Prof Chryss Onwuka, President of the Nigerian Society for Animal Production (NSAP), said this in Port Harcourt at the group’s 38th annual conference and 40th anniversary.
Onwuka said that the importation of livestock such as chicken and turkey had contributed to the high level of unemployment in the country.
“For every carton of turkey and chicken that we import; jobs are created in countries of origin and the GDPs of those countries are improved while the reverse holds sway for Nigeria.
“Nigerians have the expertise, potential and the wherewithal to produce but the environment is hostile.
“The population of the world has reached 7 billion recently; projections suggest that by 2050, population in the world will be 9 billion people; an astronomical number that will double the need for food and increase the competition for limited resources.
“That competition, combined with climate change, loss of biodiversity and degradation of resources will be juxtaposed against the survival of the planet itself.
Research has a key role to play in mitigating the effects of all these on the populace and the environment and as a consequence, public investment in research and education is now more critical than it ever was.
I call on government to pay more attention to the enforcement of the regulations guiding food importation into our country and this will help to re-kindle the local livestock and the meat industries in Nigeria.”