As part of efforts to contribute to food security in Nigeria, the research collaboration between the laboratory for Geoecology and Sustainable Food System, GeoLab , Federal University of Technology Akure ,FUTA and Biospheric Scientific Nigeria Limited, BioSci on the project “Unlocking the Potentials of Indigenous Goats and Sheep Using Climate Smart Agriculture Innovations,” has yielded fruits. The specially bred FUTASA goats and sheep are now in the market and already becoming the choice meat source of discerning and health conscious individuals. The meat derivable from the breeds is the healthiest of all red meats, having low fat, calories, low cholesterol and high in protein.
There are three indigenous goat breeds in the franchise programme namely the West African dwarf, the Savannah, and the large Sahel goats. The large Sahel goat is a dual-purpose goat with diary capacity of 0.5 liters per day for between 90 to 100 days
Professor Ahmed Balogun of the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, FUTA who is the focal person behind the project said that the project which was kick started in 2021, has developed innovative sustainable goat and sheep breeding strategies. He said the breeds developed through painstaking research are disease resistant and fast growing. He said they are also low maintenance hybrid variety of goats and sheep from indigenous breeds. He said Sustainable Climate Smart Commercial Goat/Sheep farming is an emerging agribusiness that can be developed into an efficient value chain.
The collaboration, according to him, is a climate smart sustainable commercial indigenous goats and sheep production franchise. He said the project is also 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.
GeoLab is a laboratory in FUTA’s Department of Metereology and Climate Science, School of Earth and Mineral Science. According to Professor Balogun, FUTA Geolab lead Researcher, It is a weather-based index assurance for crops and other agricultural products. Balogun says the major drive behind the establishment of the Geoecology lab is to understand the relationship between the environment and agriculture which is only possible by acquiring real data and information from farmers. According to him, “The lab demonstrates the implications and effects of climate change on animal and crop yield and to find 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 ICT support and innovations for farmers.”