A one-day educational workshop entitled "Organic Poultry" which was organized in collaboration with the Organic Society of Iran and Kowsar Agricultural Investment and Environmental Research Institute, was held at Khalvati Auditorium of Faculty of Agriculture this month.
This workshop was attended by faculty directors, teaching staff, relevant officials, researchers, and students.
At the beginning of this workshop, Dr. Ali Asghar Talebi, the dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, said: "due to its special position which links different geographic regions, Iran contains very different ecosystems or ecologically diverse areas in the north, west, east and center, and this climate and ecological diversity has made it very unique in terms of biodiversity, and in each of the climates, throughout history, different plant and animal species have evolved compatible with the conditions of each climate, thus creating a great God-given wealth for our country, Unfortunately, we have not been aware of this great wealth for many years, but in recent years, with the efforts of specialists in universities, research organizations and institutions, the importance of the subject has been well understood, but there are still gaps for the full realization and optimal use of this huge reservoir for production, employment, and generation of wealth and supply of food".
He added: "One of the main reasons for this negligence is our historical weakness to turn knowledge into wealth, which is perhaps the main reason behind our reliance on crude oil, which has inflicted the mind and intelligence of our nation. Of course, oil is also a huge national wealth that can be a driving force for the country's progress by turning it into hundreds of valuable products to fulfill our needs in many areas. We also enjoy the advantage of powerful manpower in our country". Our scholars, professors and students over the past twenty years have shown well that if there is a well-documented policy and sufficient support, they can make great achievements for the country, and the growth of scientific productions of the country in the last 20 years is a clear example of this effort. Today our universities have realized that the mere production of scientific publications is not enough and this path should be reformed, though scientific products will always be important, however science must play a role in the economy, employment and entrepreneurship, and this is a path which advanced countries have gone through. For example, the University of Wageningen, has a leading role in the economy of the Netherlands.
Dr. Talebi continued: "Fortunately, the process of applying science and commercialization of science in the universities of the country has begun in recent years, and we are certain that if there is sufficient support, universities can play a much more important role in the economy of the country. The second reason is the lack of attention to the issue of genetic reserves, the lack of attention by specialists and insufficient support by authorities and statesmen. It is a fact that authorities need to be frequently reminded about the importance of some issues, as in the case of water, which its constant repetition in mass and social media made all become aware of its significance and substantial budgets allocated to it. While the macro national plan of genetic reserves, as a joint project between the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, is in a deadlock condition due to the lack of budget allocation, the implementation of this plan can help protect and preserve genetic resources.” He added.
He further said: "today, organizations, institutions, universities, and the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, which is responsible for protecting genetic resources, should strive to work together as the members of a single team by developing a sincere relationship and cooperation.
The dean of the Faculty of Agriculture stated: "With this approach, research on breeding and production of organic chicken carried out by Dr. Vaez and his colleagues at the Faculty of Agriculture had excellent results. Fortunately, this research continued with another plan called "Free Range Chicken Production" by Dr. Ehsani, faculty member of the Department of Animal Science.
The pilot project began in an area of about 5000 square meters with a capacity of 1,000 chickens in the Agricultural Faculty in 2015. Fortunately, this project is being carried out with the efforts of Dr. Ehsani and the students of the Animal Science Department, and with the accurate scientific design of the field, selection of breeds, including traits related to immunity and disease resistance, physical features, food efficiency, and the proper appearance and marketability of the ultimate product, have yielded good and promising results.
The main objectives of this plan, which are defined in the context of resistance economy in addition to preserving the genetic resources of native chickens, aim to prosper villages and increase rural employment, and reduce dependence on imports and enhance the production of healthy and organic products.
It should be noted that this workshop continued with the speeches of Dr. Ali Reza Ehsani and other experts, participants visited the local chicken farm and held discussion forum and scientific exchanges in this area.