Nigeria’s First Female Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Prof. (Mrs.) Oluwafunmilayo Ayoka Adebambo has graciously bowed out of FUNAAB after years of meritorious service and ground breaking researches. Delivering her Valedictory Lecture, titled The Days of small beginning, the first female Dean, College of Animal Sciences and Livestock Production (COLANIM) in the University returned all glory to God for seeing her through the years, especially through the thick and thin of her life’s sojourn in the academic world.
Conspicuously displayed at the VIP arena of the sprawling Ceremonial Building were the research bred chickens of Professor Adebambo code named FUNAAB ALPHA. The harmony of man and birds peaked with noisy interruption from the chickens with Prof. Adebambo interjecting her Lecture with a funny response, “the birds are talking” which sent her audience into rounds of laughter, thus confirming her closeness and passion for the domestic animals over the years.
Sharing her experience over the years in Pig Breeding Development from the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan to the present day development of the popular FUNAAB Alpha, Professor Adebambo said that she left a legacy for the University and those coming behind, noting that if she had not given her all, trained many students and focused on her researches, her case would have affirmed the saying that “Success without succession is total failure”.
She recalled that at a time in her life, farmers whom having utilized the Pig Breeds she developed had persuaded her to leave research and go into Pig Farming, recalling that one of them who benefitted from her Pig Breed, once said to her, “Madam, what are you still doing in research, you have turned many of us into millionaires, please anytime you are ready to start your farm, just contact me, as I will give back to you whatever number of Pigs you need free of charge”.
Recollecting her early years and humble beginning, Professor Adebambo noted that she was born into a humble family and being a girl child, she was not expected to go to School, save for the intervention of one of her aunts.
Speaking on her take on Nigeria’s problems, Prof. Adebambo lamented the backwardness of the country, especially with the nation’s inability to generate power for its teeming populace, pointing out that, “While other countries are talking of electricity-powered vehicles, driverless trucks, and 200miles per hour trains, we are still battling with narrow gauge rail lines and Never Expect Power Always (NEPA), or Hold on your Power (Power Holding)”.
She noted that Nigeria is neither walking with people who can influence it positively, nor running in any specific direction, lamenting that “Nigeria’s doors are wide open to anything saleable, whether fake, corrupted or original for as long as it can be brought in cheaper than for it to be produced internally for employment creation”.
Professor Adebambo who stated that Agriculture is the mainstay of any Economy however buttressed her point with the account of God’s creation as recorded in the Holy Bible, noting that God has blessed every nation of the earth to increase and expand, record her breakthrough and accelerate with no failure. Based on the foregoing, she demystified the myth that it is difficult to produce or impossible to develop our livestock system in Nigeria, a myth many farmers and scientists have swallowed hook, line and sinker.
According to her, Nigeria is expected to be one of the greatest countries in the world, based on her human and material resources, stressing the need for our education to be result and impact-oriented.
She recalled that her foray into Poultry Breeds Development started in 1994, when as the Head of Department, Animal Breeding & Genetics she was challenged by the pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olorunnimbe Adedipe to institute a programme to improve the Nigerian indigenous chicken to a commercially competitive and sustainable status.
As part of the research innovations under her able leadership, she listed the Pig Breeding Project; where she developed the improved indigenous Pig Breeds, NIGERHYBS 1 and 2; Brought innovations into low-cost Pig feeding through the utilization of Wet Brewers grain and the use of Spent Wet Brewer’s Yeast for Piglet feeding, as well as the Poultry Breeding Project. Under poultry Breeding Project, she developed the improved indigenous Poultry Layers FUNAAB-alphas 1 & 2, improved indigenous Poultry Broilers, FUNAAB-alpha 3 and presently developing indigenous Poultry Layers, FUNAAB-alpha 4.