Livestock Industry Foundation for Africa (LIFA) believes in knowledge sharing and impacting her pool of resources positively towards the services of the poultry industry. On the 22nd of December 2021, LIFA team visited this prominent leader Professor J. Oluyemi (rtd).
The LIFA team interacted with him by asking a few questions as enumerated below:
Mr Lawal: Sir, may we know you better?
Prof Oluyemi: I started from University of Ibadan (U.I.) as a student then moved to Britain to specialize in Animal breeding and Poultry production. Afterwards, I returned to the Ministry of Agriculture because I had my first degree in Agriculture before going to Animal Science. I retired from U.I. over 20 years ago and then proceeded to other universities among which is Ekiti State University. I was a consultant along with Dr. Adejoro to some poultry establishments in Nigeria before parting ways due to my movement to Kaduna State.
Mr Lawal: Sir, we will cherish your opinion about the poultry industry?
Prof Oluyemi: The industry has developed very fast up to a stage. When you view the industry at the start, it was difficult to sell eggs, the Ministry had to destroy excess eggs which could not be sold and but now people are begging to buy eggs. The nutrition of the people has improved, many individuals now consume more eggs compared to the olden days. Almost everybody now integrate poultry into their diets in one form or the other especially in the culinary enterprise. Production versus demand and supply; when the earning power of the people could not afford an adequate diet, then there is a fall in demand. Nevertheless, poultry production is still thriving for those who are efficient. Efficiency is dependent on the quality of the birds, feeds and the environment in general. Many people could not control the quality of their birds, feeds (you cannot shorten your feed and expect good results). Production suffers from availability of input, market, whose conspiracy of factors eventually destroyed the industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Lawal: Sir, what’s your view about an Animal Scientist working together with a Veterinarian towards the benefit of poultry production?
Prof Oluyemi: It is very essential and necessary for animal scientists and veterinarians to work together. Animal scientists deal with problems affecting animal performance in different species including poultry. The duty of an animal scientist is to determine and be sure of the genetic quality of the animal. If the genetic quality is not ascertained, then the enterprise is a failure. The veterinarian is concerned with the aspect of the environment and health which is very critical to the industry. Whatever the genetic quality and other environmental factors could be if it’s favorable to pathogens, then it will modify the benefit that could be accruable to the success of the production. The veterinarians are concerned with all range of pathogens/diseases affecting the animals which is outside the scope of the animal scientist. In a nutshell, the two of them (Animal Scientists & Veterinarians) require cooperation to the success of the poultry/Animal industry symbiotically.
Mr Lawal: How do you wish the poultry industry to move on?
Prof Oluyemi: I will want the poultry industry in Nigeria to move as fast as possible. This can be achieved by preventing importation of poultry products. Though the government has taken drastic steps to curtain importation, there is a need to do better in preventing smuggling. The success of poultry is to ensure that consumption is high and profitability is also good for entrepreneurs. So high efficiency is necessary in the industry. For example, I don’t see any reason why poultry produce should not be integrated into the feeding of school children. So if demand is high then poultry can survive.
Mr Lawal: Sir, can you tell us your relationship with Dr. Stephen Adejoro?
Prof Oluyemi: We started from U.I where we were both students but then I was a senior to him. I would say with due respect that he is diligent and a humble person. He pioneered a number of things because he was courageous enough during the university service when we consulted together. He distinguished himself in a certain way and he’s thorough because when we are looking at things generally, he had the tendency to look at it more scientifically.
Mr Lawal: Your advice to poultry stakeholders in the poultry Industry?
Prof Oluyemi: My advice to them is that they should be ready for competition. It is theoretical to say that they should ascertain their market before they start production but are they the only owner of the market. If the market is good, everybody will do theirs. All that is needed is to ensure efficiency in their business. Efforts should be made to take good quality products from the right source and provide balanced feeds and ensure the environment adequately controlled to be free of pathogens.