A university don and professor of Animal Science, Grace Jokthan, has disclosed that the application of Artificial Intelligence in the analysis of feed is a master-stroke that will offer more cost and time efficient strategy in feed evaluation for ruminant animals.
She stated this on Thursday, March 3, 2022 while presenting the National Open University of Nigeria’s, (NOUN) 18th Inaugural Lecture held at the university headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.
The lecture, with the topic: “Indigenous Feed Sources: Increasing Animal Protein Supply for Improved Livelihoods,” also aligned the country’s realisation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieving rapid livestock production in Nigeria.
Jokthan, who is a one-time Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, highlighted the relevance of feeds and feeding, stressing that the knowledge of livestock feed resources and how they are utilised are critical factors in successful animal husbandry.
She said there was the need for artificial intelligence in animal agriculture as it is the future of feed evaluation.
“Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are currently being utilised in all spheres of life; this is no less so in animal agriculture. Artificial Intelligence is currently being used in the analysis of feeds. Algorithms are being developed that will model the association between vitro gas production and chemical composition of tropical browse forages using artificial network,” she said.
The lecturer stated that to achieve the needed rapid livestock growth and reduce poverty, policies should focus on expanding the contribution of the sector in the economy, increasing the pace of livestock growth and the participation of smallholder farmers and the poor in that growth.
She called for the increase in producers’ access to factors of production like land and finance, in order to improve the ability of workers to imbibe the need for multiple streams of income in the face of high inflation, the downturn of the economy and unavailable government jobs.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters, who presided over the first inaugural lecture under his reign, assured in his opening remarks, that the lecture would be an engaging and interesting one to listen to.
While applauding Jokthan for a well delivered lecture in his comment afterwards, the VC noted that researches in agriculture are important, and, therefore, urged people to go into poultry business and recommended Jokthan’s book as a guide for their feeds and care.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, Prof. Uduma Oji Uduma, in his vote of thanks, he said inaugural lecture is an academic staple, where academics show what they have been working on.
While thanking everyone for coming, Uduma equally disclosed that about five more similar lectures have been lined up within this year.