VC REITERATES SUPPORT FOR RESEARCH, FLAGS OFF NEW POULTRY UNIT

Pursuant to his determination to support research for the benefit of society, the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Abdullahi Bala fsssn, has flagged off the new poultry unit of the Research Farm, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (SAAT).
Speaking during the event which took place on Thursday, December 10, 2020 at the University Research Farm, Main Campus, Prof. Bala expressed happiness over the success achieved on the project, given the limited resources available. He commended the Feather Meal Research Group for winning the research grant, of which the poultry house is an outcome.
The Vice-Chancellor assured that Management would continue to support research in the University, just as he urged researchers in the institution to continue to make efforts towards winning research grants.
‘’To us, it is a duty to also support the research group. If we are asking that people should go out, apply for research grants, when they succeed, we should also appreciate them and also provide the necessary support and conducive environment to enable them carry out that research. This we shall continue to do,’’ the Vice-Chancellor said, adding that most universities built their equipment inventory through research grants.
He stressed the need for maintenance of the facility and congratulated the team, Department of Animal Production and SAAT for the achievement
Earlier in his welcome address, Team Leader of the research group, Prof. Bisi Ayanwale, thanked the VC for his encouragement and support. He also commended members of the research team for their self-denial, just as he thanked some of the students who assisted in seeing the work to fruition.
In an exclusive chat with CAMPUS NEWS, leader of the research team, Prof. Bisi Ayanwale of the Department of Animal Production, said that there estimates of over four billion tons of feather produced annually worldwide. He added that whereas feather contains about 80 percent protein, it is not eaten by animals, just as it is difficult to digest.
Prof. Ayanwale explained that feather contains keratin, a chemical compound that makes it difficult to digest or decompose.
Their research therefore was driven by the need to make keratin digestible so that feather can be fed to animals, he added.
In their work, the researchers proceeded to digest keratin externally, using an enzyme known as keratinase, he further disclosed, adding that the experimental birds being fed with the feather meal are now seven weeks old.
Giving the vote of thanks, the Head of Department, Animal Production, Prof. Daniel Tsado, thanked the VC for his support.
The research group had last year won a N25 million TETFund research grant. The new poultry house was built in furtherance of that research with support from the University Management.
Members of the research team and their departments are: Prof. Stephen Egena (Animal Production) Prof. Ocheme Boniface, (Food Science and Technology); Prof. Jiya Elisha (Animal Production) and Prof. Egwin Evans (Biochemistry).
Others are Prof. Daniel Tsado, Prof. Iyabo Alemede, Dr. Alabi Olushola and Dr. Otu Okpata all of the Department of Animal Production.

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