1.1 Background of the Study
Livestock production contributes significantly to economic growth and development of industrializing countries. It provides food, income, employment and valuable foreign exchange. Hence, it is a major component of agricultural economy of developing countries and goes beyond food production. In Nigeria, cattle are predominantly produced in the northern part, where the bulk of the population are pastoral, and extensively consumed in the southern part (Rim, 1992). The Nigerian livestock resources consist of 14 million cattle, 34 million goats, 22 million sheep, 100 million poultry, one million horses and donkeys as well as negligible number of camels (Umar, 2007).
Global meat production increased from 69 million tonnes in 1990 to about 105 million tonnes by the year 2003 while meat consumption increased from 5 – 6 percent per year (FAO, 2006). Accordingly, bovine meat output was projected at 69 million tonnes in 2007 due to large production in developing countries set to expand by 3.25 – 3.75 million tonnes. This shows that developing countries contributed almost half of the world’s meat production. The food industry does work in providing incentive and in allocating labour to its various users as herdsmen, retailers, butchers, cold room owners, slaughterers, and animal processors (Hansen, 2001).