By Waziri Isa Adam

The Comrade Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Professor Suleiman Bala Muhammed has poured encomiums on Professor Maikano Muhammad Ari for his brilliant and highly articulated presentation as the University’s 38th Inaugural Lecturer.
Speaking yesterday (Wednesday 13/12/2023), the Vice Chancellor, in his remarks after Professor Ari’s presentation, seized the opportunity to use wisdom to knock academics who migrate like nomads, from one University to another with ease, seeking for appointments as Professors, described the Inaugural Lecturer as a 100% NSUK-bred academic who remained glued to the University and rose to the rank of Professor of Animal Nutrition through the dint of hardwork.

The 38th Inaugural Lecturer who delivered his eloquent lecture on the theme “Single-Cell Proteins: “Unlocking Opportunities to Address Monogastric Feed Supply Challenges,” defined single-cell proteins (SCP) as proteins that are derived from microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast, or algae, and which are used as food source. They are a sustainable and efficient protein source that can be produced using minimal resources, “he highlighted.
He also defined Monogastric animals as animals with a single-chambered stomach, such as pigs, chickens, horses, and humans. They have a simple digestive system that relies on enzymes to break down food, and they are unable to digest fibrous materials as efficiently as ruminant animals.

Professor Ari lamented that Nigeria which is known for its significant livestock population which includes cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry is facing a significant supply gap.
“Despite Nigeria’s livestock population figure which is estimated at 20 million for cattle, 41 million for goats, 1.8 million for pigs and 180 million for poultry, the country does not produce enough to meet the demand of its growing livestock population.” He regretted.
He however advocated that to bridge the supply gap and meet this growing demand, Nigeria needs to significantly increase its livestock production, a condition that requires investment in the livestock sector with more emphasis on feed supply which constitutes over 65% of monogastric animal production requirement.

Professor Ari also revealed that the Feed Mill Industry in Nigeria is facing several daunting challenges related to feed ingredient supply, which include the availability and quality of feed ingredients, as Nigeria heavily relies on imported ingredients like soybeans meal, maize and fish meal. “Fluctuations in global commodity prices, trade restrictions and supply chain disruptions have also impacted the availability and affordability of those ingredients,” he stressed.

Professor Ari however stressed that “these challenges have become even more critical due to the competition with human food industry for critical raw materials like cereals and oilseeds. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and conflicts at regional, national, and international levels have further exacerbated the sector.”
“To address these challenges, a holistic approach must be deployed, and which must involve government policies and actions, investment in infrastructure, research and development, and the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices”, he said, emphasizing that, “ By improving the supply chain, enhancing local production, and promoting alternative feed ingredients, Nigeria’s Feed Mill industry can overcome these challenges and contribute to the growth of the livestock sector through among other measures, such as deployment of enrichment processes for both conventional and non-conventional feed resources.”

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