The Director General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Professor Abdullahi Mustapha has recently disclosed Nigeria’s recorded success in the genetic improvement of livestock for the production of meats and milk. This information was revealed in an interview which held on Monday, in Abuja, where he noted that the sector had been successful in terms of inseminating the cows and now waiting for the first generation (F1) to be produced.
He explained that upon production, these F1s would be immediately checked genetically, to determine the kinds of characters they had taken. Further, the DG made known, the fact that the success in inseminating the cows and processes in terms of the areas of pregnancy were all being recorded. This means that the expectation for the first generation of cows by April is poised to be a success story and Nigeria would have its first breed of their livestock.
Climate condition to be congenial and normal for the new cattle breed.
Professor Mustapha expressed his happiness over the climatic condition that the new cattle breed would experience, indicating that it would be congenial and immensely beneficial to them. This, he noted, was because they had ensured that the semen used in inseminating these cows were ones that shared similar characteristics with the Nigerian conditions. He however gave his assurance that the process of harmonizing the semen with the Nigerian conditions had been carried out, a major issue that farmers faced with the varieties of their livestock being imported into the country.
The DG further noted that the completion of this process aimed at enhancing the livestock to suite the climate conditions, in the country’s case was a success. He thus indicated that they were hoping to see the character that taken in the production of milk quantity. With this, he stated that at least 50 liters of milk would be expected per cow on a daily basis, with the actualization of this also reflecting immense success. He hinted at that the agency’s target was aimed at inseminating 2500 to 5000 cows this year alone with the necessary resources.
Availability of resources a major problem affecting cows’ insemination.
NABDA boss raised concerns as to resources being the major problem affecting the insemination of cows for productivity. He explained that with adequate resources, the project was posed for a continuation, as more cows would be inseminated. On the project’s success, Prof. Mustapha stated that the launching of the livestock’s improved variety was sure to take place in April. On another recent project by NABDA, he also explained that the use of genome editing was important to increase the lifespan of tomatoes.
On this other project, the DG explained that it was a gigantic project, considering the amount of revenue invested into the tomato production and the amount lost from the post-harvest losses. These post harvest losses, he pointed out, were as a result of the climate and chemical activities which occurred between the harvest and consumption period. He however noted that it was immensely compulsory to take the tomato project seriously, so as to help with finding measures to fix it.
NABDA collaborating with AUDANEPAD to embark on this tomato project.
Mustapha indicated that fixing this would help generate more revenue for Nigeria, as the country would be in pole position to export tomatoes across Africa. He revealed that many African countries were presently in need of tomatoes but the fragility of the product was hindering the country from exporting. He thus indicated that the agency was collaborating with the African Union Development Agency (AUDANEPAD) to further embark on the project, with all the needed machineries available.