The livestock sector is a major source of food and income for farmers in Afghanistan. Almost half of its land base is used for pasture. Sheep and goats are mostly kept, next to cattle and poultry. The Animal Science department at NAEC covers knowledge and skills building on small and large animal production systems and livestock products. Livestock production modules included are rearing of dairy cows, equines, goats and sheep, poultry, silkworms, bees and fish.
Besides gaining theoretical knowledge on animal production systems, NAEC emphasizes the importance of learning practical skills as well. Practical activities provided by the Animal Science department include laboratory work, practical work on animals, and excursions. Examples of lab work are meat health inspection, distinguishing of microbes, milk test, chicken necropsy; examples of direct practical animal production skills are chick production using incubators, dairy production, learning to process animal products, providing rations for animals, and enriching straw and silage production for animals, nutrition of chicken and fish in the NAEC farm, management of chicken house and fish ponds; Examples of excursions are visits to livestock farms and dairy production factory. In the 4th semester at NAEC, students are given the opportunity to engage in a specialized research project.
The main objective of this department is to develop and build up the students’ practical knowledge, problem-solving and teaching skills. With these tools, NAEC graduates can improve agriculture and livestock education at Agricultural High Schools; and those specialized in Animal Science will in addition be able to work on improving livestock production systems and agribusinesses.
This department provides 15 courses over the two years of studies at NAEC. The main topics of specialization are:
- Production of chicks
- Small and large animal rearing
- Genetics and breeding
- Animal diseases
- Animal nutrition
- Dairy production
- Fish and bees farming
- Livestock farm business plan
- Animal Science student research project