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Mojtaba Yegani

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Mojtaba Yegani received his DVM degree from faculty of Veterinary Medicine of University of Tehran, Iran.

There has been a considerable expansion in the global poultry industry over the past few years but at the same time the number of active academic departments of Poultry Science has dramatically declined. Is this because  we do not need to expand our research on poultry or train more people for the industry?

There has been a considerable expansion in the global poultry industry over the past few years but at the same time the number of active academic departments of Poultry Science has dramatically declined.
These departments have been eliminated or merged into other sections such as animal science. When this merge takes place, the poultry section usually makes only a small portion of the newly formed department. An interesting point here is that there is no or very low possibility to get a position as a new faculty to do research on poultry because merged departments usually do not hire young faculties as substitutes for retired ones. The bottom line is that there will be an annual shrinkage in poultry research which may finally result in elimination of poultry research in that department. The only answer that you usually expect to hear from university administration is budget cutback and lack of funding.
At the same time, we can see that the poultry industry is expanding and per capita consumption of poultry meat (and eggs to some extent) has an increasing trend all around the world. This trend might be a good indicator that this industry is still profitable and can support poultry education and research. Does this happen? If you compare funding allocated to swine and bovine research with what have been available to poultry, you can easily find a significant difference. Is this because of that we do not need to expand our research on poultry or train more people for the industry? Is reduced funding the main reason for the challenges we have been facing in poultry education?
We all know that the poultry industry, in general, has become highly automated and more management-based than any other time. Fewer people can now run a farm compared to two decades ago. For example, one nutritionist can formulate diets for a few farms which belong to a company and the same rule may apply to veterinary supports for that company. This means that there is lesser need for professional people in the poultry field as integration of companies is continuing and therefore less job opportunities would be available. Why should we have several poultry science departments to create more professional people without jobs? Is this the only reason for what we see as a marked decline in poultry science departments?
There is no doubt that our capabilities and skills should improve in accordance with the time period that we live in. This is the basic rule of life. Regarding poultry industry, these skills should be exceedingly high if we want to stay in this very competitive business. The question is that "Do the academic centers meet evolving requirements of the industry?" Should poultry science graduates have more skills to be able to cope with challenges of today's modern poultry industry? If so, are current educational outlines/curriculums in the poultry science departments adequate to train students (undergraduate and graduate) in order to make them critical thinkers and capable individuals as they are coming into contact with the real world? Communication and business skills must also be considered, as technical ability in poultry science is not enough to perform a good job in the industry. Is educational incompetence a factor for the industry to not strongly support poultry science education/research? What do you think? What factors have really caused educational challenges in Poultry Science?

by Mojtaba Yegani last update:Oct 2, 2006

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2 comments

  • # 1

    Michel Lefrancois

    Maybe the poultry departments "suffer" from the poultry industry expansion and success. Major companies perform most of their research/development programs intramuro. However, they will always need qualified persons and will ultimately depend on strong animal/poultry departments to achieve that goal.
  • # 2

    Sentumbwe Fred

    This is a very good opinion on the role of proffesionals or formaly trained personel in the sector. However, it is important to not for example in africa many peaple are taking on poultry as a business but they rely more on practical results than advice from proffesionals. In many cases farms are not profitable because there is no proffesionalism and many africans do farming as a hobby not as a proffesion.

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