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Professor Akinyele Adesehinwa

Adopt friendly policies towards pig production, don tells FG

Professor Akinyele Adesehinwa delivering the Inaugural Lecture

By Dorcas Elusogbon

Ile-Ife (Osun), April 12, 2023

A Professor of Animal Science and Production Systems, Akinyele Adesehinwa, has called on government to adopt friendly policies towards the pig industry for poverty eradication and contribution to attainment of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Adesehinwa made the call on Wednesday at the 370th Inaugural Lecture of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, organised in collaboration with the Institute of Agricultural Research & Training (IAR&T), Ibadan.

The title of the Inaugural Lecture was: “The Fox and the Piglet: A Paradox for Untapped Resources”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was the first Inaugural Lecture on Livestock improvement and the 8th from IAR&T of the University.

According to the Professor Adesehinwa, the pig industry is a means of job creation, sustainable source of income and poverty reduction.

He explained that Nigeria had the largest pig farm in the world located in Kano, established by the United African Company (UAC) in ’50s and ’60s which transported the meat by rail to Lagos at that time.

“But unfortunately, that pig farm eventually folded up in the late ’70s due to religious prejudice and traditional taboos.

“If this farm had been allowed to continue, Nigeria would probably have become one of the leading pig-producing countries in the whole world,” he stated.

He called for cooperation of relevant agencies of government at all levels towards the development of a framework for the importation, preservation and use of imported genetic materials for the improvement of the existing stock.

“Appropriate policies should be put in place to favour the establishment of private pig meat processing companies/plants,” he said.

Adesehinwa said that the pig industry also serves as source of nutrition and food security arising from pork and its consumable by-products and source of organic manure for crop production.

“Therefore, it could be said that Nigeria has all it takes for self reliance in animal protein, but is yet to utilise the opportunities to increase pigs contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

He stressed that the Federal Government needs to change from its unfriendly attitude towards the pig production sub-sector and its by-products noting that besides the pork which is pig meat that is generated from the industry, there are several other by-products.

“Pig is compared to the palm tree, where every part is useful to man; skin for soft leather, hair for brush, fat (lard) for cooking and for cosmetics.

“Blood and bones for animal feed, intestine for surgical suture material and for sausage casing, heart as organ transplant for humans, manure for maggot production for fish feeding, cooking gas production and soil enrichment and live pig for medical research,” he said.

Adesehinwa stated that the global trend in world meat production (2016-2020) indicated that pig meat (pork) is a very important source of animal protein in human diets.

He noted that investment in pork production has proven to be one of the most profitable livestock businesses because of its relatively low cost of production compared to other major livestock farming businesses.

According to him, pork is the world’s most widely eaten meat accounting for (36%) of the total meat production, surpassing poultry (29%), beef and buffalo (27%).  Pig has the highest percentage in terms of consumption in the entire world.

He stated further that the world’s pork industry has been on the rise since the 1970s and by 2022, global production surpassed 110 million Metric tonnes per year.

Adesehinwa said that the pork industry includes all forms of pig meat, including flesh and processed meats.

“The value of trade in pig products around the world runs into billions of dollars every year.

“However, Africa enjoys less than 5 per cent of the “economic fat” generated in the pig-farming sector. Pig production is so valuable that it is described as an “assist for wealth” or “safety net in times of crises,” Adesehinwa said.

He noted that China, with a fifth of the world’s population, is both the largest producer and net importer of the pig products globally, using pork to feed its largest population.

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