By Sodiq Lawal
The Federal University of Technology Akure, (FUTA), Ondo State, has developed a sustainable climate-smart goat-sheep farming. FUTA said collaborative research, between its Laboratory for Geoecology and Sustainable Food System, GeoLab, and Biospheric Scientific Nigeria Limited (BioSci), has brought about the project, which is the outcome of the research titled: “Unlocking the Potentials of Indigenous Goats and Sheep Using Climate Smart Agriculture Innovations”.
The university disclosed further that meat derived from the breeds is the healthiest of all red meats, having low fat, calories, low cholesterol, and high in protein. GeoLab is a laboratory in FUTA’s Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, School of Earth and Mineral Sciences. The focal person for the project, Ahmed Balogun, a Professor in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, said the project, which was kick-started in 2021, had developed innovative, sustainable goat and sheep breeding strategies.
He noted that the breeds developed through painstaking research were disease-resistant and fast-growing and that, they are also a low-maintenance hybrid variety of goats and sheep from indigenous breeds. According to Prof. Balogun, sustainable climate smart commercial goat-sheep farming is an emerging agribusiness that can be developed into an efficient value chain. The don said: “The collaboration is a climate-smart sustainable commercial indigenous goat and sheep production franchise. The project is also to be able to provide technical support from production to marketing to individuals, who are interested in the business of producing and marketing the special breeds of goats and sheep”.
He added that it is a weather-based index assurance for crops and other agricultural products while the major drive behind the establishment of the Geoecology laboratory, he said, was to understand the relationship, between the environment and agriculture, which is only possible by acquiring real data and information from farmers. “The lab demonstrates the implications and effects of climate change on animal and crop yield and finds sustainable solutions to farmers’ problems. It is a facility that provides short courses for farmers and extension workers to learn how to provide services. It is also structured to provide information and communication support and innovations for farmers”, added.