, ratio of male foetus to female foetus, expected date of delivery) etc. We also ensure healthy poultry meat, hence we are rapidly multiplying an improved indigenous African chicken which compete favourably with exotic chickens and perform even better in size and egg laying capacity.  We support farmers to achieve rapid and efficient livestock production by breeding with efficacy.Today, my activities have created jobs for young people interested in livestock development, encouraged many farmers already frustrated with inadequate productivity, empowered women in the livestock value chain and have contributed immensely to the rapid multiplication of livestock and sustainability of livestock value chain in Nigeria and West Africa. My practice will continue to impact the global community, ensuring healthy meat and nourishing milk for all. #IamAg, I breathe agriculture and I live to ensure #MoreMeatMoreMilk. #AreYouAg too?This post from Oloruntobi Olusegun a livestock project development executive in Nigeria is part of the Farming First  series “I am Agriculture”, that showcases the many careers available to young people in agriculture.Are you a young professional in agriculture with a story to share? Tweet using #IamAg to join the campaign and inspire more young people to get involved in agricultural careers.