It is a well-known fact that food insecurity and malnutrition are among the daunting development challenges in Zambia that, to date, remains far from being decisively dealt with. As if that is not enough, the demand for food will double by 2050 as a consequence of the increase in both meat consumption and the human population. Accordingly, the Department of Animal Science, School of Agricultural Sciences, in collaboration with RUFORUM and Makerere University, Uganda, has initiated a research project: “Application of Reproductive Biotechnology for Improved Performance of Indigenous Genetic Resources”, with a focus on pigs in Zambia, as a means to increase meat production and reduce the protein-demand deficit. The project, under the leadership of Dr. Pharaoh C. Sianangama, established a reproductive biology lab that handles the basic and applied science on pigs, as well as other farm animals.
In line with the University’s core activities, the services offered in the laboratory include, but are not limited to research, training, and dissemination of our scientific findings to all stakeholders. The main research areas are (a) Semenology, (b) Artificial insemination (c) Gamete Preservation, (c) Oestrus Synchronisation and Detection, (d) Pregnancy Detection Methods, (e) Sex Reversal in Tilapia, (f) Aquaculture Research, and (g) Extension and Community Engagement in these areas. Currently, one student, Dr. Rubaijaniza Abigaba, is pursuing a Ph.D. in Animal Physiology by exploring the potential of reproductive biotechnology application for increased indigenous pig production in Zambia. So far, three papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals.