Background of the Study
A broad definition of agriculture states that it is the science and act of cultivating the land to produce plants and animals for human use.
It deals with the cultivation of crops and also with the keeping and management of farm animals for man’s use.
Livestock are the domestic animals that are capable of producing useful products such as meat, milk, eggs, leather wool, manure etc. for human use. Domestication of animal is an integral part of agricultural production (Olaitan 1984).
Livestock farming is a very important type of agriculture. The importance of livestock farming or animal rearing in the economy of Nigeria can be measured in terms of livestock usefulness to Nigerian population. The contribution of livestock farming to the economy can be stated as follows:
It serves as source of food, source of income, source of power and transportation. Some animals products are used in the country for the production of clothing materials, source of manure, source of prestige, source of pleasure. Also animal products are used for medical purposes. Formally animals were made use of in the laboratories in the country. With the recent development in scientific study few animals are now used for scientific investigations.
Agriculture as a sector of the economy has made the government to introduce the livestock production in the curriculum of agricultural science in secondary schools. In order to improve and increase the source of human protein. In Nigeria the new National Policy on Education (1981) makes it mandatory for all secondary schools to have at least two types of livestock on their farms. That is one ruminant animal and one non-ruminant animal.
Despite the fact that the curriculum stated the management of livestock in the secondary schools, there are some schools that are not raising livestock in Ondo State. In some schools where they are raising it is only one type, commonly poultry. In some schools, they were raising before, later they stopped raising the livestock and abandoned their houses and other equipment used in livestock production.
Government has tried to improve livestock production in secondary schools through Ondo State Agricultural Development Project. But due to both intrinsic and extrinsic factors all the efforts of government have proved abortive. And these factors are the factors hindering the livestock production in secondary schools. There is problem of management livestock in capital intensive, it is becoming more unaffordable to finance animal production in the secondary schools.
Many teachers in secondary school are on general agriculture. They are not specialist in livestock production. This lead to problem of technical know – how that affect the animal production various categories of skilled and unskilled staff are needed e.g. the veterinarian. Animal scientist, laboratory analyst who are not available in some of the secondary school in Ilaje Local Government Igbokoda area.
There is problem of housing, allocation of land to some schools is not enough for the classroom talkless of land for livestock production and some of the secondary schools are located in town where there is no enough space.
Another important problem is feeding problem 75 percent of production cost of livestock is on feeding. Many feed ingredients are expensive.
The feed – cost is unaffordable for some secondary schools.
There is also factor of the environment problem because of the urban nature of some schools. They are not involves in livestock production some of the wastes like animal drugs, dead animals like pigs are offensive because they pollute the environment.
There is a higher occurrence of diseases problems during the wet season. This usually lead to loss of some animals.
Successful livestock production any where in the world is faced with a myriads of problems but that of Nigeria as a capital tropical.
Country is unique because the specific characteristics of the tropical region Blakely (1982).
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