Livestock is one of the fastest growing agricultural sub sectors in developing countries with Agricultural Gross Domestic Product of 33 per cent and is rapidly increasing. Livestock products contribute 17 per cent to kilo calorie (a non S.I unit of energy equal to 100 calories) consumption and 33 per cent to protein consumption globally, but there is large discrepancy between rich and poor countries (Rosegrant et al. 2009). According to World Bank (2009), livestock systems is said to have both positive and negative effects on public health, social equity, natural resources and economic growth. This growth is attributed to the increasing demand for livestock products, as a result of population growth, urbanization and increasing incomes in developing countries (Delgado 2010). The total meat production in the developing world tripled between 1980 and 2002, from 45 to 134 million tons (World Bank, 2009). Livestock production and products in industrialized countries account for 53 per cent of agricultural gross domestic product (World Bank, 2009). Ezeibe (2014) also noted that pig industry in Nigeria is an important arm of livestock subsector in the overall agricultural sector which derives from the fact that pigs possess high fecundity; high feed to meat conversion efficiency, early maturity, short gestation period, cooking fats and bristle. Hedegepath (2008). Pig production is widely scattered across the globe. The estimated global pig inventory of over eight hundred and one million in 2002 was a slight increase over the global pig inventory estimate of over seven hundred and eighty two million in (2006). The countries of Asia have the largest inventory of pig in the world, accounting for over 62% of the total global inventory in 2002. The countries of European Union account for nearly 15% of the global inventory followed by North America with approximately 10%. Pigs are produced primarily in regions of the world with available natural resource including arable land, cereal grains and water. (Hedegepath, 2008).
Background of the Study
In Nigeria, human population is out growing food production resulting to food crisis in the country (F.O.S., 2007). This is a great challenge to individuals, organizations, Federal, State and Local Governments in Nigeria. In view of this, all are expected to join hands in improving the food supply of Nigerians. Food production increases at the rate of 2.8 percent while food demand increases at a rate of more than 3.8 percent due to the high rate of population growth of
2.93 percent (F.O.S., 2007). Despite this increase in food demand, the actual amount of protein consumed by average Nigerian is still very low. World Health Organisation (WHO) (2007), recommended more than 85g of protein per person per day. While Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) (2006), reported that the average Nigerian eats about 45g or less of protein per person per day which is far below the standard set by World Health Organisation (WHO). The level of animal protein intake by Nigerians is inadequate as they consume more of plant protein (FAO, 2011). Owing to the acute shortage of animal protein in the diet of average Nigerian, there is the need to increase domestic production of animals such as pigs. This will help to fill or at least narrow the animal protein deficit gap among Nigerian consumers.
Animal production has suffered a great set back in the recent years, due to disease outbreak, high cost of feeds and insufficient government assistance. This resulted to insufficient meat and other animal products which supply protein to man. Nigeria has a conducive environment for keeping farm animals such as sheep, goats, cattle, horses, donkeys, rabbits, camels, poultry and pigs (swine).
Pigs are among the oldest domesticated monogastric animals in the world (Holness, 2007). The origin of domestic pig is still not clear, it is probably derived from the European wild boar (Sus Scrofa) (Serres, 1999). Biblical writings, however, indicated that pigs were first
domesticated as early as 2000 B.C. and there are over 90 recognised breeds of pigs and an estimated 230 species of pigs in the world (Holness, 2007). These breeds and species are classified into indigenous/unimproved and modern/exotic breeds. Pigs can be reared almost anywhere given suitable housing and management. Pigs are found throughout tropical and temperate regions where religious beliefs do not prevent them from being reared (Serres, 1999).
Pigs have high survival rate, high feed conversion efficiency and high prolificacy (Karol and Krider, 2001). Pigs are known to be prolific having 20 to 30 piglets from 2 litters per year (Akinyosoye, 1999). They have the gestation period of 3 months 3 weeks and 3 days. Pigs are good and efficient feed converters. They are able to reach slaughter weight of about 80
– 90kg in about 7 to 8 months under efficient management and balanced nutrition (Adesehinwa, Aribido, Oyediji and Obiniyi, 2003). The good qualities and inherent high productive potential of pigs make their production to be economically viable (John, 2007).